Most novels are divided into chapters. Sometimes you’ll find a literary novel that disdains ordinary conventions like chapters, or grammar, or even paragraphs. Can you say pretentious? I rarely read such things and refuse to edit them for others.
Chapters make nice divisions between action in one place with one point of view and another. They also make nice places to put cliff hangars to keep your readers reading.
I like 10 page chapters. To my style of reading and writing that makes a nice chunk of reading. When I started writing in the world of Romance Writers of America, many of my colleagues wouldn’t settle for anything less than 20 pages for chapters. Some of those chapters were 1 scene. That makes for a slow book, without the shorter, choppier scenes that suggest action and urgency.
My books might have romances in them, but they aren’t Romance. I like my pacing faster and more urgent. The shape of my first draft of the most recent book fit along these lines quite nicely, action balanced with more gentle information.
But then I started revising the book, and what do you know, a longish and essential scene in the middle of Chapter Nine really belongs at the end of Chapter Four. Cut and paste. But then 4 is too long and nine too short. Well you know that scene I just moved is longish, almost long enough to be a chapter by itself. And it is a vital scene with lots of information as well as character growth and action. Okay. That scene is now Chapter Five all by itself.
An hour later of cutting and pasting and realigning scenes I was back to where I’d left off with 2 new chapters and about 300 more words.
So far my balance is back and my chapters of reasonable length. Until I add or move something else.
Who said revision is easy?