Sound Byte Writing, Chapter 2

I wrote once complaining about Dan Brown’s tendency to employ sound byte chapters concluding with a realization that I don’t care for them. Today, I get to rant again. Yesterday, I began reading James Patterson’s/Mark Sullivan’s Private Berlin. TLWSHLWM and I have always enjoyed the Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club series so I took a chance on this book, evidently a new series. It’s a decent enough story that has me turning pages to find out what happens next but it also is driving me crazy. I am 51% through the book. Amazon tells me the hardcover book – I’m reading an e-version – has 448 pages. I’m, as I said, 51% through the book and awaiting me now is Chapter 69. Sixty-eight chapters in 228.5 pages is 3 1/3 pages per chapter. It’s probably closer to 3 per chapter as many chapters don’t fill the last page.

My question is why? Well, chapters usually change POV so you know immediately whether you’re going to read the first person bad guy or the third person heroines/heroes. You can then deduce there have been 68 shifts in POV thus far. I don’t mind the shifting perspective on the tale. It makes sense story-wise. I am left wondering, though, why the book is not five chapters long to this point since there have only been five scene/event shifts. The answer that occurs to me is that this sound byte chapter format is the new thing in publishing.


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