Writing Bite Size vs Lenghty Chapters

StrongArm

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As a reader, I can say that short chapters are... Unsatisfying.

A chapter is like a penis. Most people don't want a tiny three inch one. They don't want to be taken out of the immersion by constantly having to click 'next'.

No, people want a Big, Thicc, Girthy chapter that satisfies them and transports them into a fantastical literary world of pleasure.

They want a Long & Lengthy chapter that they can just lose themselves in.

Lil tiny D chapters just aren't as satisfying, although perhaps I'm a literary size queen
 

Lodur

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I was asking you about why you throw in the short chapters.
You may or may not realize that English is not my mother tongue. (My two mother tongues are Russian and Ukrainian… second one to some lesser extent — I used to speak it a little in my childhood only with my grandma, and great-grandma; and heard conversations between my dad and them). And although I’ve started learning English at the tender age of 7, still… While reading and listening is never a problem — I’m doing it literally for decades — actively using it is absolutely another thing, which usually shatters all my confidence to tiny shards. The purpose of forum is to allow people converse with others, and when I having doubt in rapport, mutual understanding with my interlocutor, it always leads to frustration. And inventive, ingenious use of the language by my opponent always throws me under the bus: “Is it me? Or is it him/her? Why can’t I understand what is said?”

So. When I’m reading: “I was asking you about why you throw in the short chapters.”, I starting to panic: “What? What?! WHAT?!! I am NOT an author. I don’t write any story. Why he is saying, that I’m INSERTING some short chapters in MY STORY (which doesn’t exist, to begin with)? What REALLY does he saying? I DON’T UNDERSTAND!”

OK. I understand, that I don’t understand anything, so, I’m copypasting that sentence to Google Translate. Nah. It still gives me the meaning that I’m inserting / including / interposing / pasting / embedding / plugging something somewhere. So, I go to online dictionaries. Maybe, I simply don’t know some nuances of word usage.

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/throw-in

Nah. Nothing.

https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/us/definition/english/throw-in_1

Hmm… “to add a remark to a conversation” is something, but still not exactly what I’m looking for.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/throw in#dictionary-entry-2

Nah. I’m not adding, contributing, distributing, engaging or joining.

And only when I see:

throw in the towel or less commonly throw in the sponge :

to abandon a struggle or contest | acknowledge defeat | give up”,

I guess, it’s the correct meaning. We even have the same phrase in Russian («бросить полотенце») with the same meaning. I believe, it’s from boxing sport. When coach suggests, that his boxer is in a knockdown (and boxers usually are trained to keep standing no matter what), and continuation of the match may lead to injury, trauma, he literally can throw in the towel (which he uses to wipe boxer between rounds) into ring, indicating, that he acknowledges defeat of his sportsman. BUT. If somebody would say to me “throw in” («бросить») without “towel” («полотенце») even in Russian, I guess, with 100% certainty, I will NOT understand him.

I’m assuming, that you are asking, why I am giving up / quitting / discarding the novels with short chapters. Well, I have written already, that it’s not a parameter, I base my decisions on. I simply discerned that works with short chapters rarely keep my attention long enough. Maybe, it’s because I don’t appreciate for fiction to be overly laconic (but laconism can be a very potent tool in other fields: “Veni, vidi,vici” by Julius Caesar, or Sanskrit Subhashita are legitimate examples). Of course, I’m not demanding super-lenghty descriptions, like depiction of autumn season in Bhagavata Purana (which occupies the whole chapter), or description of oak tree in “War and Pease” by L. N. Tolstoy (four paragraphs, nearly 300 words). But still…

So can you introduce me to some of these friendly sites and introduce me to the novel you are reading so that I can understand your point in the long-chapter novels?

Well... I am a novice here, and don't know all written and unwritten rules. I could insert direct link to that novel, but it may be considered as advertising, and be frown upon. So, I simply will say, that it's from novel by author with nickname Arcs on RR (he has only one), AN after chapter 56. I've already sent you the direct link in private conversation.
 

hijauKuning

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2000-3000 words are the general length of a chapter. Usually if you went above or below this range, it's because of deliberate style/publishing choice.
 

AverageMaidLover

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With my first novel, I started posting 20-25k word chapters, and I got a mix of "I love these super long chapters" and "these are way too long", so with my other two I instead release them in batches of 3-5k word chapters that I release intermittently over a weekend, and that seems to work okay. I kept doing the long chapters for my first work though.

I'm probably failing at the algorithm, but oh well.
 
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In my original file where I've been working on things, my chapters are longer.. 3k to some even pushing 5k but when I post them here, 1.5 to 2k is where I'm aiming so most of my chapters get split into 2 chapters.
 

dummycake

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As a reader, not a writer because I am still experimenting, I prefer the content to be catchy than word count based.

That being said, if the word count is as short as the cat girl thing that used to be trending (~500 words per chapter), no. Because it is only good for simple short gags instead of fleshing out the world and character.

