Re: What do you think is the optimal chapter size?

#21

kieranpierce Wrote:
MalevolenceMau Wrote: I know it is a bit of a small sample size right now, but through a recent poll it seems at least my readers prefer 3,500 words and more:

Your poll could possibly be skewed by the fact that no one particularly wants to tell you to post less content. It would be less prone to that error if you had a clear disclaimer saying quantity of content wouldn't change, only update size and frequency. 3,500 does sound like it could be a reasonable number, just wanted to chime in with possible poll biases.

That's definitely one factor to consider, though I'd never know what goes into play when people answer these as sadly not all voters leave a comment with a reason why.  DrakanFascinating

Re: What do you think is the optimal chapter size?

#22
Optimal for whom?

I've recently started writing a new fiction after agonizing over the car crash that was my last attempt, and I've found that 1000 words is a writing target I can comfortably achieve on a daily basis. More than that and I start getting stressed.

Perhaps more cynically, one could also cite the "leave 'em wanting more" argument that, for web fic, chapters of less than 2000 words will create more of a "click-through" effect as readers click through to read the next chapter more frequently, establishing a sense of progress and habit that will potentially make them more likely to click that vital "follow" button when they reach the last published chapter (assuming it's an on-going fiction).

As a reader, I think I like longer chapters of 2-3000 words but, if I look at my follow list and the stories I most avidly enjoy, it looks a lot more like 1000-1500 words is what induces desirable behaviour from me.

But, just so we're clear, I'm writing 1000 words a day because that's manageable and not too scary, not because I'm a clickbait merchant.

Re: What do you think is the optimal chapter size?

#23

MalevolenceMau Wrote: That's definitely one factor to consider, though I'd never know what goes into play when people answer these as sadly not all voters leave a comment with a reason why.

You don't need the feedback on the polls! That's for your story ;) 


Just think about human behavior to help craft better ways to phrase the questions. You're not a statistician person (I'm assuming) so just think about the wording the best you can. The way questions are phrased can significantly impact poll results.

Re: What do you think is the optimal chapter size?

#27
I know this is not a popular take doubly so when reading online but I tend to write chapters averaging around 5k to 12k depending on what I'm covering. Does this put off some readers? perhaps, but me writing something and breaking the tone or pacing I'm going for just to cut it bothers me more. I guess you need to know what your end goal is in terms of readership and what kind of story you are writing. 

Beyond all that I simply write the chapter size that gets my vision across best. has made also have 2k words as well. 

Re: What do you think is the optimal chapter size?

#29
It depends on how you structure your story in chapters. If your story just cut into pieces called chapters in order to publish it episodically but goes on independently of it, you can make them as short or long as you want and people can just wait until there's enough text to make them feel satisfied. If however a chapter is also a narrative unit in your story and as such needs to present its own mini-arc and be a satisfying read as a single chapter, having less than ~2k words will make it very hard for you to bring any depth to your storytelling and characters. It's possible (there is excellent flash fiction in the world) but you get into a totally different rhythm compared to the novelesque stories we normally expect here.

Re: What do you think is the optimal chapter size?

#32

MalevolenceMau Wrote:
NinaWrites Wrote: My sweet spot is 1800-2200 words because I like to cross post on Tapas and they have a 15,000 character limit which is around 2100-2300 words max.

But... but why?



Its a preference and i don't really fancy posting part 1 and part 2 of a chapter. 

Also I find 2000 words is a sweet spot for me to write. If I go past 2000, I would end up with 6-7k + words per chapter! Lol

Re: What do you think is the optimal chapter size?

#34

TurtleKing Wrote: I find that I enjoy posts at around 2000 words when I'm completely caught up with a story, so that's what I strive for. I found that any shorter and I'll feel kind of disappointed because the chapter is read so quickly, and I'll have to wait for the next one.



For published words (ie - traditional or selfpub) I prefer 2-2.5k chapters, but for webnovels, I'm drawn more to chapters at about 1k, so that's what I typically post for my own works. But it's very much a matter of preference.