I suppose most writers prefer to divide their novels into chapters in the most logical places, along the story's natural "seams." As a reader, though, I am less concerned with that than I am with the length of the chapters. I prefer to read a book with fifty short chapters than with ten longish ones.
I'd like to hear from writers. How do you create chapters? Is it something you give much conscious thought to, or do you just "know" how it should be done?
Do you plan out the chapters first, or write the novel and divide it into chapters after the fact? Do you tend to group several scenes together in a single chapter if they involve the same character or group of characters? Would you ever break a single, very long scene into two chapters?
And do you take the number of words into account when deciding where to divide a chapter, or do you go strictly by the story's narrative elements?