Novel Writing Questions 3: Volumes, Parts and Other Dividers

In some of the books I’ve read (like American Gods, which I’m currently reading), the story is split in to different parts, usually three.

I think this is a callback to when novels were released in volumes (like Jane Eyre) rather than in one block. Nowadays, they can serve to divide up the narrative. It’s a good way to signal a timeskip or a change in POV but, in the cases where the POV shifts all the time and there is no timeskip, what other purpose do they serve?

Should they signal a move away from the exposition and towards the big climax?

Are they just put there because it looks professional?

Let me know in the comments below.

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