Hugs and kisses, love your advice, oh and a wink is thrown to KY from Bailey the wonder dog from upstate. While I do fear your rath, I must ask this question that's been bothering me of late since I'm about finished (yeah right)editing and about to begin querying. So many agents ask for the first few chapters. Is it necesary to have a novel broken down into chapters before sending it off?
I don't write with specific chapters and chapter breaks in mind, is this something I should concentrate on doing? I know many agents also say to send x number of chapters or the first x number of pages, I was just curious if most people submit with chapters or if it's not truly needed. I just don't want to appear too green when querying agents by making rookie mistakes.
Have you ever seen Touch of Evil by Orson Wells or The Player by Robert Altman? Both movies open with very long tracking shots, more than six minutes long. The effect is to build suspense until you are on the edge of your seat. That's what writing without chapters is. One long buildup.
Unless you have an explosion, or a car wreck at the end of those six minutes, it starts to feel like Bolero with a skip in the record--endless buildup to nothing. Your reader can't stay with you endlessly-- it's exhausting to read something that has no page punctuation. And unless you have one long tracking shot narrative there ARE breaks in your story.
Writing without chapter breaks screams amateur and undisciplined to me, UNLESS you mention it in your cover letter along with the reason why you've decided to choose this format.
Avoid it if you can.