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Do you prefer one long story, or multiple shorter chapters? Options · View
Ashleigh
Posted: Saturday, October 16, 2010 7:47:33 AM

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On sites like these, I have often wondered if readers prefer reading one long story (eg. 10,000-12,000 words) as a single piece or if they prefer having it broken out into shorter chapters and posted separately.

I often see subsequent story chapters getting less attention, and new readers probably are going to be less inclined to click on "chapter two" on the front page if they haven't read '"chapter one" yet. Or would this tempt you to search out the first chapter if you noticed there was a story broken into segments?

As a reader, do you have a preference?




*** Click Here to Read Chapter One

gypsy
Posted: Saturday, October 16, 2010 8:01:22 AM

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I prefer shorter chapters, 5 to 6,000 words. But if a story is longer, then I appreciate it if the author has put chapter headings in it, when there is a logical break, because that way, if I don't have the time to fnish it, I can break off at a place and get back to it easily.

For stories I like, I will watch for the next installment, or put the author on my list of writers I'm following, because that way I get an automatic update when he or she publishes anything else.

I wrote one story that is posted in four chapters, and there is a drop off in the number of readers towards the last one. I just figure it reflects the number of people who actually would have read it through to the end, if I'd posted it as a whole.



The subject who is truly loyal to the Chief Magistrate will neither advise nor submit to arbitrary measures. Junius



XuanMai
Posted: Saturday, October 16, 2010 8:06:54 AM

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gypsymoth wrote:


I wrote one story that is posted in four chapters, and there is a drop off in the number of readers towards the last one. I just figure it reflects the number of people who actually would have read it through to the end, if I'd posted it as a whole.


That's a great point. A lot of us have some stories that are longer, and if you look at the views vs. votes, it's sometimes 100 or 200 to 1. I think a lot of those are people who get halfway through and then get distracted.

I just started a multi-chapter story, and at least right now, it feels freeing.
sprite
Posted: Saturday, October 16, 2010 8:50:22 AM

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I am always hestitant to put up something "too long". I recall a comment on a story posted on other site that was lengthy, something along the lines of "this was on of the few times i've bothered to finish something this long". personally, i think having something posted in bite sized chunks on a site like this makes it easier for me to digest. the reasoning is that a lot of time there are a lot of distractions on line, and sitting down and reading 10,000 words on the computer at once can be a chore, like 2,000 words at a time is a pleasure and, once i am hooked on chapter one, i WILL seek out the follow ups for reading.


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ladysharon
Posted: Saturday, October 16, 2010 9:42:17 AM

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It really depends on how well the story is written. If it's broken up in chapters, I'll read it to the very end.

Lisa
Posted: Saturday, October 16, 2010 10:50:59 AM

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I'll read long stories, but I prefer separate chapters. I like the anticipation of waiting for the next chapter and wondering what's going to happen next.
SilverArdorDragon
Posted: Saturday, October 16, 2010 11:00:53 AM

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I'll read both, but I like shorter chapters better. Yeah there might be more of them that way but I just find them easyer to read.

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standingbear
Posted: Saturday, October 16, 2010 11:06:09 AM

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I think that there should be a category for novels, maybe even subdivided into genre. The chapters could be posted separately on the main page and in order starting with chapter one on the novel page. For longer short stories I would rather have the whole story posted together.

Friends... they cherish one another's hopes. They are kind to one another's dreams.
Henry David Thoreau
Louise
Posted: Saturday, October 16, 2010 2:55:04 PM

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It's like books...If I love a particular author I'm going to buy and read all his/her books in a series.The same can be said of a series in a story site. I prefer chapters to long stories because I have so many other things to do with my time. It's nice to watch something develop - be it the characters or the story line. It is much easier to see the character development in a long story broken into chapters that a long story. I've sat down and started reading longer stories and felt myself drift off and disengage. Obviously if the author is a really good one they'll keep you hooked from start to finish.

New Poem out

The Observer
DirtyMartini
Posted: Saturday, October 16, 2010 3:13:16 PM

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I think it depends...if you can find a logical breaking point...feel free to break it up...
I'll sometimes wait to read a story I know is in chapters because I prefer to read the whole thing at once, when the previous parts are still fresh in my mind.
Also, if you do decide to post it in parts, try to write the whole thing then post it in parts...don't write the first chapter and then wait a month to write chapter two...
I made that mistake once...but, if people really like ch. 1, they will read the rest...

I once knew a drinker who had a moderating problem...

