Re: Less or More?

#2
I'd say it really kind of depends. If you can reach a natural conclusion in 1000 words without making it seem rushed and without trying to force yourself then I'd say go for that. If forcing yourself to reach an arbitrary number of words is compromising your writing then I'd say every 3 days without trying to meet a specific word count.

Really I'd say the most important thing you could do would be to be able to output steady content and keep a set schedule without stressing yourself out.

Re: Less or More?

#3
My personal opinion is that if you are writing science fiction and/or fantasy, if your average chapter length is around the 1k mark, you're not giving your readers enough information.

Thats not to say you can't have a few 1k or less chapters, but I'd suggest really going over your work because you're most likely missing information the reader wants/needs (see my post in that thread. 3rd one down).

Personally, if I come across a 1k word/chapter fantasy project, I'm likely to skip it because it's assuredly missing world, setting, and/or character building.

Re: Less or More?

#5

B.A. Wrote: My personal opinion is that if you are writing science fiction and/or fantasy, if your average chapter length is around the 1k mark, you're not giving your readers enough information.

Thats not to say you can't have a few 1k or less chapters, but I'd suggest really going over your work because you're most likely missing information the reader wants/needs (see my post in that thread. 3rd one down).

Personally, if I come across a 1k word/chapter fantasy project, I'm likely to skip it because it's assuredly missing world, setting, and/or character building.


That's so true. Usually when I'm writing I shoot for 1k before editing, but once I go back and add more details I realize all the little things I could add to flesh out the story or character. 


As for the original question, overall I agree with Ralen. More releases does mean more time on the 'Latest Updates' list though, so trying to see if there is a logical conclusion earlier in your work might be a good practice. It can also help you find places you don't need to spend extra time on by acting as a natural place to have a small (or even large) time jump.

Re: Less or More?

#6
It really depends. If the story is complicated, heavy, or emotionally intense, I prefer longer chapters. If it's a light-hearted story or satire, shorter chapters work just as well. I don't want to get emotionally invested in a high-tension scene just for it to cut off after a thousand words and leave me with a cliffhanger. 

Re: Less or More?

#7
There is already a whole lot of good advice here, and they're all right. It all depends on what works for your story. Personally I find it easier to do longer chapters, but one effect of this is that less people will see it, because it isn't in the recently updated section as often.
I would personally advise to do whichever makes your writing better in your opinion. We're all still learning here, and improving your writing is always a worthy goal.

Re: Less or More?

#8
Dragongod, I'd say it depends entirely on your type of story.  If it is fantasy or sci fi, I would agree with B. A. Tucker that 1,000 words a chapter will almost never be enough, but if it's a quicker piece of writing, such as poetry or something of the like, than 1,000 words is more than sufficient.  So, to help you, I have to know, what genre are you writing?

Sincerely, Wile

Re: Less or More?

#9

B.A. Wrote: My personal opinion is that if you are writing science fiction and/or fantasy, if your average chapter length is around the 1k mark, you're not giving your readers enough information.

Thats not to say you can't have a few 1k or less chapters, but I'd suggest really going over your work because you're most likely missing information the reader wants/needs (see my post in that thread. 3rd one down).

Personally, if I come across a 1k word/chapter fantasy project, I'm likely to skip it because it's assuredly missing world, setting, and/or character building.



What if the "chapters themselves are well over 1K but they're broken up into multiple 1K posts because the author can't keep up with a more intense writing schedule than 1K/week?

Re: Less or More?

#10

MichaelSilverV Wrote: What if the "chapters themselves are well over 1K but they're broken up into multiple 1K posts because the author can't keep up with a more intense writing schedule than 1K/week?



Build a bigger backlog or adjust your schedule accordingly.

If I cannot finish a chapter in time for it's scheduled release, I just won't release it instead of pushing out an unfinished product. My personal philosophy is that if you're going to release a product, it should be as close to "finished" as possible. And what are chapters but a product?

Now obviously I'm fine with making revisions to a chapter (over half my chapters have revisions done to them after release) but to intentionally break it apart, I'm philosophically against that.

Re: Less or More?

#11

B.A. Wrote: Build a bigger backlog or adjust your schedule accordingly.

If I cannot finish a chapter in time for it's scheduled release, I just won't release it instead of pushing out an unfinished product. My personal philosophy is that if you're going to release a product, it should be as close to "finished" as possible. And what are chapters but a product?

