Acceptable Length Constraints

So, after a lot longer than it probably should have taken, it has occurred that some persons may find the in-progress Mourners, Abednego, Persistence difficult to swallow due to the length of each installment (in addition to being difficult to swallow for other reasons). Current aims are one section biweekly, and these sections are averaging roughly 7000 words each. Now, are there any rules of thumb useful for determining when one should put a divider down in a portion of one's work? Splitting chapters up logically is infeasible for several reasons, but it may be possible to supply anchors and such to help divide them into more digestible sub-portions.


The web novel Endless Stars divides its chapters into three parts each, with subheadings that make them more easily digestable to readers. Each chapter is one whole that is very long (7000 words may be on the short end for those), but readers who are busy can read just one section at a time. Similar subheadings in chapters might be a good way to do it, if not hard splits. As long as it feels kind of logical, like if a reader can put the chapter down for ten minutes, an hour, a day, and come back to the next subheading and be able to get back in without too much effort.


Your chapters should not be any longer than 5000 words.


For... a plethora of reasons, chapter sizes in the present form cannot be significantly cut down without doing some major content restructuring. However, a plumb line of 5000 words shouldn't be terribly difficult to accommodate with break-ups in the current format.


If you're posting once every two weeks, then I believe a 7,000 word episode is fine, providing that the pace of your episodes don't put the readers to sleep... lol. I tend to let what's happening in an episode determine the length. If there's a lot of action/dialogue then I'll run longer until I reach a good pausing point. But if there's a lot of exposition, I'll divide it up into digestible portions. Length is not an issue. It's how you use what you have that counts ;)


You can always upload scenes or scene clusters. You don't need to divide into smaller chapters if you don't want to. That could be helpful.


i wonder, has anyone ever done multiple? Like, here's a 3k word chapter twice a week. OR, if you go to THIS rss feed / category list, here's 1k daily. And THIS feed only updates at main arc ends, about every other month.


@Alexander.Hollins I don't know if anyone is doing that, but it sounds pretty cool.


@Alexander.Hollins I know Blacklight does something similar, it has mini-updates multiple times a week, and then they form a full series of chapters/partial chapters!


@Alexander.Hollins, if anyone still used RSS feeds, that would be a super useful tool for the people who like to read serially versus the people that like to catch up in batches.