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Finished story

StaticBat83
Updated:

Wow I just finished my longest story yet. I had originally intended it to end around Chapter 10 or 12. But it never felt like the right time to finish. I would go into a few chapters thinking okay this is going to be the final chapter. But then when the chapter was complete I knew it had to go on. But chapter 25 near the end as I was writing I felt that now was the time. I may go through it and make some changes so things don't seem so disconnected or scattered and hard to follow at times. I'm even thinking of going over it and making an alternate version. Possibly shorter tough. With some things going in slightly different directions and others going in totally different directions and some possibly not happening at all. I hope people like the version I already posted. The story is titled Elena.

https://storiesonline.net/s/18323/elena

Replies:   Reluctant_Sir
Reluctant_Sir

@StaticBat83

A couple of things... I went looking and couldn't find an author with StaticBat, but did find an story called Elena.

You should insert a link in your post since you don't post under your author handle.

Anyway, my question was about paragraph length. I noticed that yours are pretty short. Not sure I get the appeal of 25 chapters averaging about 2K words per chapter. When I read you had 25, I was expecting something longer!

You are not alone in that. Several other authors do the same thing. Number 7 with his never-ending do-over turned into "Quantum Leap". He does about 2K chapters too and has put out a whopping 533 short chapters into his book!!

How did you decide what was a 'proper' chapter length for your story? Enquiring minds want to know :)

Keet

@Reluctant_Sir

You are not alone in that. Several other authors do the same thing. Number 7 with his never-ending do-over turned into "Quantum Leap". He does about 2K chapters too and has put out a whopping 533 short chapters into his book!!

I download and reformat stories for my own digital library. For Number7's story Second Chance I combine around 4-5 chapters into a single chapter because they are so short.

Replies:   Reluctant_Sir
Reluctant_Sir

@Keet

If I download the story, I really don't care much what length the chapters are.

It is only reading online and, especially, when the story is serialized like Second Chance, that they seem... excessively short. You barely start reading his new chapter and BAM! It's done!

For stories like that, I find myself only checking back every once in a while to see if enough chapters have been published to take the time.

On the other hand, I have been told I have excessively long chapters, though I didn't think that was even possible. My average chapter is 10K, though they tend to vary from the shortest in my new story, 8.8K to the longest, 14.9K.

I can't help it, I post what I like to read, you know?

Sir Read-A-Lot said it best:

I like big chapters and I cannot lie,
You other writers can't deny,
That when a writer posts up
with a really good pace
And a big word count in your face,
You get caught up,
Want to read all night,
'Cause you notice that chapter was tight
Deep, with the tale he's weaving,
You're hooked and you can't stop Reading.

Heh.

Replies:   sunkuwan  Keet
sunkuwan

@Reluctant_Sir

The longest chapters I ever saw here, was GWresearch's stuff.

Like 600k words in 12 chapters or something.

Replies:   AmigaClone
AmigaClone

@sunkuwan

I have seen a story "Sam in the Mountains" by Samantha K. has over 100k words and is not divided into chapters.

Only about 2.5% (1 in 40) of the stories on SOL are longer than this one so this chapter might be the longest one here.

Personally I think the ideal chapter length is between 7-15k words.

Replies:   Vlad_Inhaler
Uther_Pendragon

@Reluctant_Sir

Anyway, my question was about paragraph length. I noticed that yours are pretty short. Not sure I get the appeal of 25 chapters averaging about 2K words per chapter. When I read you had 25, I was expecting something longer!


If you want really short chapters and have premiere rights, you should check out my "Karen." The 3rd chapter will go up Monday. I had a series of all-dialogue flash stories in which the story arc mostly occurred between stories.

SOL readers downrate flash. So, I said: "Why post 14 stories to be panned when I can post them all as one story to be panned?"

Keet

@Reluctant_Sir

For stories like that, I find myself only checking back every once in a while to see if enough chapters have been published to take the time.

That's one of the reasons I download. Collect some to read when I like.

