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How Long Is Too Long Between Chapters?

red61544

I'm old! The short term memory is about shot. When one of the stories I am reading goes much longer than seven days without a new post, I find that I need to go back two or three chapters to remember what's happening in the story. After the third or fourth time doing this with a story, I just say "the hell with it" and forget about the story. Of course, with my memory growing shorter, I never remember to get back to the story once it has been completed. I know we've discussed this before, but what do you consider the ideal length of time between postings? For me, as I've said, a week or less is perfect.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Crumbly Writer

I'm not really a fair one to ask, as like others, I only post already-completed works. I typically post either once or twice a week, based purely on how soon my next book will be ready to post.

The problem is most apparent for authors who post as they write, especially once the real world intervenes, or most often, when they begin to grow bored with the story and can no longer find their muses, who are also bored with the never-ending story. Often it'll take a month or more before they can figure out how to breath a chapter's worth of new life into an exhausted story.

Just like 'writer's block', it's often a sign that you're doing something wrong with your story, rather than you 'just can't seem to write this week'.

Replies:   robberhands
boydpercy

Maybe you should bookmark the author and/or story and check back periodically to see if the story has been completed. Then you can read the story at your leisure.

Replies:   madnige
robberhands
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


I'm not really a fair one to ask, as like others, I only post already-completed works. I typically post either once or twice a week, based purely on how soon my next book will be ready to post.


For the OP's question, it doesn't matter if your story is completed or not. You post your completed story in parts, so you'd be even free to accommodate his preferences, whereas authors 'who write as they go' can only post what they have written so far.

But of course, I understand you don't want to miss an opportunity to let everyone know, the right way to write is to finish a story before you post it.

Personally, I'm as greedy and impatient as most readers. I also prefer to set my own reading schedule, so the more often parts of a story are submitted the more I like it and it's even better if the frequently posted new chapters are really long, too!

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
KinkyWinks

I have quit reading many stories because the were posted too slow.
I finish mine before I post them.

Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

But of course, I understand you don't want to miss an opportunity to let everyone know, the right way to write is to finish a story before you post it.

Not really. Like others, I appreciate the long, ongoing series. It's just that they carry their own problems. My snide comment about 'posters' block' was merely a possible explanation of a few posters' problems, but it's hardly a wholesale issue. Most manage to post on a semi-regular basis.

For Red, I suggest he does like many of us, simply don't bother reading until there are a certain number of chapters (which he's already doing), or better yet, bookmark the story so he can readily check it periodically.

oyster50

I'm probably one of the more guilty.

I have three stories active right now, I try to post to each weekly, but oft times, real life intrudes.

Add to that a bit of an uncooperative muse, and I have a problem.

I ask my readers for patience as I struggle. I want to find out what happens next as much as they do.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  red61544
Crumbly Writer

@oyster50

I have three stories active right now, I try to post to each weekly, but oft times, real life intrudes.

Add to that a bit of an uncooperative muse, and I have a problem.

I ask my readers for patience as I struggle. I want to find out what happens next as much as they do.

Despite only posting completed works, I face similar problems. While I'll frequently post twice a week, it's often months between each book (at least), so I'll typically write an introductory 'reminder' chapters and post it as a Prologue, just so readers won't have to read the entire series (though I mainly gave that up after "The Catalyst").

More often, I'll discover a plot hole mid-posting, I'll figure out how to address it weeks later, and I'll make the final changes after that, and then I've got to convince readers whether it's worth rereading the revised earlier chapters. Usually, it's easier simply tacking a new chapter at the end of the story, even though it doesn't directly address the issue until the story is, essentially, over.

Switch Blayde

@red61544

I find that I need to go back two or three chapters to remember what's happening in the story


That's why some authors start each chapter with a summary. I hate when they do that because when the story is completely posted (which is the only time I'd read it) it's annoying and amateurish.

Replies:   AmigaClone
red61544

@oyster50

I'm probably one of the more guilty.

I can put up with it for the Smart Girls. Your three stories mesh and that makes the wait seem more tolerable. When I'm reading "Tommy", I still get part of the other stories. That keeps them fresh in my mind.

AmigaClone

@Switch Blayde

That's why some authors start each chapter with a summary. I hate when they do that because when the story is completely posted


I would say that might be good while posting a story with long gaps between chapters, but if an author uses that technique once the story is complete, those summaries should be deleted.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@AmigaClone

I would say that might be good while posting a story with long gaps between chapters, but if an author uses that technique once the story is complete, those summaries should be deleted.

Just as a suggestion to authors: when posting 'summaries' in a given chapter, separate them in easily discernible manners (so readers can skip over them if they want to), but also so YOU can easily remove them when you post the NEXT chapter. That way, you won't have to worry about modifying every chapter you've ever posted all at one time.

They shouldn't be a permanent part of your story, just temporary measures to get your readers past your posting delays.

sejintenej

I love chapters being posted every week, perhaps every two weeks if that is regular.
Given the weather in Florida I am happy just to wait and hope the authors are OK and can get round to posting again sometime.

What I didn't like was the author of a frequently referred to series who took almost a year between chapters!!

As for CW - take as long as you like BETWEEN stories - I will spot when you start a new one.

Amigaclone; an idea perhaps but I sometimes reread the previous chapter before starting the new one - it helps me recall the story

madnige

@boydpercy

bookmark the author and/or story


Just what I do, with one small difference - mostly I change the bookmarks to a search as per this forum posting, so checking doesn't use a download.

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