Re: How many words per chapter is TOO MUCH?

#1
This question is mostly geared towards readers. Whenever I read something, if I'm getting a bit bored, I just keep scrolling to judge how long the chapter is. If it's too long, I click away. But is there a certain word-limit for you personally? Like, if you see a chapter is 3000 words, does that put you off?

Most of the chapters I write are anywhere between 2000 and 4000 words, which for a regular novel is about average. But on sites like this, I've come to the conclusion that people appreciate shorter chapters. I've published four chapters so far. Chapter 1 was 3500ish words. Chapters 2 and 3 were originally supposed to be one chapter, but it was approaching 5000 words and I thought it was best to break it into two separate chapters. It's not particularly jarring (I think) because they're different scenes. And finally, chapter 4 is about 2000ish words.

Re: How many words per chapter is TOO MUCH?

#2
I would strongly suggest both from a reader's and writer's perspective to just cap it at 2000, for several reasons. I am sure there are others who will entirely disagree and they will have good reasons too. But this is just how I feel. One big reason is the more frequently you release chapters, the more time your fiction will spend on homepage and the more eyeballs it will catch (short chapter length=more number of chapters= frequent chapters). As a reader, I have seen that 1800-2K word is my comfort zone for chapter length. 

Hope that helps.
peoapproval

Re: How many words per chapter is TOO MUCH?

#3
I shrivel up and die of boredom if a chapter... if multiple, consecutive chapters peak past 8 to 10,000 words. I'll slog through it or die trying of course, but ultimately my attention span will call for watching funny Youtube videos instead. I use one of my monitors vertically, and if my scrollbar is tiny on the side then I get a miniature existential episode when I scroll down and see even more endless blocks of words whose size would make an original x-box blush with envy.

My advice is usually this: if your chapter is "too long" like past 6,000 words then consider chopping it into one more or even two more chapters but only if you believe it makes sense to do or so, and if there are good natural stopping points for you to release as a separate chapter.
Peopew

Re: How many words per chapter is TOO MUCH?

#4
More than 4,000 words is too much for me unless it's fanfiction (which tends to take less concentration to read in general). I think 2-3k is the ideal length, but this is heavily dependent on the story itself (some just lend themselves more naturally to long or short chapters than others) and the update schedule. If you're updating every single day (long-term, I mean; plenty of people update fast at the start and that doesn't count) then going over 1.5k is going to be too much for me to keep up with. If you're updating monthly, anything up to 10k is fine.

Re: How many words per chapter is TOO MUCH?

#6
The Wandering Inn which is one of the most popular stories on this site has chapters that are sometimes 20k words. One of my favorite stories on here sometimes has chapters above 8k+ words. Edit: and let’s not forget the ever so popular epitome of web fiction Worm which also had monstrous chapters. It depends on what happens in the chapter. There needs to be enough meat and I guess it depends on how well the writer can manage it. To each their own. Well if a chapter was 50k words.... that would probably be too much 

Re: How many words per chapter is TOO MUCH?

#7
As someone who's read a lot of wildbow, TWI, and Katalepsis I can handle longer chapters pretty well. Though, I do prefer shorter ones around 2-3k because I kinda have to work myself up to reading longer chapters, and I might take breaks throughout (the perils of reading on my phone). I've also read stories where most chapters sat around 500 words as diary entries, and it worked well with the style.

That being said, it depends on your goals as a writer. Like, if you don't care about popularity and it's just for your own enjoyment than write chapters whatever length fits best with any given scene/whatever you're comfortable with. But if you want to get maximum exposure then follow FanrasyBliss30's advice.

Also, has anyone figured out the character limit for a RR chapter? I'm very curious >:)

Re: How many words per chapter is TOO MUCH?

#9
Well, I'll give my input too, from the reader's viewpoint, hopefully, it'll be of help. My preferences in chapter-length are anywhere from 1500 to 3000 words.

1. For some unknown reason having shorter but more chapters feels easier for me to read than one long chapter, so if you have a long chapter then just separate it into more parts, but again, it's at least how I feel.

2. Reading shorter chapters is more convenient to read when you have just 15-20 minutes in between things, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who reads a chapter during breakfast, or on a short break at work, and so on.

3. But there are some risks too, sometimes if the chapters are short, I feel that the author may unconsciously rush things, but that's a more rare occurrence.

Re: How many words per chapter is TOO MUCH?

#13
Just to throw in my two cents - I think the most logical path is 2-3k (with occasional slips above or below that range). Sure, you'll always have people who don't mind or even like 500 word or 20K chapters, but statistically (based on no statistics) I would think they would be outliers. I feel most readers on sites like RR or Wattpad, etc., feel compelled to finish a chapter in one sitting due to the presentation. But, as many have said, the chapter breaks have to work for the story.

Re: How many words per chapter is TOO MUCH?

#14

SubwayChud Wrote: Just to throw in my two cents - I think the most logical path is 2-3k (with occasional slips above or below that range). Sure, you'll always have people who don't mind or even like 500 word or 20K chapters, but statistically (based on no statistics) I would think they would be outliers. I feel most readers on sites like RR or Wattpad, etc., feel compelled to finish a chapter in one sitting due to the presentation. But, as many have said, the chapter breaks have to work for the story.

"Based on no statistics." That made me chuckle  DrakanLaugh


I must say, that's a beautiful book cover you've got.