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Is it necessary to start each chapter on the next page with a page break?

Hi, Donovan!

I saw your question in the pool, and thought I'd try to help out.

It's customary to start a new chapter on a new page with both a page break and some indication as to the chapter number or title (not every book numbers chapters. Some give them titles instead.) Mostly, it's for the reader's convenience, not the writer's. It would be a lot easier for the writer to just make a dash, or a few asterisks and move on to the next line. But that makes it hard for an editor to follow and the editor at the publishing house is the "first reader" of sorts.

Chapters exist because readers like them, so yeah---I'd say it's probably necessary. At least, it's more trouble than it's worth NOT to use a new page. You'll just have to put them in later if you don't put them in now.

Hope that helps. Good luck!


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Cathy Clamp


I'm happy to answer questions about any aspect of writing novels, from the beginning kernel of an idea through completion. I can help with writing a query letter and synopsis to an agent or editor. I can explain publishing terminology and acronyms. I can also assist with questions about verifying the credentials of agents/publishers and how to proceed once you've been accepted for publication. I can teach the rules of formatting a manuscript, creating viable plots, characterization and flow in the following genres: romance, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, suspense, horror, women's fiction, mainstream and mystery.


I'm a USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance for Tor/Forge Books. Along with a co-author, I've published fifteen novels (combination of mass market and trade softcover) since 2003, and have contracts for four more books through 2011.

Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Western Outdoor Writers, Horror Writers of America.

Tor/Forge Books, Western Reflections Publishing, BenBella Books, Running Press, Wild Child Publishing. Many others.

My educational background is limited to real life experience of publishing novels commercially for the past five years.

Awards and Honors
USA Today bestseller, Waldenbooks Mass Market Paperback Top 20 bestseller, Nielsen BookScan Top 20 bestseller, RT BOOKreviews Career Achievement Award winner, 2009, Book Buyers Best Award for Paranormal, Romantic Times Best Werewolf Novel, Write Touch Readers Award, EVVY Best Historical Chronicle Award, The Lories Best Paranormal. Many others.

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