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Do you prefer one long story, or multiple shorter chapters?

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Active Ink Slinger
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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?
Lurker
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To be all honest I usually don't have any preference towards this. Sometimes I can get into a long story depends on my mood really but most of the time I like when a story is broken up into chapters leaves me wanting more only one problem I forget to check for chapter updates a lot of times LOL. Again on the long story though if it captures me sometimes I don't even really notice the length of it.
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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.
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Quote by gypsymoth


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.
Active Ink Slinger
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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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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.

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Active Ink Slinger
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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...

Active Ink Slinger
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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.
Active Ink Slinger
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Chapters- I think I'm being converted.
Active Ink Slinger
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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
"The Devil's Conversion" from the book "Konx Om Pax" by Aliester Crowley.
Lurker
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I prefer long stories when I am reading books, but online I have a harder time staying with a longer story, unless it's broken down into chapters and I can come back to keep reading.
Active Ink Slinger
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I prefer short chapters - I can read it faster.
Active Ink Slinger
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i agree, multiple shorter chapters makes for a better read.
We don't know how much we don't know.
Lurker
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I rarely read a story if it is titled, "_______, Chapter/Part I" unless the author or the tagline interests me.

I like to read a story in it's entirety, whether it be long or short, is irrelevant to me. In my own writing ... my stories are often "linked" but I hope that each story can stand alone without the background of the previous story.

When I read a book, I am not good at reading one chapter a night. I like to devour the words/story like a wonderful meal.

Bon Appetite!
Lurker
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I would like to put up a long story but i'm afraid people will look at it and think, 'Can't be bothered.' so i generally stick to short chapters. Only problem with this is that people are often reluctant to read through previous chapters.
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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.
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I have no preference. If I like the author, subject etc... I want to read the story.
Advanced Wordsmith
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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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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.
Advanced Wordsmith
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Quote by standingbear
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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Advanced Wordsmith
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Quote by dade30
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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I like a long read, if it's interesting, and the plot and writing is good.
Active Ink Slinger
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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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Lurker
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I prefer to do my reading in one 'hit', no matter what length the story is.

As others have mentioned, serial postings do tend to see a drop-off in hits... although I noticed on one of my stories that Part 3 had more hits than Part 2! No doubt curious browsers scooting to the end to see how things panned out.

I enjoy reading (and writing) short, snappy pieces (1000 - 1500 words) if they engage my attention from the outset. I'm not usually bothered about the subject matter so much as the characterisation and plot. Good writing will always be interesting to me.
Active Ink Slinger
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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"
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Quote by paulus
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