Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Pilgrim: Chapter 33

Random Thoughts hits a Random Number. The Pilgrim: Chapter 33 is my favorite Kristofferson song. Kristofferson reportedly wrote it about Johnny Cash.

33 is also the answer to this question:

How many chapters have you outlined for the new novel, Adam?

Now before everybody starts falling all over everybody else congratulating me (I'm actually amazed at the number of people who read this blog), let's put it into perspective: It's an outline.

Outlines, like novels, have first drafts, second drafts, tenth drafts. This is the first outline I've written since law school. So it'll need some work, even after I "complete" it. And then I'll need to change it. After I change it, I'll need to edit it again. Then, maybe, I'll send it to my agents for their thoughts.

In other words, I'm 33 chapters into a draft outline. I could be done with the draft by MLK Day. It's progress, but it's not close to being finished. It's not even close to being started. But it's fun.

May you all still be having as much fun as I am, 33 chapters into your new projects.


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Blogger M. G. Tarquini said...

Dana YT Lin outlines like a maniac. She does bios of all her characters. She does bios of her characters relatives, even ones who don't show up in her books.

I make everybody up as I go along.

so 33 chapters is good. How many chapters do you anticipate? I divide my books into parts. That's because I write short chapters, and I don't want to type Chapter 56 at the top of any page.

9:36 PM, January 10, 2006  
Blogger Adam Hurtubise said...

A lot of short chapters is better than a few long chapters (my favorite book, "All the King's Men" notwithstanding-- the opening chapter to that one is about 77 pages, and the chapters don't get shorter).

In the first novel, before I cut it down a lot, my chapters were way too long.

I try to have chapters of around ten pages each, but with very few long paragraphs.

Dialogue is another great way to move the chapters along. You don't HAVE to have a ton of dialogue if you have a lot of action, and short paragraphs. A long chapter with lots of description, no action and no dialogue is deadly.

The most important thing is to show, not tell. So if you can show, without using dialogue, that's fine.

Ask Konrath that question...

The key is to make the chapters readable. Meaning lots of action and easily digestible paragraphs. Think tapas, not a large pizza.

I'm aiming for around 40 chapters, but honestly, when the story is over, that's when I'll end it. If that means 28 chapters, it's 28. If it means 53, it's 53. I want a nice, tight plot with great characters, snappy dialogue and a ton of action and conflict.

I don't care how few or how many chapters that requires. To better my chances at publishing it, a shorter book is better than a longer book.


10:04 PM, January 10, 2006  
Blogger M. G. Tarquini said...

Talk to any of the Bunions. I'm the dialogue queen.

10:29 PM, January 10, 2006  

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