Now obviously I'm fine with making revisions to a chapter (over half my chapters have revisions done to them after release) but to intentionally break it apart, I'm philosophically against that.

Interesting, though I would argue it is very much a finished product, you're just getting a smaller part of it. I don't think it's practical to release a 5K chapter every five weeks - no one is going to remember your story then. I always see it in terms of weekly comics - they don't release a full book chapter's worth of content weekly, and it seems to work for them.

Re: Less or More?

#12

MichaelSilverV Wrote: Interesting, though I would argue it is very much a finished product, you're just getting a smaller part of it. I don't think it's practical to release a 5K chapter every five weeks - no one is going to remember your story then. I always see it in terms of weekly comics - they don't release a full book chapter's worth of content weekly, and it seems to work for them.



And that's why I said build a bigger backlog, so you aren't releasing a 5k chapter every 5 weeks. For me, 1k/chapter for an average is far too short, I'm not going to look at a project that targets that, because most likely it isn't fleshed out and I would definitely consider each part of a Chapter 1 Part A-C to be missing content (the other parts of the chapter).

Personally, I try and hit 3k words / update and at least 2k words / chapter. Though my earlier chapters for episode 01 skewed towards 4-5k words/chapter because there was a lot of world/character introductions I had to set up. I had an 8 week backlog for episode 01 because of how lengthy my chapters were.

My work schedule got a little hectic with my release of Episode 03 of my story, and I've had to adjust my update schedule from once a week to about once every 8 days (I work 4 straight 12hr days and get 4 days off, on average). As I write this, I am in the middle of drafting my next 2 chapters as well as the epilogue for my story (though I still have like 4/5 chapters left to write, depending on how these next 2 go).

I definitely practice what I preach; I originally had a 2 week backlog, but I got held up with a lot of overtime that kept me from writing. So when I take my post Episode 03 hiatus, I'll probably write up a 4 week backlog instead of 2. But I'm not gonna start releasing a part of a chapter. I think that's cheating your readers of content.

Re: Less or More?

#13
I honestly don't see a difference between what I'm doing and how serial webcomics get released. Unless you believe they also rob their readers of content, in which case I guess we can agree to disagree. In either case, no idea where "not fleshed out" comes into this. I totally get maybe the reader doesn't get sucked in enough - that's a valid criticism, but why would it be not fleshed just because the segments are small? Again, see comparison with serial webcomics.

I respect that you're able to deliver what you preach. It's just not realistic for me. My completed chapter are 6-12K words long. So even if I was releasing 2-3K chunks like you are, I still wouldn't be releasing my full chapters but rather 1/2 to 1/4 of a chapter at a time. I simply can't keep up with that kind of writing schedule and would need half a decade to come up with any kind of decent buffer.

I suppose I've made my choice and just have to accept it will alienate readers like you.

Re: Less or More?

#14

MichaelSilverV Wrote: I honestly don't see a difference between what I'm doing and how serial webcomics get released. Unless you believe they also rob their readers of content, in which case I guess we can agree to disagree. In either case, no idea where "not fleshed out" comes into this. I totally get maybe the reader doesn't get sucked in enough - that's a valid criticism, but why would it be not fleshed just because the segments are small? Again, see comparison with serial webcomics.

I respect that you're able to deliver what you preach. It's just not realistic for me. My completed chapter are 6-12K words long. So even if I was releasing 2-3K chunks like you are, I still wouldn't be releasing my full chapters but rather 1/2 to 1/4 of a chapter at a time. I simply can't keep up with that kind of writing schedule and would need half a decade to come up with any kind of decent buffer.

I suppose I've made my choice and just have to accept it will alienate readers like you.

That is entirely your choice, what is important is that it works for you, right? It is always better to have something than nothing, if you found a schedule that works for you and that you enjoy, I applaud you, you've done something I definitely have not!


If people are arguing against what works for you, maybe it just doesn't work for them. There will always be tradeoffs for different styles, maybe they just value different things than you do.

Regardless, keep up the good work! This world needs more writers, no matter the schedule!

Re: Less or More?

#15
I agree that a chapter's word count can have a huge impact on the pacing, but short chapters aren't automatically lacking in worldbuilding. It's important to view the serial as a sum of its parts. Each individual chapter shouldn't be expected to carry the burden of introducing the world to the reader in massive walls of text. Sure, it's common in fantasy. But even fast-paced thrillers can have fleshed-out worlds.

The trick is to give the reader a little taste in each chapter instead of drowning them in details that may or may not be relevant to what's going on in that chapter.