On the other hand, I have been told I have excessively long chapters, though I didn't think that was even possible. My average chapter is 10K, though they tend to vary from the shortest in my new story, 8.8K to the longest, 14.9K.

Now the medium/long ones I read directly. I still download them just to keep to save.
Have you seen the size of the chapter from Tefler/Three Square Meals? Or Kid Wigger/Flight of the Code Monkey? Some might think they excessively long. For me? Sir Read-A-Lot said it best!

REP
Updated:

Before you discuss ideal chapter length, it might be a good idea to define why a book or story is divided into chapters.

I can't see any reason for it other than being a major break between scenes. It also makes it easier for a reader to locate where they left off reading, and a book mark would be more effective for that.

ETA: Here at SOL, long stories exceeding Lazeez's upload size are broken into chapters.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@REP

I can't see any reason for it other than being a major break between scenes. It also makes it easier for a reader to locate where they left off reading, and a book mark would be more effective for that.

If you're writing simple 'a day in the life' stories (as many new authors do here on SOL), then you typically make each day a separate chapter and end up with exceeding long chapters which meander all over the place.

If you instead write 'episodic' chapters, where the chapters focuses on a specific episode in the story, which can span a single afternoon, many days or even many weeks, you tend to write shorter chapters, since anything not related to the specific episodes tends to get pruned.

Thus if the chapter is about encountering a new character, you don't recount how the MC was meandering through the city, shopping, eating lunch or preparing to go out. Instead, you jump right to when they meet, set up the scene, and get right into the action, and then END the chapter once each character says what they need to say.

It's much easier to stay focused with episodic chapters.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Crumbly Writer

I agree that is what authors on SOL do. But not all stories are 'a day in the life' or 'episodic'.

Knowing why a story is broken into chapters tells you when to end a chapter and start a new one. What are the guideline for chapter breaks? After all, the story could be told without chapter breaks.

The guidelines for chapter breaks define the chapter word count for that author and story. The count can be significantly higher or lower for different authors and stories.

Replies:   Keet  Crumbly Writer
Keet

@REP

Knowing why a story is broken into chapters tells you when to end a chapter and start a new one. What are the guideline for chapter breaks? After all, the story could be told without chapter breaks.

This may sound strange but a chapter for me is just a reference point to pick up a story where I left it if I didn't leave the story page open for continued reading. A simple hr line between scenes or days is perfect to indicate a break or change of scene. Such a break-line can even be a sub-title to indicate the contents without being a separate chapter. I like the way Ernest structures his stories with these type of sub-titles inside a chapter to indicate a change of scene/subject/day. No need for splitting up in many small chapters.

Ross at Play

@Keet

No need for splitting up in many small chapters.

It's a mystery to me why any author would ever consider the length of their chapters!

I think authors should write the best story possible and then place chapter breaks where one coherent phase of the story ends and another is about to begin.

I think any goal of producing chapters within some range will result in the author making choices which either skim over important sections of the story or pad out sections with unimportant details. The tail is then wagging the dog!

I would concede there would be times when short chapters can reasonably be combined into one coherent phase of the story, but short chapters is better than arbitrarily forcing story elements that do not belong together into a single chapter - just to get the length right!? Likewise, if a chapter is very long it would usually be possible to find place(s) where the story allows a division into separate chapters. I do not think either of those should be considered until after the story has been written.

My impression is that authors feel compelled to satisfy demands from readers on this site for a relatively stable schedule of when chapters are posted and approximate lengths. I think any effort to comply with that will inevitably result in them making compromises in the way they tell their story. I can see why an author might post two short chapters at once to achieve a minimum length they post at one time, but I wouldn't do anything else on account how long chapters turned out when attempting to write the best story possible.

Replies:   Keet  Reluctant_Sir
Keet
Updated:

@Ross at Play

I think any goal of producing chapters within some range will result in the author making choices which either skim over important sections of the story or pad out sections with unimportant details.

