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Do you prefer long chapters or short ones?

Long 0.43243243243243 43.2% [ 16 ]
Short 0.56756756756757 56.8% [ 21 ]
Total Votes:[ 37 ]
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Klaark's avatar

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When reading work posted on the Internet, do you prefer your chapters long or short?

I'm not going to define long and short, and if you have an answer anything like "I prefer chapters to be as long as they need to be," I'd ask you to not bother posting.
Online, I'd think I'd prefer shorter. Not by much or would longer ones put me off. It's just harder to put mark my place on a webpage, ya know.
Klaark's avatar

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Sir Icehawk
Online, I'd think I'd prefer shorter. Not by much or would longer ones put me off. It's just harder to put mark my place on a webpage, ya know.


I spent four whole seconds slaving over a hot poll, and you don't even vote. d**k.

I know I prefer shorter, but not so short I'm like "Why did you bother?"
I_Write_Ivre's avatar

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What's 'short'? I probably prefer that if ten pages or less is short. I mean, I hate anything this long (warning: do not read for content)
Rotsab M. Hyolf's avatar

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I'm going to be the one weirdo who says long, eh?

Haha, fair enough. I tend to prefer really long chapters when I read stuff online; that said, the stuff I read online is usually updated on a monthly basis, so I tend to want a lot of content to make up for the wait (and that I can go back and read over multiple times while waiting for the next installment).

I don't read full books online (exactly for the issue Sir Icehawk brought up; it's a pain to bookmark where you are), but if I did I imagine I'd prefer the chapters shorter (as it'd be a full piece). With physical copies I certainly prefer the ten-pages-or-less setup.

(Also I clicked on 'long' in the poll but it registered it as short. :/ )
Klaark's avatar

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Rotsab M. Hyolf


(Also I clicked on 'long' in the poll but it registered it as short. :/ )


Voter FRAUD!? Argggggh
phantomkitsune's avatar

Dangerous Enabler

Voter fraud is everywhere.

I prefer them on the longer end if they update farther apart: one story I've been reading has been going on three years, but every chapter is about 9k, so I'm okay with that. Another author updates with 3-4k twice a week, and I like that, as well.

The only stories I actively follow that update with shorter chapters are by those writers I follow who post their fiction on their blogs: some of those will post anywhere from 1-3 chapters a day: most of those are 300-2000 words.
I think it's pointless to have those short one paragraph chapters, because then it's not really a chapter. Things just seem longer when you have to scroll through them on a screen. I guess I'd say shorter given the format.
(°ロ°)☝ I prefer long. As others have said I often see updates that have long durations in between. I NEED the compensation.
Klaark
When reading work posted on the Internet, do you prefer your chapters long or short?

I'm not going to define long and short, and if you have an answer anything like "I prefer chapters to be as long as they need to be," I'd ask you to not bother posting.


Unfortunately the answer really is "as long as they need to be". The point here is you don't have a benchmark to reach for each chapter's length; when you think a segment is over and done with, you can end it. I think trying to conform to either "long" or "short" is a bad idea.

However, since you mentioned "posted on the internet" I'd go with short. Not only are people's attention spans much shorter online, it's hard to read on a screen and you tend to lose your place a lot. Short chapters make things more manageable and are less daunting to the reader. I'm sure most of us will look at a solid block of text, groan, and skip it. If it's broken up frequently by chapters it feels less of an immense task.

Honestly though, there are a lot of other factors. Are you posting a completed work or updating an on going one? Do you have page breaks? What are the demographics of your audience? What size font are you using? How good is your story? There's any number of factors that could influence the effect of a long chapter vs. a short one.
LoperDoper's avatar

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Not only are people's attention spans much shorter online, it's hard to read on a screen and you tend to lose your place a lot.
This is so true.
I hate ebooks mostly because reading anything that's longer than about a paragraph on a screen is daunting to me. My attention span just goes to boot on the internet.
On a computer screen shorter is always better. We read more slowly on computers than we do in books so it makes sense for the chapters to be shorter online or our attention will begin to waver.
Alberic of Krufton's avatar

Ruthless Raider

Klaark
If you have an answer anything like "I prefer chapters to be as long as they need to be," I'd ask you to not bother posting.
God damn it, there goes my default response.

Middling length? Haha. Seriously though, if it's good, I could care less how long each installment was, but on average, 500-3k is a good length for something to happen. If that's on the shorter end, well, no biggie.

Having chapters at all is a good thing. Guy I know via FP has gotten into the habit of posting 70k+ novels in one chunk... that's excessively long, mostly for the fact that it's hard to find your place again.
It depends on what I am reading. A long narrative describing what you are wearing and there being one line of worthy text pisses me off. I do enjoy length as long as it has substantial information in it towards what is going on in the story that isn’t overly excessive- the story has to move forward in that long chapter.
TottWriter's avatar

Friendly Hoarder

When reading something online, I much pefer "short" chapters.

By which I mean short for a book, not short as in two paragraphs. If I have to page down more than a couple of times, it's probably too long.

When I read something online, it's because I can't sit down with a book (print or e-book) and switch off. The chances are, if the chapter takes me more than five minutes to read, I'll be called away and then have to find my place again. The glare of computer screens means I don't want to be doing that too much. I'd far rather have a story broken into hundreds of chapters each "two screens" long than ten chapters which will each require several sittings.

It's all about appropriateness to the setting. Online stories are a different format, and should be broken up to reflect that. For me it's not about the attention span - if I really like a story I've found online I may sit up late at the computer reading several chapters at once. But normally I don't have that kind of time, and someone who posts massive chapters is going to get pushed to the back of the pile for me.

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