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Old 06-01-2018, 10:17 PM   #16
artig
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The three thrillers in the Jeff Aiken series (Zero Day, Trojan Horse, and Rogue Code) by Mark Russinovich also have fairly short chapters. The books involve computers, and are written by an author who knows computers inside out, making the scenarios more believable, even to computer nerds.
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Old 06-02-2018, 05:12 AM   #17
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It was extremely choppy, because Hawkins had dozens of different POV characters, shifting from chapter to chapter, making it extremely annoying to try to follow who was who and who knew what, for very little eventual payoff.

Sharon Bolton's Dead Woman Walking has mostly short chapters, if I remember correctly. That's one I can definitely recommend.
I've read a book by Sharon Bolton before, forgot how the chapters there were. Thanks, Catlady!
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Old 06-02-2018, 05:14 AM   #18
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The three thrillers in the Jeff Aiken series (Zero Day, Trojan Horse, and Rogue Code) by Mark Russinovich also have fairly short chapters. The books involve computers, and are written by an author who knows computers inside out, making the scenarios more believable, even to computer nerds.
Oh dear, I'm afraid that's not my cup of tea. If these books were cheap or free, I'd take a gamble on them, but I can't see myself getting immersed in these books. Thanks, anyway.
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Old 06-02-2018, 11:04 PM   #19
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The best pattern (for action/thriller novels at least) is that they should have an slowly accellerating rhythm, aided by decreasing chapter length, with short chapters only around the face to face conflict at the end to give a sense of speed. But the chapters introducing the locale, the characters, the Maguffin (ie what it's all about) and the start of the action, should be long enough to do the job properly.

When I see a book of 100+ chapters, and the opening chapters are very short, I see an author who, I assume, doesn't know how to handle sustained scenes, exposition, and smooth transitions. Short sharp scenes are so much easier to write than a sustained narrative. So I usually avoid them; not my preference.

Frequent changes of point-of-view, or many different points-of-view, also annoy me. Unless there is a pressing need for it, this is a practice best avoided. I once read an award-winning novel which not only had many shifts in point of view, but had some chapters in first person, some in third person, and to make it worse, shifted from past to present tense among those chapters as well. It was a muddle from go to whoa. Don't ask me how it won a literary award. I gathered that the author did a creative writing course; what on earth did they teach?
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Old 06-03-2018, 03:34 AM   #20
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The best pattern (for action/thriller novels at least) is that they should have an slowly accellerating rhythm, aided by decreasing chapter length, with short chapters only around the face to face conflict at the end to give a sense of speed. But the chapters introducing the locale, the characters, the Maguffin (ie what it's all about) and the start of the action, should be long enough to do the job properly.

When I see a book of 100+ chapters, and the opening chapters are very short, I see an author who, I assume, doesn't know how to handle sustained scenes, exposition, and smooth transitions. Short sharp scenes are so much easier to write than a sustained narrative. So I usually avoid them; not my preference.

Frequent changes of point-of-view, or many different points-of-view, also annoy me. Unless there is a pressing need for it, this is a practice best avoided. I once read an award-winning novel which not only had many shifts in point of view, but had some chapters in first person, some in third person, and to make it worse, shifted from past to present tense among those chapters as well. It was a muddle from go to whoa. Don't ask me how it won a literary award. I gathered that the author did a creative writing course; what on earth did they teach?
Well, I recently DNFed a book with 100+ chapters (Origin, by Dan Brown). But yesterday I started an Alex Cross (James Patterson book). There, the short chapters enhanced the book. It depends on the content. But mostly I agree with you. I just don't want to read books within my comfort zone. Is that a bad thing?
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Old 06-04-2018, 11:09 AM   #21
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Nnedi Okorafor's science fiction books have very short pages (2-5 pages).
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:47 PM   #22
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The other extreme is George Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four". Over 100,000 words; three chapters and an appendix!
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