Just Keep Going said 6 years, 5 months ago:

This is something that makes me insanely upset everytime I start a new chapter. Because for my book, it’s just not pratical to write small – or rather tiny – chapters. But something’s just not right, it doesn’t flow when I’m writing a real novel, when the chapter is like, one full page things start to go wrong? How can I change that and write at least 3 or 4 acceptable pages?

Riss said 6 years, 5 months ago:

You could try more descriptive writing. Or if you’re already a descriptive writer, you could try adding more dialogue between the characters in your novel. My advice probably seems so obvious that it’s idiotic, but it’s a bit difficult for me to help without actually reading the material. Good luck!

Angel Demon said 6 years, 5 months ago:

Like Riss said, it is difficult to give adequate advice without being able to sample the raw material itself. What it sounds like to me, is a case of oversimplifying everything. In a short example of the difference between something that is rather simplified over something that is rather elaborated would be as follows;

Simple: He looked at her and said “Fine.”

Elaborate: He slowly turned his gaze towards her desperate eyes, clearly expressing the distaste he felt through his expression. As his thoughts began to crumble into unintelligible gibberish, he finally gave in to her pleas.
“Fine.” he spouted coldly, as his eyes quickly averted once more into the empty space that they had been staring into before their gazes locked.

Deleted User said 6 years, 5 months ago:

If you’re looking for helpful padding, describing your setting and the way your characters do certain things will definitely help a chapter have a bit more volume.

It’s not always a bad thing to have shorter chapters because that can be used for dramatic effect and play into the next chapter.

Cortona said 6 years, 3 months ago:

As a HUGE descriptive writer, I totally agree with all of these posts. Descriptive writing IS very beautiful, when used right. I have ranted many times to my friends how I hate when an author will take up two paragraphs describing something with no weight in the story, like an elegant chair.
Something beautiful I have found in writing is human. Often when people write they do not make their characters human-like. The dialogue can be too robotic, the motions seem so awkward for a person, the ideas that person has seem far off. Unless you are writing a character that is estranged from society (which is actually really fun) then it is good to remember to give your characters human-like characteristics. Despite, how it sounds, your story actually becomes more loveable when your writing becomes relatable for the reader. People find your story easier to believe.
I hope that wasn’t confusing for you. To simplify, descriptive writing IS beautiful and IS important, but keep in mind the realistic values of your character. Little quirks and habits are very fun to make and make your character unique.

Awestruck said 6 years, 3 months ago:

I am horrible at descriptive writing. I know this and I’ve kind of accepted it. What I tend to do to work around this is write the story as it unfolds in my head, but then go back later and try to punch up the descriptions (i.e. “Frank sat in the booth drinking coffee.” would be expanded into something like “Frank fidgeted in faux leather cushion of the booth, the steam of his coffee swirling in the air, distorting his view of the tray balanced waitresses moving from table to kitchen and back again.” or something like that).

Generally I do that sort of thing when I’m either not sure where to go with the story at the moment or have writer’s block. It gives me an opportunity to be productive even when I’m not moving the story along.

Lauren said 6 years, 3 months ago:

I find that taking a paragraph or so elaborating on the character’s feelings is helpful. I include thoughts the character is having, as if they’re having a conversation with themselves and discuss how they feel about what’s currently going on in the plot. For example “She curled up on her plushy couch, a cup of steaming hot tea wrapped in her dainty hands. The events of her day swirled around in her head like a hurricane. How could her boss do that? She’d been there for years and never before was this a problem. Part of her was angry with herself for making a mistake like that, and part of her was angry at her boss for treating her the way he did. It seemed unfair. Her eyes began to well up with tears the more she dwelled on it.” They’re nice fillers and allow your readers to get inside your character’s head and feel what they feel.

Deleted User said 6 years, 3 months ago:

Victor Hugo when working on ‘Notre Damme’ shaved half of his head and half of his beard and threw the scissors right into the window not to go out until he finishes his book.

lonewriter7 said 6 years, 3 months ago:

I’ve found that if I get everything written out first, then go over it and add description afterwards, it’s much easier for me to write longer chapters. For example, at first I might write: “He turned, scoffing at her stupidity.” Then I would read over it and add in description: “He turned, his gaze finding its way to her sharp eyes. She clenched her fists, her cheeks a light shade of pink as he scoffed at her stupidity.” Afterwards, I would go over it again, inserting some introspection: “He turned, his gaze finding its way to her sharp eyes. She clenched her fists, her cheeks a light shade of pink as he scoffed at her stupidity. What was she even thinking, doing something like that? he thought bitterly. She made a complete fool of herself back there.”

teaberry said 6 years, 2 months ago:

The tips above for descriptive writing are good – going back to add more is definitely always a positive option. I think that chapter length can also depend a lot on how you work as a writer. Do you do a lot of planning, or do you just have a vague idea of where you want to go and write? Obviously both of these methods are equally good and you should go with whichever works for you, so don’t think I’m trying to knock your way of doing things if you just sit down and go for it. In my experience though if you’re struggling for length it can help to have a list of things you want to happen in any given chapter, as detailed or as vague a list as you like. It can also help to define where you want a chapter to start and end in relation to the plot – ‘by chapter x, I want x character to have achieved x.’ This gives you something closer to aim for than just the end of the story. Don’t be afraid to let your characters have their moments of introspection, either!

GBWest said 6 years, 2 months ago:

To both agree with the posters above, and sum it all up: detail.

Remember those essays back in 6th grade, that HAD to be 2 pages long, so you made margins a little bit bigger, made the font different and a little bigger, just to stretch it out? Well, if you want to be a serious writer, remember that, and change the thought to, “There’s ALWAYS something more to say.”