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C James

Chapter length and timing poll. :)

Chapter length  

27 members have voted

  1. 1. How should chapters be determined?

    • Varied chapter length, to better fit the story
      25
    • Leave it as is, roughly even chapters
      2


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Please read before voting. :)

 

A discussion on page 2 of the chapter 54 thread got me thinking (always a dangerous thing!:P)

 

I normally try to keep chapter length even, going for around 5k to 6k words, which is the average for hosted chapters on GA. This allows me to keep up a weekly posting schedule. (I;m a rotten typist, so I'm not a fast writer).

 

However, this has resulted, on several occasion, in chapter breaks points in places where I'd have much rather continued, and had a larger chapter that better completed a scene or situation. The chapter 54 thread discussion got me thinking about this, especially about a coming chapter where I've wrestled with the issue, one where I'm unhappy about the location of the chapter end (where the chapters are divided).

 

Currently, as a guess, Circumnavigation is past the 3/4 point. I have a large body of text written, but it's incomplete; there are many missing scenes. (I write non-linearly). So, what I'm running the poll for is this;

 

Would you prefer to keep to roughly even chapters (the way things are now)

 

Or, go with chapters that vary in length to better fit the story (like a published novel)? If we go with this option, you'd get at least as many words per month, BUT, the weekly posting schedule may not always apply. A double length chapter, for example, might cause a two week, instead of a one week, gap to the next chapter. I'd try to avoid that (the extra gap), but it might happen.

 

I'd like to try this, because I think it will correct some awkwardness in the flow of the plot. But, my main motive here is to keep everyone happy, so I'm putting it up for a poll, and will follow the results. Let me know which option you'd prefer.

 

And, my sincere thanks to the participants in the 54 thread discussion (and also all thread and forum discussions!) y'all got me thinking about chapter layout and plot pacing, and no matter how this poll comes out, I think I can apply some things I've realized to improve flow and pacing. (sorry to be vague, but I have to avoid spoilers.) :)

 

CJ :)

 

Edit to add: that coming chapter (where i'm unhappy with where the chapter end is) that I mentioned is a big part of what prompted this (and the chapter 54 convo helped me realize just how unhappy i was with where I'd ended that chapter). It's chapter 67, which I'd very much prefer to combine with a big chunk of 68, making for a nearly double-length chapter. I just had another look, and I really don't like it like it is, the flow sucks. So... how about we give the new chapter length idea a try for chapter 67, and vote after seeing it? (and I sincerely promise, this will NOT result in creating any sort of a tense chapter ending)?

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In the end it's really up to you, but as a reader I much prefer a scene to be finished. Unless of course it's a cliffhanger that's done on purpose. In most of my own stories I don't worry so much about chapter length as about how the chapter flows. Just my two cents!

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In the end it's really up to you, but as a reader I much prefer a scene to be finished. Unless of course it's a cliffhanger that's done on purpose. In most of my own stories I don't worry so much about chapter length as about how the chapter flows. Just my two cents!

 

Thanks!!!

 

I do very chapter length a bit (quite a few run over 7k due to trying to keep things together) but what I have in mind would result in some double sized or more. I'd prefer it, and I think it would improve things, but I wanted to ask what everyone thinks. :)

 

I don't have to worry about cliffhangers though, as i never use them. 0:)

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Renee is right that in the end it's up to you.

 

I think finishing a chapter where it feels right is important, and usually adds to reader enjoyment (and probably author satisfaction). So if there are some chappies that are 7k plus but they flow that's great. Also, I think that if ALL the chaps are hovering the same word mark it can drag a story a little. Having shorter and longer ones adds a texture and maybe more anticipation in a story.

 

Too many long chapters though--that's harder to pull off. It's a bit psychological, but (at least for me) when I read a story that has shorter chapters, I'm more likely to read more in one go--because I think, help it's only another little one, I can squeeze it in before bed, haha. (because I really can't stand stopping my read half way through a chapter--and the longer ones can take me up to 1.5-2 hours to read--and just finding and preparing that slot of time is hard.)

 

Anyway, I guess I'd wrap up my opinion by saying, yeah, finish the chapter the way you want it, even if it's long. But then, maybe other chapters naturally could be finished shorter. Yeah, varied is good.

 

Keep up the awesome writing,

Anyta

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Yep, definitely vary. I try to aim roughly at 4 - 5k but it depends on the scene I'm writing. I wont cut off half way through or start a new issue just because of how many words Ive written.

