Take a risk or play it safe?

I’m currently in the throws of revising my YA novel, CRAVING, and I reached a crossroads with it last night.

It came down to this choice:

Take a risk or play it safe?

I’m usually a ‘play it safe’ kinda gal, but this time the obvious, safe choice didn’t seem like the right one. I felt, perhaps, playing it safe was actually the riskier thing to do for my book.

So I’ve decided to take a gamble.

Originally I was going to have my first three chapters be around 50 pages in length – that way I’d have more to show agents when I came to query. However, it just felt forced and wrong for my book.

So, I’ve split the chapters in a different way. It means my first three chapters are now just 12 pages in total (EEEPS!), but I’m hoping agents will agree that it’s right for this story to have short, punchy chapters. I know it’s not a huge amount to judge a book on, but I’m hoping the novel is stronger and has more impact because of it.

Here’s hoping the gamble pays off!

I’d be interested to hear your views. What’s better: cramming everything you can into the first three chapters, or keep them short if it’s better for your narrative?


  1. Hey. Speaking from my own experience my chapters tend to be around 1,000-1,500 words in length just because that’s how long my attention span seems to be. I ended up with a re-worked chp the other day that was over 3,000 and it felt weird as it was so much longer than the others so totally feeling your dilemma.

    After reading your first chapter i really feel it warranted splitting for dramatic effect and pacing as much as anything else. Can’t comment on the rest but as a reader I prefer shorter chapters and I think you have to go with what feels right for the book. Keep the faith Lisbeth

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