24x7 Editing

Weighting Chapters Equally

Category : Online Editor
Date : October 31, 2013

The next labor-intensive task in our process is to figure out what goes into each chapter. I earmark passages in the manuscript for their new chapters, noting the length of each and assigning it a working subhead. The narrative chunks are easy to situate; the conceptual ones will need to be positioned by Wade himself, but I place them tentatively so I can stock of how the chapters are shaping up. It becomes apparent that some are too long and others too short. In part I, for instance, chapters 1, 4 and 5 average twenty pages but chapters 2 and 3 average ten pages. The author and I agree that this imbalance is because the two chapters are in fact related, both being about early social influences on Loukas’s character and thought, so we agree to combine the two chapters. We continue through the outline, combining short chapters and breaking up long ones, until we arrive at a set of chapters evenly sized at between fifteen and twenty-five pages a piece. The resulting outline is much less formulaic than my drafts and much more satisfying.

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