After I got back from Atlanta a week ago I developed a bad cold. It lingers still. I want to get a book proposal (internal link) done by January 2d and I fear I may not make it.
Aside from my infirmity, I am struggling with writing a table of contents. This book’s word count can’t exceed 70,000. Let’s call it 60,000. That permits 12 chapters of 5,000 words apiece to 20 chapters of 3,000 words apiece. But is there any reason, aside from aesthetics, to make the chapters uniform in length?
I know I want some sidebars, short pieces from 750 to 1,500 words. Already I have disconformity. I’m leaning toward having the first chapter quite long as it is an introduction to the book. And then have the remaining chapters hew closely to 2,500 words.
The path I am now on is identifying the topic for each chapter, as well as a list of sidebars. I have in mind 15 main topics and three sidebars. Have any of you done a Table of Contents? And if so, what did you find? Please e-mail or comment.