kentagions wrote:Implied meaning is important for cutting word count; the "fluff" you're talking about. Many times, actions and changes in setting are implied. If a character says that she is going to the grocery store tomorrow and the next scene is in the grocery store, we need no chapter break or explanation of how she got there. The key is tipping off the time change or venue change, and then establishing the change quickly and smoothly as it is made.
The other consideration is mood. If the piece is intended to be rapid fire for a feeling of urgency, I'd say that chapter breaks are definitely the ticket. In this case, the cadence is important and you can establish a hammering effect with the use of stop consonants (d, b, p, t, k). On the other hand, if a smooth, comfortable feel is the aim, I'd nix the chapters.
Astute insight: "implied." Empty line breaks are next in pause, signal, implication strength to paragraph breaks. If a transition is implied, like Mona said she had to see a woman about a horse stall, and the next segment is a negotiation at stable for a stall, an empty line break is sufficient to signal a change of scene. The transition is set up beforehand, implied, signaled, then followed through.
If the transition is stronger, like Mona has to see about a stall, elsewhere Mickey says he has to see a man about a horse, meanwhile, Mona sees a woman about a stall, and Mona's the logical next scene, timely, a marked line break is a signal the transition is stronger, then another marked line break for getting to Mickey's next scene. Mickey's seeing about a horse scene is held in suspension so that Mona's somewhat contemporaneous time event can be timely developed. This is useful for signaling a longer span of time or greater circumstance elapsed, for building tension from suspension, for implying Mona and Mickey share a circumstance that brings them into dramatic contact, and works if Mona and Mickey meet up at the stable or later or elsewhere for whatever dramatic action with which they will together contend.
Blank line breaks and marked line breaks work for long prose, too.
Informative to see how much pause or suspended time or transition and implication strength each type of white space or nonce mark or break signals, from short to long, soft to strong:
Clause space, and punctuation
Sentence space, punctuation too
Blank line break
Marked line break
Section break (§ glyph signals transition)
Subchapter break, I-a, I-b . . .
Chapter break, I, II, III . . . XVI
Book break (books One, I, Two, II, Three, III, e.g., etc., within one unit)
Installment break (a nil- un-, bi-, tri-, quad-, pent-, hex-, sept-, oct-, enn-, dec- ology series' individual pieces: break per singly published unit)