If the word count is too long, >4000 words, I might have to ask, what is wrong with you? Because usually this is the case of an author who tries to be specific specific, up to the point of even describing how the sword flies, how the enemy just did a backstep and yaddi yadda. To hell, he even described a wake-up blowjob with extreme details, "like how the girl is swallowing his entire member, how he felt his glans is poking her uvula, how she licks according to his shaft's vein and tickling the edge of his glans.

Too much words and all I can think of is "shit, am I reading a thesis?" This is the "a picture speaks a thousand words and the creator here only knows how to type" problem.
What if it doesn't really make sense to split into two chapters? I wrote one with 4.8k words and it wouldn't really work if I ended in the middle.
 

J_Chemist

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I've come to find that my sweet spot for chapter length is between 4k-8k, but I also post once a week. I also write for extended stints of up to 8 hours, depending on how in depth I get and how much thought/effort I need to put into the chapter. I have started to break up my chapters into scenes from various perspectives to add a new dynamic to my writing and story telling, which is actually making it easier to write less in one spot and sort of spread the creativity load. So that's nice.
 

bulmabriefs144

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I think the longest chapter I've written was 40 pages long. It had people doing a series of bounty hunts, so there was no breaking it up due to similar theme. Lately, I write shorter chapters on average. Closer to 4-6 pages. It's the number of chapters that usually stays consistent. Typically 20 to 30 per book.
Correction, it was 22 pages. I'd like to clarify that chapter didn't feel long, because it involved multiple POVs, multiple events, but the same overall theme.

If a chapter feels long, chop it up. If it doesn't, there are probably breaks that a normal reader using a bookmark can deal with. That said, ScribbleHub has no decent bookmark system (hint: mods add one!) so more than 8 pages is pushing things.


Also, I just realized when rereading my chapter that I went off model when drawing and Sera has one too many fingers.


Hello.

My name is Inigo Montoya.

You killed my father, prepare to die.
 

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ReadLight

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I've made a post about this topic, lol.

The people form this Forums has convinced me of this: I'd rather write my story well than to stress over word count. If a chapter can be well-written in 2k words, it'd be a 2k word chapter. If it require 6k words, then 6k it is.

I've been told that if the content is good/engaging enough, readers will be motivated to read through it, even if it is very lengthy.

You can never please everyone. No matter what you choose, some one is bound to not like your work. And that's fine. Just keep writing what you want to write.

I also think that from a reader's perspective, content is more important than length. If the book is good, I want it to be long. If the book doesn't interest me, I would not read it no matter how many words it has.
 

TheKillingAlice

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For those writing:
How many words per chapter do you normally aim towards?
Depends on the format of the story. Normal chapter for a print book is always between 3.000 to 5.000 words. More and I would split it in half.
For Webnovels, I resolved myself to 1.000 to 3.000 words. Originally 2.000, but I rarely manage to keep it below 2k, so well, nevermind. I update 2-3 times a week (one story twice, the other three times, currently).
 

Raymann

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Minimum words

I write about 2k in drafts then compress them down to

500-700 words for pilot chapters (when you have a new idea and want to test how much appeal it has)
1500-800 words for normal chapters. And I don't update daily.

Why do I do this? (Personal views, no offence)
Cause I, myself cannot bear to read long chapters. I know the author wants to express his authority over the language and show the wordplay but God damn it I am here for a web novel not reading Tales of Two Cities.
I would appreciate chapters with the good-plot-packed story, and with additions that move the story forward and do character development,
Not like something full of conversation like 90s drama.

For advice.
Honestly, use as many words as you want but always remember:: each and everything, whether conversation, exposition, description, or quotes you write, must add something of value to the story.
Addition ::: if you are a smut(any type GL,BL,etc) or fanfic writter, go ham on word count.
I notice that that reader base do like long gospel.
 
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doravg

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Hear me out, this is some next-level shit...
Do you write 5k words per day? That is not good for the web novel reader. Funny thing, a web novel reader can binge read these 5k words, no problem. But not if they are in a single chapter.
Keep it tiny, keep it bite sized. No more than 1,500 words per chapter, small paragraphs. This is how you keep your bingers happy and binge ready.
The best reader is a binge reader!
 

fantasyretreat

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I value the chapter being the right size to tell that piece of the story over consistency, when it comes down to it.
I've written as little as 1.7k words and as much as 3k+ words. It all depends on the message you're trying to pass across in said chapter.
 

lupenthewolf

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Well, I think I can safely say what doesn't work, short chapters. My one attempt at publishing a novel was an absolute train-wreck for a number of reasons, but one of those was that the chapters were too short. Clocking in around 1.5-2k words per chapter, it didn't catch anyone's interest much less hold it. I fully realize that the novel was bad all around, but I learned quite a bit from it.

I would say aim for 2-4k words per chapter, changing somewhat depending on update frequency.
 
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