CzechHimOut
Posted: Sunday, October 17, 2010 6:50:18 AM

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Chapters

Tell me a fact and I’ll learn. Tell me a truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever. I heard this from Steve Sabol about his father.
XuanMai
Posted: Sunday, October 17, 2010 10:04:31 PM

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Chapters- I think I'm being converted.
Laura
Posted: Monday, October 18, 2010 1:04:54 PM

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Definitely chapters for me. The world is a busy place and I find that I don't always have the time to sit down and read a long drawn out story. If the first chapter is good and holds my interest then I'll be back for more chapters. It's the same way for a book I hold in my hand. I don't finish it in one sitting. I have a book marker and I lay it down and come back to it when I have the time. That also creates a "me" time. Nice cup of tea, feet tucked under me and off I go into another world.

lt"I see o' night among the wins
The Devil walking widdershins
As stoney silent as the Sphinx
I sit upon the sandy links
And listen to the glittering spell
Of Asmodee, the Goat of Hell
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Othello
Posted: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 12:51:56 PM

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I prefer short chapters - I can read it faster.
adele
Posted: Monday, November 21, 2011 7:44:16 PM

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i agree, multiple shorter chapters makes for a better read.

We don't know how much we don't know.
mylie
Posted: Thursday, February 2, 2012 2:45:03 AM

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I really don't mind as long as the content is good and the author's style of writing is great enough to make me want to read it from beginning till the end. I enjoy reading a lot and the length of a story won't scare me but if I don't feel drawn to the plot itself, then I would not bother to complete it.

VanessaFinaughty
Posted: Monday, July 2, 2012 3:30:18 AM

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If it's a novel, I'd rather have it all at once - it frustrates me to no end if I don't have the rest of something I'm enjoying, so I probably wouldn't read anything that wasn't shared in its entirety. I enjoy short stories too, though.

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dade30
Posted: Wednesday, July 4, 2012 7:00:35 AM

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As reader I do prefer the ones that were broken down into short chapters because my eyes won’t get tires of reading. But sometimes if the story is interesting a don’t care whether its long or short as long as it eats up my curiosity and my excitement is boost.

Writing is not our JOB, it's OUR PASSION!
VanessaFinaughty
Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 11:19:48 PM

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standingbear wrote:
I think that there should be a category for novels, maybe even subdivided into genre. The chapters could be posted separately on the main page and in order starting with chapter one on the novel page. For longer short stories I would rather have the whole story posted together.


I like this idea. It might be a good idea to add it to the suggestions board too?

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you - Ray Bradbury.

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VanessaFinaughty
Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 11:22:09 PM

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dade30 wrote:
As reader I do prefer the ones that were broken down into short chapters because my eyes won’t get tires of reading. But sometimes if the story is interesting a don’t care whether its long or short as long as it eats up my curiosity and my excitement is boost.


When you don't care how long it is, it's a sign of a good story. I believe that if a reader grows bored or tired of a story 'because it's too long', the real problem isn't that it's too long, but that it isn't interesting or well-written enough - at least, not according to that reader's tastes.

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you - Ray Bradbury.

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AvrgBlkGrl
Posted: Sunday, March 2, 2014 1:22:06 PM

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I don't like them too short, specifically here. Six thousand to nine thousand words is enough. I think that is close to guidelines. Then, I think another chapter would be good. If they are too short and it a really good reading, I get a little mad when it finishes too soon or just drops off.

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paulus
Posted: Thursday, December 11, 2014 5:13:11 AM

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Long, short, chapters or not, published as a whole or in separate pieces, prose or poetry, all that is of no importance to me. If it captures me, I'll read it, if possible in one go. If , for some reason I have to stop reading, I'll remember where and will pick up from there, the next time. If I like it a lot, I'll seek out other work of the author and devour it all. I'll put them on my follow list, when I expect, or hope, that they'll publish more. In short, if I like what you write, I don't care in what form you do that, I'll read it anyway, and I'll be waiting and watching for more.

If life seems jolly rotten
there's something you've forgotten
and that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing

from Monty Python's "Life of Brian"
Ghostreader
Posted: Monday, August 3, 2015 9:32:36 PM

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paulus wrote:
Long, short, chapters or not, published as a whole or in separate pieces, prose or poetry, all that is of no importance to me. If it captures me, I'll read it, if possible in one go. If , for some reason I have to stop reading, I'll remember where and will pick up from there, the next time. If I like it a lot, I'll seek out other work of the author and devour it all. I'll put them on my follow list, when I expect, or hope, that they'll publish more. In short, if I like what you write, I don't care in what form you do that, I'll read it anyway, and I'll be waiting and watching for more.


What Mr. Paulus said hello2
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