Re: Let's Talk Chapter Lengths

#22
Chapter breaks should assist the flow of the story. Ultimately, everything you write and how you write it is for the story, so I disagree with any notion of minimum or maximum lengths.

The Da Vinci Code has chapters only a few lines long. It's a thriller, so those short chapters keep you turning pages.

Most Discworld novels don't have any chapters at all. Adding them didn't make the stories better.

If it works for your story, do it. If it doesn't, don't.

Re: Let's Talk Chapter Lengths

#24
My brain structures chapters in a very large format. So it is not so much that I write to a 15k'ish per chapter quota, as my brain is naturally inclined towards chapters of that length. Now, having said that, some of my readers have pointed out that my chapters could be divided at what they see as natural break points. For the life of me I don't see it, and that is because of how my brain works.

Regarding what I read, well, I prefer longer over shorter. mostly out of pragmatism, setting TTS going every 5m is annoying, so my tolerance range is generally around the 3k+ level. having said that, I read Chrysalis with my own actual eyes, because I like the story but the chapters and style are not TTS friendly.

Re: Let's Talk Chapter Lengths

#25

peteradixon Wrote: Chapter breaks should assist the flow of the story. Ultimately, everything you write and how you write it is for the story, so I disagree with any notion of minimum or maximum lengths.

The Da Vinci Code has chapters only a few lines long. It's a thriller, so those short chapters keep you turning pages.

Most Discworld novels don't have any chapters at all. Adding them didn't make the stories better.

If it works for your story, do it. If it doesn't, don't.

In general I agree, but for regularly updated online stories, updating a standard amount of words per update is crucial. If you do 1 chapter a week and the reader is used to 2.5k words, a reader getting 150 words in a week will feel cheated. It's possible to simply update two chapters when this happens, but this can cause confusion for readers who may not notice the double update. For regularly updated web serials, keeping chapters of a reasonably similar length is just good general practice unless there's a really good reason to have an unusually short one. (Readers don't mind unusually long ones so much; they're bonus words.)

Re: Let's Talk Chapter Lengths

#26
It depends on the contents of the chapter, if it has enough, then it can be relatively short, like 1500 words.

A chapter can be over 10000 words, but if it mostly has words that don't really go anywhere, then the reader will feel like their time was wasted. Like a certain story I know. For over a month I have only read the initial and final 5 or so paragraphs and it feels like I have read everything I needed.

Oh it also depends on the release schedule.

But anyway, well written and released 3-5 times a week, I say 2000-2500 words is a good number.

Re: Let's Talk Chapter Lengths

#27
I'm relatively new as a writer, but had a lot of experience as a reader even before joining RR through the mentioning of "He who fights with monsters" on Kindle. (Big shout out there, because it brings more people from kindle to RR!)

In my opinion, as a writer right now, I am not satisfied with chapters < 2000 words. I know I cant push that with force, but if I see myself ending a chapter at around or lower than 2000, then I think the chapter is not as good as it could be. Emotional writing is the word of the day here. Special thanks to one of my very first readers, SKaterle, who is proofreading every chapter so far. I don't know what I would do without someone like him and his hints at my flaws.

If I write <2000 words, it lacks a lot of emotional writing and circumscribing situations, characters, or places.

I'm at chapter 10, in less than a week, and yes it is only "thanks" to corona. But every chapter above 2000 words, or better around 3000, is something even my proofreader praises every now and then and points at well written parts. And MY highest priority right now is my vocabulary, which I'm lacking massively. Never wrote or talked that much in English and I'm not a native speaker. So if I write around 3000 words, I am proud of myself as of now. Yes, I make a lot of technical fails, but it will improve in leaps and bounds while I continue :)


So as a summary:
Try, if you have the time, to aim at around 3000 words per chapter. This is achievable through emotional writing and a good chunk of descriptions.
WE know the world and the characters and everything makes a lot of sense in our head.
BUT our readers need the circumscriptions and all the emotional stuff surrounding the decisions our character is making.



Greetings and see you around :)
David / EsZeus

Re: Let's Talk Chapter Lengths

#28
I've always done chapters around 3000 words for the following reasons. 

1000 or even 1500 word chapters aren't even long enough to tell a reasonably lengthy scene. 

If I were to do chapters like that, I would have to either have one short scene or multiple very short scenes. Now, that doesn't mean that I don't occasionally have to do many scenes in my 3000 word length, but even then is acceptable. 

I also feel like you don't really have enough room to actually progress much in 1000 words. Furthermore, it takes longer to write than to read, so 3000 is about 10-15 minutes of reading for my slow reading brain, which is perfect length. I don't wanna be reading forever, but I don't want the chapter to be done before I've even settled into it.