Your first story and first chapter

Thor

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 15, 2019
Messages
66
Points
73
I got a question for you. Beginner and experienced authors, it doesnt matter.

How long did it take you to write your very first chapter?

Yesterday I finally had the courage to start writing the first chapter of a story wich was floating in my mind for nearly a year. In that time I wrote down many notes and have the story pretty much outlined from the beginning to the end. The first chapter had only 3 sentences on my sheet as core objectives as to what happens.
It still took me roughly 6 hours to write down what I imagined and produced only 2,5k~ words in the end.

What were your experiences? Especially interesting would be authors who are not native english speaker like me. Since I'm self-taught in that regard I might have been rather slow because I still have to carefully think about what I'm writing.

Also do your chapters always end up like you imagined them after writing them down? In my case it should have been a semi-dramatic introduction but it ended up overly dramatic with alot of tragedy. Im still happy with the outcome from a writer perspective but now my MC has to battle severe depression for some time if I dont change it. Not what I wanted or expected to be honest >.>
 

CupcakeNinja

Pervert Supreme
Joined
Jan 1, 2019
Messages
3,104
Points
183
I dunno. Three days? It was over 9k long i think. I mean that high balling it too. Mightve been just a day total to write it but i kinda worked on it off and on due to laziness
 

Kyrian_Clawraithe

Active member
Joined
Oct 27, 2019
Messages
25
Points
43
A.) It depends on your writing style. If your someone who is going to jump right into the story then obviously you are going to be faster than someone who is going to design the world/me hanics in the story even if it's just deciding what the main characters goals are.

B.)Yes, it is often different because when you write it down it has to be a lot more filled out than random thoughts in your head.
 

Nerodith

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 26, 2020
Messages
37
Points
58
Pretty much the same for me, I'd say about 4-5 hours, for 3,5K words. I was so inspired I finished it in one go, hahaha ^^

I'm also self-taugh in english, but I don't think this is what slow us down. In fact, now that my story has reached over over 200K words, I can actually tell you that 6 hours for a chapter is very reasonnable. As a beginner writer, I was much faster in finishing my chapters. Six hours a chapter (about 3K words) was the average. Now, it takes me much more time. Between 12 to 20 hours for 4-5K words. So, as weird as it seems, the more experienced, the slower you are. Or at least, in my case.

Personally, I can think of two reasons for that. First are the details. When you begin a story, you have a very precised outline to follow, you know exactly what you want to write. But the more you progress, and the more vague it becomes. You tend to have more general ideas of what you want to write. You know how the chapter is supposed to go, but you don't have the precise lines of dialogues for example, and often realize as you go along that some things are harder to write than you thought. Secondly, well, it's self-consciousness I guess. I became much more aware of my own writing style as I progressed in my story, and naturally, I became much more exigent. I'm rarely a 100% satisfied with my chapters nowadays.

So, no, my chapters rarely end up as I intended them to. My first problem is that I realized that I tend to be a little ambitious when planning my chapters in my mind, and when I write them down, I often need to split them because they end up being way too long, haha. I have one that I intended to last only one chapter, but ultimately, it lasted three chapters. It was over 15K words while my average chapter is 4-5K words ^^' And while my story plot is generally all fleshed out, I do occasionally improvise things last minute.

But well, as amateur writers, we have the luxury to endlessly edit out chapters, one of the good side of publishing online I guess :p Moreover, most of our readers know we're not professional authors, so they are more leniant. Personally, my readers have been my best advisors when it comes to polishing my story and my writing style :blob_melt:
 

Dezel

New member
Joined
Feb 28, 2020
Messages
8
Points
3
I don't have anything close to an average time. I wrote 9k chapters* in an afternoon, but it also took me many full days to write a 2k story.

* I'm pretty sure this was during Nanowrimo, though.
 

Thor

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 15, 2019
Messages
66
Points
73
Pretty much the same for me, I'd say about 4-5 hours, for 3,5K words. I was so inspired I finished it in one go, hahaha ^^

I'm also self-taugh in english, but I don't think this is what slow us down. In fact, now that my story has reached over over 200K words, I can actually tell you that 6 hours for a chapter is very reasonnable. As a beginner writer, I was much faster in finishing my chapters. Six hours a chapter (about 3K words) was the average. Now, it takes me much more time. Between 12 to 20 hours for 4-5K words. So, as weird as it seems, the more experienced, the slower you are. Or at least, in my case.

