Dramatica Definition: Chapter

Chapter • [Dramatica Definition] • a temporal unit of dramatic construction usually employed in books • Stories contain too much information to be grasped in a single moment. As a result, the information is doled out over time in segments. Each medium gravitates toward its own kind of segments. Books, especially novels, usually employ Chapters. Chapters may represent complete dramatic explorations of one aspect of the overall story or they may be more arbitrary divisions, determined by changes in location, changes in central characters, or changes in storytelling mood or style. In fact, the Chapters in a single book may vary in what defines each one. The principal use of Chapters is to break the unfolding of a story into portions of a like nature which are small enough to be considered at one time by the audience. In this way, the audience is able to arrive at an understanding of parts of a story along the way, rather than waiting until the end of the whole. In a practical sense, Chapters allow the audience to digest a complete thought before moving on to another. In books, this provides the audience a convenient pause point with an accompanying sense of closure when reading intermittently.