After reading a lot of stories here on SOL you would be surprised of the number of authors who do exactly that. You would think it's almost impossible to create chapter after chapter that are almost all of the same length and still some of the current serials manage to be that way with every update.

Now a posting schedule might have something to do with that but I'm afraid that's not making the story better: "Done with my number of words for this week, lets finish up", "The muse is going real well this week but I reached my x number of words so I'm done", "sh*t, I still have to reach my x number of words, better think of something fast".

I bet this happens with some authors who write-post every chapter as it goes. It depends on how good the author is in maintaining this schedule for the story to come out good or just ok. Maybe I see it all wrong but sometimes that is the feeling I get with some serials or some period of time during a serial.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Vlad_Inhaler

@AmigaClone

https://storiesonline.net/s/11279/the-flats is bad enough at 435 KB, but that Sam in the Mountains at 616 KB? Ridiculous.
My personal preference is 30-60 KB. I "have a life" outside SoL and rarely have time to read a longer story in one sitting, this makes a single-chapter story of that length extremely difficult to read.

Ross at Play

@Keet

you would be surprised of the number of authors who do exactly that.

Apart from not being surprised by the number, I agree with your comments.

On the other hand, I could say authors are entitled to do what pleases them. The thought of compromising on story quality horrifies me, but then, self-imposed word targets may be what some authors need to motivate themselves, and I cannot see the harm in authors doing what satisfies both them and their audience.

My comments may only be relevant for authors with high ambitions, or other obsessive loonie tunes like me. But still, I think ignoring chapter lengths is pretty much essential if authors are to produce the highest quality stories they can manage.

Replies:   Keet
Keet
Updated:

@Ross at Play

On the other hand, I could say authors are entitled to do what pleases them.

Of course they are. I wasn't complaining, just listing some things I noticed. To confirm my suspicions I checked Roustwriters Arlene and Jeff but it seems Roustwriter does it differently. All updates are approximately the same length but it is not that he stops when that length is reached for that week.
When the "chapter" is longer he continues in next weeks update. Nothing wrong with that but the result is that there are chapters following each other that normally would have been a single chapter. The result is just "typical serial chapters" but it doesn't compromise the story quality.

Reluctant_Sir

@Ross at Play

It's a mystery to me why any author would ever consider the length of their chapters!


I don't assume any writer here has any concern about chapters ahead of time. I have never heard one say that they do and I know I don't write in chapters.

I write and then go back and pick a logical spot to end one chapter and start the next chapter with an eye towards giving the readers here a manageable chunk of text.

My personal preference is somewhere around 10K words, so that is what I shoot for when I post my own stories. Some may be longer, some shorter, but there you go, that's life.

I was simply asking why the OP liked his chapters shorter. Who knows? Maybe they know something I don't.

Ross at Play

@Reluctant_Sir

I don't assume any writer here has any concern about chapters ahead of time. I have never heard one say that they do

I assume those writers who make detailed plans for their stories divide those plans into chapters before they even start writing the first draft.

Replies:   Reluctant_Sir
Reluctant_Sir

@Ross at Play

I assume those writers who make detailed plans for their stories divide those plans into chapters before they even start writing the first draft.


I have heard of that, much like I have heard of big foot, but have never met a writer who actually does it so I consider it a folk tale. I guess there have to be writers that anal, most myths have some basis in reality, but I am not that organized! :-)

Replies:   Ross at Play  REP
Ross at Play

@Reluctant_Sir

I have heard of that, much like I have heard of big foot

Fair enough. :-)

I suspect the "detailed plans" of many start out pretty hazy, not much more than a some key points along the way, and only become settled a few chapters in advance. I'd still say that was an author thinking of chapters as the basic units of a story and scenes as the next level down.

REP

@Keet

I agree. Although I see little difference between a horizontal rule, sub-title, and chapter break other than the degree of interruption in the reader's focus - a break is a break.

