A question about soap opera type stuff

I want to do a soap opera thing with an idea I've been throwing around for probably about a week now, which involves what are basically grim reapers. I want to do it every day, and I've already figured out a way to do it and keep Umbra from becoming even more crappy than it already is (weekends with Umbra, weekdays with Dark Angels, the soap opera). However, I wasn't sure how long to make each installment. I was thinking 500-750 words each, but I'm really not sure, since I'm treading completely new territory.

Hey, Umbra isn't crappy! I'm quite enjoying it!

Meh. I'm overly critical of myself. One time, in middle school, my Eng. teacher made us grade our own papers, and I failed myself. Then, she gave me an A, and made me read it to the class. Everyone thought it was the best out of all of them.

If you want to do daily installments, then I think I can offer a couple suggestions.

You said you've only been throwing the idea around for about a week, so I imagine you don't have a complete story in your head yet and just want to get something off the ground and see it where it goes. If that's the case, then I'd say that starting with 500-750 a day is too much. Perhaps beginning with a smaller amount and slowly working up to that as you get a better feel for things would be better, because it's critically important that you don't set reader expectations at a certain place only to later realize that you can't maintain it. Starting slower and building to a faster pace would be a safer policy, I feel. But of course, you know yourself better than I do, so perhaps 500-750 is plenty slow enough for you, already.

You may also wish to consider how long you expect the story to be. If it's something you want to go on indefinitely, I would highly advise a slower pace; but if you already have a particular ending in mind, and you don't want to spend years and years getting there, then a faster pace could be more your fit.

As for me, I've been posting ~275 words everyday for the past three and a half months as a kind of "minimum." In actuality, it's been, as of today, 104 days since the beginning, and I've posted 145 times. So I'm posting roughly 30% more than expected, which is surely a pleasant surprise rather than a disappointing one. Perhaps in the future, this will prompt me to increase the number of words per day, but at the moment, I'm quite comfortable.

Being critical of ourselves is natural. We're intimately familiar with the flaws of the work, more than any critic. Hold on to that, because the moment you have no self-criticism, your work is doomed.

On the topic of your serial, give 'Dead Like Me' a watch. It's a drama/comedy about grim reapers.

On the topic of word count - I wouldn't worry about such. Make each chapter as long as it has to be. I started off writing 1.5-3k word chapters because that's what everyone else was doing. I was doing myself a disservice in the process, I think. Now I'm writing an average of 8.5k words per chapter (maybe 7.5k words if you include posts of a month or two ago). It's what I'm comfortable doing.

Edit: Of course, 7.5k words a -day- would be a little insane. There's good advice above. I'd say consider the pacing. I'd recommend taking the time to build a backlog so you have elbow room while you figure things out, and use the process of building the backlog to figure out a good pace/chapter length.

There's a great many things in writing that can be fixed by writing. Write it out, do some initial drafts, and see where you feel most comfortable.

I think I'll go with 250-350 words. That will make it easier to get into the flow of writing something for daily digestion. They may slowly get longer. Also, it'll make each storyline last more than a week, which was what I was originally planning. Also, wildbow, <sarcasm> nooo, 7.5k per day isn't thaaat much. I could do more than that in an hour.</sarcasm>

soap operas are big on their twists and cliffhangers. I would suggest building it as a weekly update for cliffhanger purposes, sliced up into daily chunks. Like the old radio serials.