And we’re off…



I’ve had a couple of weeks off from writing. I needed a break after finishing Gilded Scarab before I start the hard edit of it to kick it into shape. So I gave the house a spring clean instead – which was folly of the worst kind. Carltonware is lovely stuff, my pretties, but not when you have over 200 pieces of it crowded onto shelves in your living room that hadn’t been dusted since sometime prior to Noah’s Flood – see photo, which is a composite showing the alcoves on each side of the chimney. I have spent a week clambering up and down the stepladder and have hand washed every single one of those darn pots. It all gleams and glimmers now it’s clean and dust free but my heart is sinking with the knowledge that I’ll have to do it all again in a few months and at least *try* to keep things clean in the interim. Perhaps I can put a weekly cleaner down as a business expense? After all, if I’m cleaning china, I ain’t writing. Legit, do you think? Worth thinking about, anyway.

The edit of Gilded Scarab will start in a couple of weeks when my wonderful betas and crit group have digested the whole thing and sent me back their comments. I don’t think it’s in bad shape right now, but it will benefit from being tightened up and sharpened.  While I wait for their “Ach, Anna, what were you thinking here?” and “Good lord, girl, you can’t have him doing *that*!”, I’ve been going over the first rough draft of the third Shield story, and transferring it to Scrivener to start work on it. I’ve chunked it up into rough chapters and tomorrow, when I’ve done some beta-ing for a fandom friend – I’m going to start on it.

Does it matter, do you think, that the chapters are uneven lengths? Anything from 6 pages to 14. Would it annoy you as a reader?  What do you do when the breaks in action/ PoV/ dialogue say “Here. Stop the chapter here.” when really it means that this chapter is going to be ten pages long and the one before it, where Flynn was angsting all over the space ship (grins) was only 5 and a half? Do you listen to the story and break it there or do you shoehorn material in to try and keep the chapters of an even length. Do tell me.




Anyhow, while you think about your answer, here’s a picture of Matt Bomer, who is the perfect Bennet.

You know, personally I don’t care how long the chapter is as long as he’s in it.



  1. My lord, woman! You could open your own china shop! What lovely, lovely pieces… 🙂 As for chapter length, I think the chapter length should be dictated by the necessary scene breaks–they should break when they want to, that is. But then I am FAR more of a panster than you are! 🙂


    • Sadly that’s a stock shot of the china, but I will photograph the alcoves later today and post them – I have far more than that!

      I do think chapters will break where they want to, but the wild disparity in the page lengths did worry me a trifle. Not that I’m CDO or anything…


  2. Now that was a cleaning job I don’t envy you for! Although, the end results look lovely. I’m so excited about you finishing “Gilded Scarab”! Matt Bomer…nice!

    As for chapters length, they end when the flow ends. I don’t personally care if it’s 4 pages or 14. 🙂


    • Sadly, that’s a stock shot of china but I will photograph mine later today and put the pictures up. I have more than that!

      I’m coming around to agreeing with you about the chapter lengths, but the disparity did bother me a bit!

      Amd Matt Bomer… guh. The man is just Bennet to the life.


  3. I love Matt Bomer. I think he would be ideally cast as Thomas Raith in the Dresden Files, personally. 😉

    I agree with Sarah above. The Infamous Novel has some chapters that are only 4-5 pages, and some that are over 10. And the Intro is just one page.

    As a reader, I don’t mind the variety of chapter length. Overall, I prefer shorter chapters, but then it’s so easy to say “Just one more chapter and I’ll… {whatever}.”


    • Matt B is just drop dead gorgeous. Totally beautiful man. And my Bennet!

      I’m more reconciled to the idea of chapters just being as long as they want to be, and not worrying about it much. It’s just that putting Makepeace together and I had 40 chapters. 40! Good grief…


      • The IN is 32, plus the Intro. That translates into 345 pages in my preferred 12 point font, and 177K words, but that also includes notes and comments.

        Why, yes, I do need to chop it in half somewhere, but so far, no one’s had any suggestion for where.


      • Mmph. I’m not sure that this is going to end up replying to your reply, Val, but Makepeace and Day of Wrath originally were three books of about 80k words each, and I’m experimenting with slicing them up into two of about 120 each (with a lot of editing and trimming). We’ll see how it works out…


      • Yes, it sent me the reply. 😀

        I’m currently trying to find a good place to break it in at least two chunks. It’s a fast read (Karen Davis read the entire monster in one weekend, the same weekend we watched all three LotR movies), but still, 177K is just too long.

        The worse problem for me right now, though, is that I’m really hating my female main character. She is *such* a romance novel heroine right now! And that is *not* Alla!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.