I use horizontal rule between scenes and chapter breaks to divide content into manageable sizes that can be easily posted.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
REP

@Reluctant_Sir

have never met a writer who actually does it


Many authors outline their stories ahead of time. Ernest and Crumbly are two such authors from what I recall. I don't know if they assign portions of their outlines to chapters, but I wouldn't be surprised if they did.

Episodic stories lend themselves to putting an episode in a single chapter, or split between chapters if it is very long. If you are outlining your story, an episode per chapter creates a logical breakpoint.

Michael Loucks

@Reluctant_Sir

I don't assume any writer here has any concern about chapters ahead of time. I have never heard one say that they do and I know I don't write in chapters.


I write in chapters, and the length is pretty standard 5800 to 6200 words. Some go longer, rarely do they go shorter. And I'm never quite sure where the chapter is going to break when I start writing. I do know when I find that spot because I start a new chapter. :-)

Replies:   REP  Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

@REP

Ernest and Crumbly are two such authors from what I recall. I don't know if they assign portions of their outlines to chapters,


Ye spoke of the devil, so ...

OK, there's story planning and there's story planning. There are many ways to plan stories. I've seen authors who lay out a story plan much the way a movie director does a story board. However, I use a different method.

Many of my stories start with a single scene or concept which I make a note of then let my creative mind work with it to see what it can come up with. By the time I get around to actually writing the story I have the basic points laid out in my mind (along with the basics of the characters), but I don't always have every step set out yet. Think of it like driving from New York to Los Angeles, you have a start, you have an ending, and have decided you want to stop at Columbus, St Louis, Kansas City, and Denver to see people along the way. However, you haven't yet decided on every road or over night stop, and are also thinking about a few detours to Pittsburgh, Des Moines, and Salt Lake but not yet sure if you will go to any of them or all of them or what. In many areas there are multiple ways you can go, in others there's not much choice. Then, you may also decide to end up at San Diego instead of Los Angeles or after Los Angeles. The final route of the journey is often decided while in transit. Once I decide on all the important stops I start writing and will make the equivalent of stops for fuel and meals and rest as I go. Part of the minor parts of the story development comes from how I round out and finalize the characters I'm creating, and then I let them act within their own behaviour patterns.

Then some things change the story while it's being written due to the research to make sure I don't make mistakes like having a 1867 invention used in 1863 etc. In Stand in Time I mention using a mirror like item to see what cards are dealt while playing poker. I know about this as many such cheats use highly polished cigarette lighters to do this, but the story is set before cigarette lighters are invented, so it becomes a shiny metal match holder which were common at that time. Many of the scenes in Play Ball were amended on the advice of an editor who umpires baseball. The final scene still had the dramatic effects I was going for, but they were more realistic within the rules and the play of the game than what I'd originally thought of doing.

In short, I plan a story like a large military campaign in I establish the units (characters), key targets (story and plot points), then start in writing the story but responding to changes as required after the plan gets under way. A major example of this is a couple of stories where I was working with others but they stopped being involved before the story was finished, so I've worked to finish the first half of the story as an appropriate stop point and I'll go back to complete the rest at a later date as the link scenes between the starts and some of the end points haven't yet been done.

...................

The other things to keep in mind is the construction of a story. The key components are the dialogue and actions that go into making scenes to create and move the story line and plot along. These have to be mixed in a suitable manner for the construction of each scene, and each set of scenes creates a story section. Then the scenes and sections go together to make chapters and / or sub-chapters which then go together to make the story. In every case each one has to be as long as it needs to be to deliver what it is you want to deliver. Then you need to break the story components up in a way that makes sense while still transitioning from one to the next without losing the reader.