Personally, I can think of two reasons for that. First are the details. When you begin a story, you have a very precised outline to follow, you know exactly what you want to write. But the more you progress, and the more vague it becomes. You tend to have more general ideas of what you want to write. You know how the chapter is supposed to go, but you don't have the precise lines of dialogues for example, and often realize as you go along that some things are harder to write than you thought. Secondly, well, it's self-consciousness I guess. I became much more aware of my own writing style as I progressed in my story, and naturally, I became much more exigent. I'm rarely a 100% satisfied with my chapters nowadays.

So, no, my chapters rarely end up as I intended them to. My first problem is that I realized that I tend to be a little ambitious when planning my chapters in my mind, and when I write them down, I often need to split them because they end up being way too long, haha. I have one that I intended to last only one chapter, but ultimately, it lasted three chapters. It was over 15K words while my average chapter is 4-5K words ^^' And while my story plot is generally all fleshed out, I do occasionally improvise things last minute.

But well, as amateur writers, we have the luxury to endlessly edit out chapters, one of the good side of publishing online I guess :p Moreover, most of our readers know we're not professional authors, so they are more leniant. Personally, my readers have been my best advisors when it comes to polishing my story and my writing style :blob_melt:

Quite insightful. And yeah, dialogues were pretty hard for me. Even though I knew what the characters wanted to say it still was not easy to get the lines down with fitting details to convey the mood and expressions. It really was harder than I thought.
 

CupcakeNinja

Pervert Supreme
Joined
Jan 1, 2019
Messages
3,104
Points
183
I don't have anything close to an average time. I wrote 9k chapters* in an afternoon, but it also took me many full days to write a 2k story.

* I'm pretty sure this was during Nanowrimo, though.
The fuck? 9k CHAPTERS? either you made a mistake there, you are a lying sack of shit, you wrote short af chapters or you have burst of godly writing speed.

Im guessing you meant your chapters were mainly around 9k long each around that time.

Me, i always average at 2k per chapter. Anything less seems short, so if it isnt at 2k i either aknowledge its a short chapter or make it into a part 1-2. I can normally get around 2k in just an hour or two barring laziness. Tho thats without revisions. You know, adding stuff in, researching stupid details that arent too important to anyone but me, or even just re-writing scenes...maybe taking entire scenes out for later and redoing the whole part.

That stuff included, maybe takes three to four hours but obviously thats total time spent writing. I take breaks.
 

Thor

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 15, 2019
Messages
66
Points
73
You know, adding stuff in, researching stupid details that arent too important to anyone but me,

Sounds like a common disease. After I did that I asked myself if Im going crazy. I never thought I would research different kinds of steel beams but I did... and dont think that it would be important for future readers. I just wanted to ensure that I adhere to physical laws and nobody will know about it.
 

Nerodith

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 26, 2020
Messages
37
Points
58
Haha, it is definitely a common disease among writers.
You'll waste hours doing research for your world-building of for characters' sheet no one will ever read :blob_sweat:

On the side note, there is also the chapter's content itself that will influence on the time it takes to finish it. I had this one chapter not too long ago which I entirely wrote on my phone during my working hours. And then there is also this one other chapter which was a pain in the ass, which I couldn't get it done no matter how many time I tried, which I kept re-writing and still wasn't satisfied with it, and ultimately, it ended up in a hiatus that lasted months :blob_no:
 

AliceShiki

Magical Girl of Love and Justice
Joined
Dec 23, 2018
Messages
3,530
Points
183
It's a totally common disease to start researching random things that nobody cares about... Like... "Were there mirrors in the middle ages? And were they made of glass, iron or brass?" Like, geez, who cares? Just write that the character saw themselves in a mirror and move along.
... Well, I care! So I do research! xD

I also did research on hair care in middle ages, age a child is and was allowed to go out on their own, number of maids that a castle usually had and some other things that the readers probably won't ever bat an eye at... >.>

*coughs* I digress... As for how long I took for my first chapter? Well, my very first chapter for my very first story took like... 2h for 2k words I guess? Something along those lines, I didn't have a high standard and didn't spend too much time editing, so it just flowed pretty easily.

