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Numbering Chapters and dividing into Part 1,2,3

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Two questions:
Does having a Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, etc. help or harm the flow of the story? (My specific project is a middle grade novel in which three different "quests" take place.) Also, do you start over numbering chapters when you get to Part 2 or use continuous numbering for your chapters all the way through?
#1 - December 16, 2017, 09:25 AM
Vanessa Everett Howard
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As a reader, I don't feel that dividing the book into parts negatively affects flow. If there's craft/story reason to do it, do it. Although, I would also keep my eyes and ears open for any agent or editor opinions you might come across. If there's a sentiment against it (as there is, for example, with prologues and epilogues), I'd try to avoid it, since publishing is difficult enough without us introducing more barriers ourselves. 

I think numbering the chapters consecutively all through the manuscript is less confusing, but I'd take a look at some recent published examples to see how it's done in print.


#2 - December 16, 2017, 09:33 AM
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I've read books written in parts subdivided by chapters and I believe they started with 1 with each new section but I can't remember. And it made sense because they were separate stories tied by one thing throughout. See ECHO by Pam Munoz Ryan.
If it's the same story with MAJOR turning points that necessitate parts, you can probably go either way. Or you can avoid the whole numbering and title the chapters, which isn't easy, but I love books with chapter titles that are clever (see Katie Kennedy's books--dewsanddamps here)  or with epigraphs (see Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd).
Happy reading and writing. V.
#3 - December 16, 2017, 10:11 AM
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