With transitioning I also like to make it easy for the reader to note where they are within the story in case they have to put the story down. I always envision the reader as reading the story in one go, but being interrupted by real life events, so I want them to be able to quickly return to where they were when the interruption arrived. Thus I use a variety of things to indicate scene breaks - horizontal rules, section headings, sub-chapter breaks and headings, chapter breaks and headings, and in some cases I split the story up into story books within the one story - Flames of Life is such an example. Which I use at any point depends on the context at that point. One thing to keep in mind is sub-chapters and chapters should have a common thread through all that is within them, what that thread is will depend on the story and the context. Such breaks are to minimise reader confusion as to what is happening. I recently read a story where one scene went straight into another scene without any rbeak, but it took four paragraphs into the second scene for it to be clear the new scene is 2 months after the previous scene - that should have been made clear at the start of the scene or with a scene break of some sort, because the way it read was if they were all part of the same scene.

As an example, an episodal style story such as Debt Collection has each day as a chapter with sub-chapters for each session and and another sub-chapter for events between days with section headings for significant breaks.

...............

I hope this helps you all out. I can tell, from experience, having even a basic plan helps to keep the story focused and moving along, and not posting until the story is finished helps to ensure you have everything properly related to each other. Sometimes you'll find scene 1,089 would work better if you had a small difference in scene 53, so not yet being published allows you to go back and make that change.

REP

@Michael Loucks

I write in much the same way. I write until it seems like I've hit a good break point with my average chapter length around 18K words.

A while back, I had a posting problem that resulted in a large segment of text missing from the chapter. I fixed the chapter and the next chapter was rather short. Several of my readers asked if something might be missing since the chapter was so short. Since then, I write the chapter and then balance out the lengths by shifting scenes if I have a very short chapter followed by a very long chapter, and vice a versa.

Vlad_Inhaler

Wes Boyd used to post three chapters a week. The number of chapters in most of his stories was divisible by three - he'd start a new story on a Monday and finish it on a Friday.
When he changed to two chapters a week the number of chapters was divisible by two.

Keet

I think one of the problems authors encounter when posting on SOL is that each update/post must be a chapter (correct me if I'm wrong). So that leaves authors with two possible "types" of chapters to create, depending on the way they write or like working.
"Type 1" the "one-week-one chapter-as-is-goes" chapters like a lot of ongoing serials.
The second type I feel is the type that is determined during or after writing most or all of the story. So the story contents determines what fits into a certain chapter or where a new chapter starts. And there arises the SOL update problem where an author has to decide to post the logical chapters or split into "SOL chapters" for weekly updates.

I don't know if it is possible for authors to post "Chapter 10" and next week "Chapter 10 - continued". (If I'm not mistaking that would become chapter 11.) That would make it possible to post about the same amount of words each week and still keep chapters in their logical format. By the way, splitting a chapter in a,b,c,... etc is plain ugly and luckily I don't see that here.

The excellent planning work Ernest described should make it easier to also setup a posting schedule. I sure hope you authors have a lot fun writing because when I read the effort put in planning and writing like Ernest described it almost sounds like work to me ;)

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Crumbly Writer

@REP

I agree that is what authors on SOL do. But not all stories are 'a day in the life' or 'episodic'.

Knowing why a story is broken into chapters tells you when to end a chapter and start a new one. What are the guideline for chapter breaks? After all, the story could be told without chapter breaks.

It's not so much SOL authors as newbie authors across the board (i.e. those without much rigorous training). It's a natural way to tell a story if you don't think it terms of 'episodes'.

So maybe we should discuss how we all choose where to divide chapters?

Replies:   REP
Crumbly Writer

@Keet

I like the way Ernest structures his stories with these type of sub-titles inside a chapter to indicate a change of scene/subject/day. No need for splitting up in many small chapters.

As REP indicated, you don't define chapters by word count of section breaks. Hopefully, you've got a better guideline that merely 'so many lines before I start a new one'.

Theoretically, each chapter should focus on a different element, a different challenge or a different stage of the story, and just like the story at large, each should have it's own conflict, which expands and gets resolved, before moving onto the next conflict while dealing with the larger story conflict.

Thus a story about winning the girl of your dreams might have a chapter about gossiping with her girlfriend, facing the current boy friend, or eventually, meeting her parents. Each is a distinct episode that features it's own challenges, and which is separate and distinct in the challenges faced than the rest of the story.

