In the throes of inspiration, it is easy to get caught up in the action and write a 150,000 paragraph. Okay, that isn’t actually likely to happen. However, I have seen some long chapters. Let’s make this simple. We used to say, “Back at the ranch …”
Think of this: A chapter change occurs when the location, time, people changes. Granted there is some license taken with this. But, start there.
What about scene breaks? I put in scene breaks when the rhythm of the read changes by ONE of the above factors; location, time, person. Think of it like a big comma, the story continues, but there is a signal that there is a change. Whereas, a chapter break is more like a full stop (period) in my analogy.
I’ve said this before, but the absolute best writing book that I have read is a scriptwriting book. The Complete Book of Scriptwriting by J. Michael Straczynski should be in your library. My copy has underlined sections, notes in the margin, and stickies popping out from the edge of the book. The single most important lesson, I think, is the section on camera angles. Get the book. Read it. Thank me later.
For a reliable place to visit for writing tips and lessons check out: http://www.writersdigest.com.
I recently found this program, which I haven’t fully tested, grammerly.com – I’m testing the free version. Let me know if you try it and what you think.