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About Short Chapters

August 2, 2016
Posted at 1:47 pm

After chapter 6 of Not This Time posted, I got a few emails mentioning that this chapter seemed short. It was. It was ~1700 words. In writing this chapter, I felt I covered everything relevant to a very touchy and focused issue, both for the protagonist and for a good portion of humanity. I could have continued and talked about what she had to eat for dinner that night or how she listed another home for sale or debating over whether to contact her parents.

All of those seemed to me to diffuse the impact of the chapter, so I decided to make it the length that it needed, and not worry about whether it met a particular word count. One other chapter was similarly short--chapter two--for the same reason. However, since I posted chapters 1-3 at the same time, no one noticed that chapter two was particularly short.

What's in the future? The average chapter length of 33 chapters in Not This Time is 2500 words. The average length of the first six chapters is 2200 words, so you can see they will be a little longer, most being between 2500 and 3000 words. This is why I'm posting every other day instead of every three days for this story. You don't have to wait long for the next chapter.

Does this imply anything regarding my future writing? No. In fact, I expect my next story to post only once a week with chapters ranging from 10,000 to 12,000 words each. The chapters in its sequel are even longer. It's taking each of my editors a week or two to review each chapter, so I'm not exactly certain when Seven Wonders of the World will begin posting. I believe early or middle September. We'll see. If it has cleared editorial review, Seven More Wonders will begin as soon as the first has ended. Writing is almost finished. I have another normal novel-length piece lined up for after that, but it's not written yet, so I'm not sure about the length of chapters.

I am very conscious of chapter length under normal circumstances. I understand that if you only get a chapter once every other day, every three days, every week, or *gasp* once a month, you'd like to have it be worth the wait. I'll continue to monitor this and try to adjust posting schedules so that there is enough in each chapter to hold you until the next posting.

Thanks for all your comments and encouragement!