Again, simply cutting the chapter off after reaching 10,000 words, you might as well have no chapters whatsoever, for all the good it does the story.

Crumbly Writer

@Keet

I like the way Ernest structures his stories with these type of sub-titles inside a chapter to indicate a change of scene/subject/day. No need for splitting up in many small chapters.

Don't forget, that's not how Ernest writes his stories, only the way he formats them for SOL (where readers prefer longer, individual chapters without the need for pee breaks).

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  Keet
Ernest Bywater

@Keet

The excellent planning work Ernest described should make it easier to also setup a posting schedule.


My posting schedule is extremely easy - a new post unit every other day. The thing to keep in mind is for me a posting unit is not a chapter, per se. Once the story is finished I aim to break it up into units of between 4,000 words to 10,000 words with a break point at the end of a chapter or sub-chapter. I then create the files for SoL as such posting units and post one every other day until all posted.

Replies:   Keet
Crumbly Writer

@Reluctant_Sir

I don't assume any writer here has any concern about chapters ahead of time. I have never heard one say that they do and I know I don't write in chapters.

I absolutely do. Rather than writing and then choosing where to insert random chapter breaks, I pick an event, figure where the character is going and then write about that event. Thus, I'll often have the name of the chapter before I start writing it, just like I'll have story named before I ever start writing it. It's called "planning". If you're just writing to see where the story goes, no wonder we get so many meandering stories where each chapter seems to be just more of the same.

Not only that, but I often have each individual book in a series picked out and know basically what's going to be in each one, and how one book varies from the others, before I ever start writing an entire series. As I've noted before, I write towards a specific ending, rather than just writing until I'm sick of a story and either abandon the story or have the character marry his latest conquest.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Don't forget, that's not how Ernest writes his stories, only the way he formats them for SOL (where readers prefer longer, individual chapters without the need for pee breaks).


Sorry, CW, what I described before is exactly how I write my stories, I then break then split the finished story file up for posting to SoL as per the method I mentioned just before responding to this.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@REP

I agree. Although I see little difference between a horizontal rule, sub-title, and chapter break other than the degree of interruption in the reader's focus - a break is a break.

I use horizontal rule between scenes and chapter breaks to divide content into manageable sizes that can be easily posted.

Even there, there are specific reference points. If each chapter is a specific episode, often dealing with a single subconflict within the larger story conflict, then each section (between the section breaks) is the break between each segment, often designated by a change in location, time or participants. That should be an easy-enough break down for most people to grasp.

Crumbly Writer

@REP

Many authors outline their stories ahead of time. Ernest and Crumbly are two such authors from what I recall. I don't know if they assign portions of their outlines to chapters, but I wouldn't be surprised if they did.

I don't assign specific chapters to my outlines, just as I don't write formal outlines, but I have the books already broken into sections (groups of similar chapters) and I typically know what each chapter will involve, even when I don't know the chapters following it.

It's more of a organizing principal than a strict requirement (gotta write 10,000 chapters before I stop!). You pick the events that make up a chapter, rather than just writing until you're tired or bored and moving on.

Crumbly Writer

@Michael Loucks

I write in chapters, and the length is pretty standard 5800 to 6200 words. Some go longer, rarely do they go shorter. And I'm never quite sure where the chapter is going to break when I start writing. I do know when I find that spot because I start a new chapter. :-)

My chapters are generally pretty similar in size, though they vary anywhere from 2,000 to 8,000 words. When I first started, my chapters sizes ranged from 4,000 to 14,000, but I quickly scaled them back (The Cuckoo's Progeny was my shortest, which the chapters ranging from 1,000 to 5,000 words).

I'm guessing that, like me, to pick a particular topic and write about that, and when you've dealt with it all, you call it a chapter and move one. That's similar to my approach, but I'll usually define the contents of the chapter ahead of time, so I'll know where the chapter is going before I start (it helps keep the chapter focused on the objective).