Nowadays I usually take 2h for 2k words and another 2h editing the chapter into something I'm content with. Plus some hours of break in-between the writing and editing in order to clear my head.
 

Nerodith

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 26, 2020
Messages
37
Points
58
It's a totally common disease to start researching random things that nobody cares about... Like... "Were there mirrors in the middle ages? And were they made of glass, iron or brass?" Like, geez, who cares? Just write that the character saw themselves in a mirror and move along.
... Well, I care! So I do research! xD

I also did research on hair care in middle ages, age a child is and was allowed to go out on their own, number of maids that a castle usually had and some other things that the readers probably won't ever bat an eye at... >.>

*coughs* I digress... As for how long I took for my first chapter? Well, my very first chapter for my very first story took like... 2h for 2k words I guess? Something along those lines, I didn't have a high standard and didn't spend too much time editing, so it just flowed pretty easily.

Nowadays I usually take 2h for 2k words and another 2h editing the chapter into something I'm content with. Plus some hours of break in-between the writing and editing in order to clear my head.
Hahaha, I totally relate. I did some research about how women dealt with their periods in medieval times, or about where the servants slept xD More recently, I even typed "Did peasants have rights?" I stumbled upon quite a lot of things, nothing which answered my question. So I just assumed that yes, they had enough rights to take someone to court. And then I was like, "were there even real court back then?" :blob_sweat: One question brings even more questions...
 

AliceShiki

Magical Girl of Love and Justice
Joined
Dec 23, 2018
Messages
3,530
Points
183
Hahaha, I totally relate. I did some research about how women dealt with their periods in medieval times, or about where the servants slept xD More recently, I even typed "Did peasants have rights?" I stumbled upon quite a lot of things, nothing which answered my question. So I just assumed that yes, they had enough rights to take someone to court. And then I was like, "were there even real court back then?" :blob_sweat: One question brings even more questions...
Oh yeah, once I even started googling if peasants were likely to know the names of the noble lords that ruled the area they lived in. And like... What about the name of the children of their lord? What about the lords of the neighboring lands and stuff? How much did the peasants know names-wise!? >.<

... I found nothing on that... orz
 

ImNatsui

New member
Joined
Jan 13, 2020
Messages
5
Points
3
I got a question for you. Beginner and experienced authors, it doesnt matter.

How long did it take you to write your very first chapter?

Yesterday I finally had the courage to start writing the first chapter of a story wich was floating in my mind for nearly a year. In that time I wrote down many notes and have the story pretty much outlined from the beginning to the end. The first chapter had only 3 sentences on my sheet as core objectives as to what happens.
It still took me roughly 6 hours to write down what I imagined and produced only 2,5k~ words in the end.

What were your experiences? Especially interesting would be authors who are not native english speaker like me. Since I'm self-taught in that regard I might have been rather slow because I still have to carefully think about what I'm writing.

Also do your chapters always end up like you imagined them after writing them down? In my case it should have been a semi-dramatic introduction but it ended up overly dramatic with alot of tragedy. Im still happy with the outcome from a writer perspective but now my MC has to battle severe depression for some time if I dont change it. Not what I wanted or expected to be honest >.>
I write generally 1,1k-1,5k but my first chapter took me 30 minutes to write, usually it takes me 30-45 minutes, having a prepared outline always helps, after all~
 

Yiphen

Chaotic Lil' Demon
Joined
Dec 27, 2019
Messages
87
Points
33
The thing is, I keep revising my stuff during the not-that-plentiful time I spend writing, so I end up finishing 1-2 ~1000 word chapters a week.
 