 

As for cliffies... Hmmmmmmm

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I don't see anyone here screaming for the averige lenght. Just follow your own instinct when to end a chapter. If a chappy is forced to end or prolonged somehow, it shows.

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Thanks!!!

 

I do very chapter length a bit (quite a few run over 7k due to trying to keep things together) but what I have in mind would result in some double sized or more. I'd prefer it, and I think it would improve things, but I wanted to ask what everyone thinks. :)

 

I don't have to worry about cliffhangers though, as i never use them. 0:)

 

 

I think if you are happy with the chapter length and breaks that we readers will be happy too. I do like knowing when a chapter is coming, but that isn't as important as you being comfortable with where the chapter breaks. Since you don't use cliffhangers (like anyone believes that) that shouldn't have much influence.

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On one hand i would love for complete sceans. But on the other hand i want a weekly post lol. I go insane all week waiting for the new chapter my week is almost based around this story. Lol. I even had a dream about it last night not a good one either but i was relieved when i awoke and found it a dream. But now that my rambaling is over i feel a more complete chapter would be more welcome than a weekly post.

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Please read before voting. :)

 

A discussion on page 2 of the chapter 54 thread got me thinking (always a dangerous thing!:P)

 

I normally try to keep chapter length even, going for around 5k to 6k words, which is the average for hosted chapters on GA. This allows me to keep up a weekly posting schedule. (I;m a rotten typist, so I'm not a fast writer).

 

However, this has resulted, on several occasion, in chapter breaks points in places where I'd have much rather continued, and had a larger chapter that better completed a scene or situation. The chapter 54 thread discussion got me thinking about this, especially about a coming chapter where I've wrestled with the issue, one where I'm unhappy about the location of the chapter end (where the chapters are divided).

 

Currently, as a guess, Circumnavigation is past the 3/4 point. I have a large body of text written, but it's incomplete; there are many missing scenes. (I write non-linearly). So, what I'm running the poll for is this;

 

Would you prefer to keep to roughly even chapters (the way things are now)

 

Or, go with chapters that vary in length to better fit the story (like a published novel)? If we go with this option, you'd get at least as many words per month, BUT, the weekly posting schedule may not always apply. A double length chapter, for example, might cause a two week, instead of a one week, gap to the next chapter. I'd try to avoid that (the extra gap), but it might happen.

 

I'd like to try this, because I think it will correct some awkwardness in the flow of the plot. But, my main motive here is to keep everyone happy, so I'm putting it up for a poll, and will follow the results. Let me know which option you'd prefer.

 

And, my sincere thanks to the participants in the 54 thread discussion (and also all thread and forum discussions!) y'all got me thinking about chapter layout and plot pacing, and no matter how this poll comes out, I think I can apply some things I've realized to improve flow and pacing. (sorry to be vague, but I have to avoid spoilers.) :)

 

CJ :)

 

Edit to add: that coming chapter (where i'm unhappy with where the chapter end is) that I mentioned is a big part of what prompted this (and the chapter 54 convo helped me realize just how unhappy i was with where I'd ended that chapter). It's chapter 67, which I'd very much prefer to combine with a big chunk of 68, making for a nearly double-length chapter. I just had another look, and I really don't like it like it is, the flow sucks. So... how about we give the new chapter length idea a try for chapter 67, and vote after seeing it? (and I sincerely promise, this will NOT result in creating any sort of a tense chapter ending)?

 

I like the way you are putting the chapers out now. I realize people get frustrated when you have to end a scene in an awkward place, but that just adds to the anticipation of the next chapter. Mark Arbour does the same thing, I think, although I think his chapters sometimes are longer than others. Bottom line, you are the captain what you say goes! :worship:

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Edit to add: that coming chapter (where i'm unhappy with where the chapter end is) that I mentioned is a big part of what prompted this (and the chapter 54 convo helped me realize just how unhappy i was with where I'd ended that chapter). It's chapter 67, which I'd very much prefer to combine with a big chunk of 68, making for a nearly double-length chapter. I just had another look, and I really don't like it like it is, the flow sucks. So... how about we give the new chapter length idea a try for chapter 67, and vote after seeing it? (and I sincerely promise, this will NOT result in creating any sort of a tense chapter ending)?

This sounds like a good trial balloon for appropriately ended chapters. And this way you can make sure every posted chapter ends with a horrible cliffhanger. Or are cliffhangers something that some other writer does? Hmmm...

 

However, no matter how you end chapters of Circumnavigation, I'm always eagerly awaiting the next chapter.