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Sorry, CW, what I described before is exactly how I write my stories, I then break then split the finished story file up for posting to SoL as per the method I mentioned just before responding to this.

The post I was responding to was from before that particular post, where someone posted that you simply break with a title before continuing on. I was merely stating that those breaks are added expressly for your posting to SOL, and that many of your books don't have the same chapter breaks as your SOL stories do.

As for your chapter planning, we following almost identical paths (the picking of a starting point, destination and stopping points along the way, while the rest is in flux until you finally began expanding each chapter).

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Keet

@Ernest Bywater

My posting schedule is extremely easy - a new post unit every other day. The thing to keep in mind is for me a posting unit is not a chapter, per se. Once the story is finished I aim to break it up into units of between 4,000 words to 10,000 words with a break point at the end of a chapter or sub-chapter. I then create the files for SoL as such posting units and post one every other day until all posted.

So I guessed right. (post unit is what I called a "SOL chapter"). But that means that what your story originally had as chapters is broken up into another set of post unit chapters. I get that because your use of subtitles etc. clearly shows that the original format was different. It's too bad the original chapters can't be preserved while still posting post units every other day.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Keet

@Crumbly Writer

Don't forget, that's not how Ernest writes his stories, only the way he formats them for SOL (where readers prefer longer, individual chapters without the need for pee breaks).

I understand that, see my response to Ernest.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

The post I was responding to was from before that particular post, where someone posted that you simply break with a title before continuing on. I was merely stating that those breaks are added expressly for your posting to SOL, and that many of your books don't have the same chapter breaks as your SOL stories do.


CW, I read the post you just referred to has referencing the Section headers I use in the story. The story I make available as an e-pub has exactly the same titles and headings as the story on SoL with the exception of the SoL added 'Chapter xx' at the head of each posting unit.

Ernest Bywater

@Keet

So I guessed right. (post unit is what I called a "SOL chapter").


I suspect we may all understand what I'm doing, but may not be saying it clearly enough. Take my story Boone with the Table of Contents (ToC) at:

https://storiesonline.net/s/16691:192582/toc-boone-the-early-years

it has a list of titles in Green, Red, and Blue (copied below without the colours). Green is the SoL chapter number or posting unit, while the Red is the Chapter Title and the Blue is the sub-chapter title. The only difference between that ToC and the one in my personal html copy is the insertion of the Green with the SoL Chapter numbers to match the posting cycle at SoL.

Chapter 01
Disaster
More Trouble
Passing Time
Other Work
Politics!

Chapter 02
Time and Tide
Wait for No Man
On the Road to Harrisburg
Interesting Information

Chapter 03
Harrisburg
More Family
The Wagons

Chapter 04
The Road to Columbus
Columbus
Moving Right Along
West Point
The Trip to Town
Council Bluffs

Chapter 05
Christmas and the New Year
The Trip to Fort Laramie
Meeting the Locals
On the Trail Again
Fort Laramie

Chapter 06
On the Trail to California
San Bernadino
Bank Robbers
More Robbers
Traders

Chapter 07
San Francisco
Arizona Bound
Fort Yuma, California
Black Horse's Village
Checking the Area

Chapter 08
Santa Fe Trip
Camp Activities
A New Home

Replies:   Keet
Keet

@Ernest Bywater

it has a list of titles in Green, Red, and Blue (copied below without the colours)

It took me a while to understand that. Not because it's not clear but because I download and reformat stories for local storage. I have almost all of your stories and while doing file-read/reformat/file-write with the first ones I killed some of the colors you used. Now I still have a job recreating your stories into your original chapters, not the SOL chapters. But... your stories are the only ones I can do that with because of your consistent marking and formatting.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Keet

Keet, can you send me an email at ernest.bywater@gmail.com with a list of the stories you have.

Replies:   Keet
Keet

@Ernest Bywater

Keet, can you send me an email at ernest.bywater@gmail.com with a list of the stories you have.