Silvareiel

Member
Joined
May 14, 2019
Messages
25
Points
13
Like you, I'm not a native English speaker. I take more or less 30 minutes to write about 2k words. And then I take another 30 minutes to review it before posting.
As for endings, well ... no, they don't always end like I had imagined it. ^_^; In fact lots of events end up happening that were not initially predicted. I tend to say that my characters are too rebellious to obey my every command lol. But I don't mind. I just accept things as they turn out and adapt what follows in the storyline accordingly. Actually this is one of the aspects that makes me enjoy writing so much. I love it when the story surprises me! ^_^
 

NotaNuffian

This does spark joy.
Joined
Nov 26, 2019
Messages
3,669
Points
183
I sort of limit myself to writing at least 2K words per chp and I am stuck at chp 2, to be honest, I really wanted to just let the MC jump out of the starter village and go on an adventure immediately, but I feel that it will make the MC less anchored and drifting without aim.
 

Azrie

Redemption Seeker
Joined
May 16, 2019
Messages
78
Points
73
The only thing I can say is that - don't worry about it. It's a pointless question since everyone is different. For example: I can take 3 days to write a 1.7k word prologue and yet take 3 hours for a 4k word chapter. In the end, it all boils down to the contents that are in it; how careful you are being; and how content you are with the quality of the writing.

My first story got the prologue, chapter 1, and chapter 2 on the same day. Which totaled to around 2.5k words. I really had no idea what I was doing, or what was a good length. I simply went for what I thought would be a good cut-off point. And now in the very same story chapter, 80 is 11k words.

Also as for speed, it can improve or decrease in time, it also depends on first draft writing standards and what you focus on improving. How well you have planned out character thoughts, for me dialogues are rather easy, for others they can feel often impossible. You can either focus on improving your first draft writing quality; which makes it turn out great but it is still the first draft. You can focus on speed and get a lot of typos, missing commas, among other things.

I personally just post chapters that are a husk of what they could be - first drafts. it all depends on writing styles, there are people that over-describe things, there are others that write it too plain. I am on the plain side, so a chapter can increase by 50% in word count through an edit or two. However, the best advice there is, in my opinion, is to turn it into a habit.

Write daily, don't give up, know what you are doing. Things like that - such as keeping notes of your story, simply actively writing. In the end; the most consistent one wins, not the fastest nor the highest quality. Consistency is probably your highest priority as a web-novelist. Although I must note that simply writing won't get you better at writing; it's all about your mindset.

Good luck o/
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2019
Messages
1,960
Points
153
it can get as long as one year, or many more years.

you know, that one concept you had in your mind but too lazy to finish, until today.
 

CupcakeNinja

Pervert Supreme
Joined
Jan 1, 2019
Messages
3,104
Points
183
Sounds like a common disease. After I did that I asked myself if Im going crazy. I never thought I would research different kinds of steel beams but I did... and dont think that it would be important for future readers. I just wanted to ensure that I adhere to physical laws and nobody will know about it.
Exactly. I remember spending half an hour researching waterfalls and how high a human can fall from without dying and the injuries they could sustain falling from a certain height.

Its like you use suspension of disbelief all the time but its the little things that you get anal about. You can have a character dodging bullets and deflecting arrows with his sword but you get all insane about if a giant tentacled slime monster will fall at the same pace as your regular human characters or not.

I find thats the stuff readers call you out on, too. The simple physics.
 

Polarize4777

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 3, 2019
Messages
114
Points
83
I have been trying to write a story and I am pretty set on fantasy, but man am I stuck in a blockade in term of dialogue and finding the end game of my story. Can't write a story if you don't know how you want to end it or how to climax it so yeah, I am just writing over and over to figure out how I like to express my ideas. I haven't post a story since I am still very unrefined in term of all the grammar rules and how to properly form sentences or where place those commas or periods lol. At this point all I am doing is consuming other authors writing and seeing how they start their story and how they slowly expand from there to their desire ending. My vocabulary isn't lacking, but it could use an expansion in term of expressive words and strong verbs and other nuances that are needed to describe and write a good story. So far, I can only say that if I plan out my story properly then I can write the first chapter at around 3k or more in 8 hours after re-reading and checking for small errors. Research is also a big part of why it takes a while to complete my writing for me, to give my writing some form of relevance and realistic authenticity. Overall I am still a beginner and it is still a dream of mine to write and share a world that I have created that may spin an already existing idea with some twists that are fun and interesting. My goal is to write a decently long story that develop a long and decent history in the world that I create.
 
Top