Size matters

Over at Me and My Big Mouth, the Glorious Stereo Reading Experiment is in full swing. I would like to say that I am wiping the floor with Mr Dillon, but, sadly, it remains a dead heat which will perhaps have to go to the judges for a narrow points decision.

I’m interested in Scott’s comments though about the size of the chapters in my Glorious Revolution book. When I wrote it, I thought that these were as mouth-wateringly light as a sugary syllabub. However, as an academic, I’m used to thinking of 10000-word heavily -footnoted journal articles as accessible and concise ways of getting into meaty subjects.

It’s an important point because the book I am writing on English radicalism is pretty big, 160000 words at present and there are still two more chapters to go. (A fair bit of cutting will need doing, I’m hoping not to turn in a final draft of more than 160k.) The chapters themselves are also currently much more substantial than those in Glorious Revolution, averaging 25000-30000 words.

In light of Scott’s comments (which confirm something I was thinking about anyway), I’m going to need to break these up a good deal into lots of mini-chapters (or mini for me) of about 5-6000 words. That way, I hope readers will be able to take a break, eat some restorative Soreen malt loaf and then come back, refreshed and ready to rejoin the story.

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  1. Don’t forget Edward that I am starting from scratch when it comes to all things Glorious. I knew next to nothing about it before embarking upon both books. If I came armed with a bit of knowledge I suspect the longer chapters would be less of a problem for me but my tiny brain needs a breather now and then to digest the information and I have that natural inclination of not wanting to stop mid-chapter.


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