 

Colin B)

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seems like an unanimous vote... to which i agree. I dont care much about chapter length. Well, ok, i dislike really short chapters - especially when following stories that are "in progess", but thats a different problem. But i dont care if chapters vary in length. I rather have a complete scene than equal length chapters. Of course i would miss the weeky post... but if the decision is between a completed scene and a weekly post.. i rather have the completed scene.

If you feel a chapter needs to be longer.. then make it longer !! I am sure we readers will appreciate it either way :-)

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Wow!

 

Thanks! :)

 

Unanimous so far... okay, I'll start with 67. :great:

 

I'll try to keep to weekly posting, it's just that it might slip occasionally. On the flip side, for very short chapters (we had a few at the start of Circumnavigation) I'll do what I did then, and post more than one at a time, bringing it up to equal at least an average chapter.

 

CJ :)

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I don't care a bit about chapter length or the amount of time between chapters...set your own pace.

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I'm not against longer chapters I just don't want to wait longer between them. I wouldn't mind it I can handle the wait.

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Well, now we've had chapter 67 and I, for one, am glad that you didn't break the chapter in the middle. That said, the tension was probably lower than some of the places where you did leave us hanging...

 

It was good to get the whole story of the plot to foil the press in one go, though I notice that you still managed to leave us with a cliffhanger hook for the following chapter. ;)

 

My vote is for longer chapters with you doing your best not to make us wait too long between them. I'm sure we can trust you - goats are trustworthy animals, aren't they?

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...It was good to get the whole story of the plot to foil the press in one go, though I notice that you still managed to leave us with a cliffhanger hook for the following chapter. ;)

Now I know what the "C" stands for in C James: it's "Captain", because it fits perfectly with Low Flyer's suggested replacement for cliffhanger giving us "Captain Hook" -- an appropriate title that reflects the approbation we all have for Mr. James -- even when he does leave us with the occassional "hook" at the end of a chapter.

 

Colin B)

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Varying chapter lengths is good, but it does become a fine art either giving to much information and boring the shit out everyone to giving enough description for people imagination to run wild, i personally like your stories,Ok some of the technical things you mention i don't understand. But i do find there is good balance for me not to be bored reading the story and letting my imagaination presume what is going to happen next.

Edited by Ginge_4

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Well, now we've had chapter 67 and I, for one, am glad that you didn't break the chapter in the middle. That said, the tension was probably lower than some of the places where you did leave us hanging...

 

It was good to get the whole story of the plot to foil the press in one go, though I notice that you still managed to leave us with a cliffhanger hook for the following chapter. ;)

 

My vote is for longer chapters with you doing your best not to make us wait too long between them. I'm sure we can trust you - goats are trustworthy animals, aren't they?

 

Thanks!!!

 

At worst, this (occasional extra-large chapters) will result in an occasional two week (instead of the normal one week) gap between chapters. To be honest though, the biggest risk of that happening right now is that I couldn't write while I was sick, so my buffer of completed chapters is pretty much gone. That makes things hard for my team, and also for me. I'll do what I can, but we might have a a two week gap coming up. I'm trying, but I have a novel for Premium that's overdue and I'm writing that as well. Hopefully, if things go well, we can avoid any slowdown on posting and the only downside to the extra large chapters will be an occasional smaller one, say 4k words, where that's a better fit. :)

 

And goats are very trustworthy! For example, you can always trust us to never use a cliffhanger or have anything to do with one. 0:)

 

I liked having this chapter as one single chapter; it flowed far better IMHO than when I had it split.

 

Varying chapter lengths is good, but it does become a fine art either giving to much information and boring the shit out everyone to giving enough description for people imagination to run wild, i personally like your stories,Ok some of the technical things you mention i don't understand. But i do find there is good balance for me not to be bored reading the story and letting my imagaination presume what is going to happen next.

 

Thanks!

 

This chapter (67) was originally written differently. It was a simple linear runthrough, we saw everything as it occurred, including the planning, so no surprises, no reveals. It was larger, and IMHO boring as hell. I hated it. So, much got scrapped, and the chapter was rewritten. :)

 

Now I know what the "C" stands for in C James: it's "Captain", because it fits perfectly with Low Flyer's suggested replacement for cliffhanger giving us "Captain Hook" -- an appropriate title that reflects the approbation we all have for Mr. James -- even when he does leave us with the occassional "hook" at the end of a chapter.

 

Colin B)

 

Captain hook?!?!? But but but... Aah, well, it's not a cliffhanger, so I can admit to an occasional subtle little hook. :)

 

:ph34r:

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