After reaching chapter 8 in my newest novel/novella/whatever it turns out to be, Saving Flight 926, I have started telling my friends about how it is going/asking for advice, since I am having trouble with the length I want.
Anyway, every SINGLE time I’ve worked on a book, everyone asks me the same question: “how many chapters will it have?” There’s something about this question that really bothers me. It’s like asking a painter, “Oh, you started a new painting? How many colors are you going to use?”
I have actually seen many authors who have outlined their story chapter by chapter. They can say what they want to happen, but do we every really know if it’s going to happen that way? Novels will take various twists and turns through the months it takes to write them.
For me, many of my books turn out to be much shorter than I originally wanted in the first draft. SF926 I wanted to be 110 pages, when it will probably be somewhere around 80 or 90. The thing is, author’s never really know what will happen in their stories will effect the length (or at least I don’t). However, we do know what we want.
So the next time your author friend is telling you about their new book, don’t ask how many chapters it will have. Ask, “How many chapters do you want it do have?”