I checked but I don't have "almost all", I never got into the Clan Amir stories (yet). You've got mail.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Keet


You've got mail.


Hopefully I've not overloaded you with 8.5 mb of files to show you how they compare.

Ernest

edit to add: got to split it into two and resend.

Replies:   Keet
Keet

@Ernest Bywater

Hopefully I've not overloaded you with 8.5 mb of files to show you how they compare.

Thank you, got them. 8.5MB is no problem for any of my mailboxes.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Keet

Thank you, got them. 8.5MB is no problem for any of my mailboxes.


The initial email was 8.5 mb and your ISP bounced it saying they had a 5 mb limit, so I split it into two messages and resent it all.

Replies:   Keet
Keet

@Ernest Bywater

The initial email was 8.5 mb and your ISP bounced it saying they had a 5 mb limit, so I split it into two messages and resent it all.

Ah I forgot, that's the mailbox from the email address I use here on SOL, very very old. I just see what arrives in Thunderbird from all email accounts.

REP

@Crumbly Writer

So maybe we should discuss how we all choose where to divide chapters?


That would be a good topic to discuss.

Keet's posts make it apparent that some people view chapters in different ways. If I understand him, he looks at chapters as posting units. Others look at them as content units.

Lazeez's rules for content size to be uploaded as a single post would easily allow 3+ of the average chapter lengths to be uploaded as a single 'chapter' post. That is readily evident if you look at the pagination of some uploaded chapters. I forget the highest pagination I've seen, but I do recall chapters have more than 8 pages in a single chapter.

Replies:   Centaur  Ernest Bywater
Centaur

@REP

Three Square Meals by Tefler Chapter 100 In War, There Are No Winners, Only Survivors (Page 11)

Replies:   REP
REP
Updated:

@Centaur

Yes TSM has long chapters, but Tefler is not the only author who writes chapters that long. I got so sick of reading about reforming the (I forgot the word) and the sex scenes that I bailed at around Chapter 75.

ETA: reshaping of Crystal Assylium (I may have misspelled that)

Replies:   Centaur  Centaur
Centaur

@REP

I was just throwing that out there to your statement

I forget the highest pagination I've seen, but I do recall chapters have more than 8 pages in a single chapter.


that is the highest i've seen (in the more years then i can count) since i've been reading here

Centaur

@REP

I was just throwing that out there to your statement

I forget the highest pagination I've seen, but I do recall chapters have more than 8 pages in a single chapter.


that is the highest i've seen (in the more years then i can count) since i've been reading here

Replies:   REP
REP

@Centaur

Damn echos! :)

Ernest Bywater

@REP

I forget the highest pagination I've seen, but I do recall chapters have more than 8 pages in a single chapter.


When Debt Collection of 275 kb was posted it was posted as the full story at once; over 55,000 words in 6 chapters with 17 sub-chapters in the story but it's on SoL as a single post of 6 pages.

Power Tool of 1,418 kb was posted as 5 SoL posts and is 268,000 words with a single page Prelude then Week 1 of 7 chapters and 18 subchapter over 8 pages, Week 2 of 7 chapters and 16 sub-chapter over 9 pages, Week 3 of 7 chapters and 11 sub-chapter over 5 pages, and Week 4 of 10 chapters and 22 sub-chapter over 7 pages.

Make of those stats what you want.

Replies:   AmigaClone
AmigaClone

@Ernest Bywater

Sam of the Mountains is 12 pages - no subdivisions that I remember.

StaticBat83

@Reluctant_Sir

Many different things have contributed to the length of the chapters. One is time. Another is I end the chapter when it feels right to do so. I suppose I could combine some of the chapters together. I'm still trying to develop my story telling and hopefully I'll get to the point where my chapters are longer. That and when I go with one chapter for too long my mind wants to lose interest in the chapter and the story. Ending the chapter when I do keeps things fresh in my mind. There are other reasons too.

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