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 Chapter length / Word count

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Daennika
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PostSubject: Chapter length / Word count   Thu Jul 09, 2009 2:40 pm

Do you pay attention to how long your chapters get?

Mine used to be around 3,000 words, the longest never exceeding 4,000 but this time - and because I'm kind of behind on my schedule - the submission is going near 6,000 words!

I find that having to scroll down a really long chapter can put off a reader but at the same time, if the story is great it's frustrating to have a word limit. I write my stories like they're novels, not usual fan fiction.

(Word count can be found in the "Tools" menu of your generic text editors)
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Ms.MaraJade
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter length / Word count   Thu Jul 09, 2009 9:04 pm

I actually do watch my word count because I feel I need a minimum number of words in order to answer all the questions a reader may have and to detail it out so that there is no confusion as to who is doing what, saying what, or when something is happening in the timeline of the chapter.

In the last couple years, I have made it a point to make sure every chapter I post has at least 3000 words, however. I found this is a good starting number for my chapters, but if the characters are making the chapter more interesting for me and providing a reason to write more, I willingly go to a reasonable length (preferably on the longer side) that it needs to have the story told.

I also tend to write more in novel form than I guess what is considered "fanfiction format." As stated above, I use a lot of details and description and make sure to eliminate the confusion between character dialog and action. I guess it comes from years and years of reading books and having a vivid imagination that was never criticized but was encouraged. Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter length / Word count   Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:47 pm

I think you should write your story until you feel like you're done for the day/night, regardless of how many words and how many pages you've written. Then see what you've accumulated, and at that point decide where/how to chop up your story.

That way you don't feel like you're rushing the chapter because you want to meet a certain word count/number of pages. I think as long as it's not dauntingly long (my chapters are humongous, way beyond 3000 words) the reader won't mind a longer or shorter chapter mixed in together with the rest, specially if it advances the story and the reader doesn't have to go "Oh noez!!! update update!!!" (but then again, that's probably a good ploy to attract readers back to the fic).

Just write the story, worry about cutting down the chapters when you have a fair amount of content and feel that it is way too long.
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Catika
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter length / Word count   Fri Jul 10, 2009 7:40 am

I'm a short and sweet WHORE, so I usually didn't like it when chapters in Burdens got longer than 3-4,000 words. Then again, that story started out with vignettes under 500 words.

With Unfold, I'm trying to lengthen the chapters, which is a constant battle when I have to do scene transitions. When I was done with my scene in Burdens, I could cut to another scene with different characters. Here it's like:

Jatne: And that's the story of my life since you've been gone.
Rem: Awesome.
Jatne: ....yep.
Rem: *shifts uncomfortably*
...
Narration: AND THEN THEY WENT AND GOT BOOZE.

Neutral Soooo I guess I'm just trying to develop a better sense of "Okay this scene is done and it will have a comfortable transition to here." And it's also a matter of lengthening conversations instead of being to the point. Details seem to escape me sometimes.
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Mesh'la Runi
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter length / Word count   Fri Jul 10, 2009 9:50 am

I've never actually written anything so long as to have chapters, but I know that when I do write fanfics, I tend to do what 13 said. I just kind of write until I feel like I don't need to write anymore, until I've said what I need to say.

I have noticed, though, that in my forum RP my posts have progressively gotten longer and longer. It's sort of an obvious transition from the brief sentence-or-two RP that you get with in-game RP (like in SWG) to the almost story-like RP found on forums.
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