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Long VS Short?

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Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:14 pm
freewritersavvy says...



I am new here and I see something that concerns me. I have currently been reading in the novel sections and I noticed that when some people review they mention that the written works are to long, why? To the best of my knowledge novels are supposed to be long, with long chapters. The books I write tend to very long with long chapters so it would be really nice to know if I need to take my work somewhere where people read books longer than 200 pages/words. I would think that most people would assume a novel is going to be long but perhaps that is just me...My favorite books are after all; Lord of the Rings, Eregon, Inkheart, Narnia, etc.

If I go to the novel section I want to read something more then three pages! If I want something short I will go the short story section!

From a concerned person who believes in 20 page min. chapters and 600 page novels ~FW~
http://www.isiseiyr.com
~When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world. ~ George Carver

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Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:22 pm
Kyllorac says...



You have to keep in mind that you're posting online. Screens are hard on people's eyes, and it's much more difficult to stay focused on text onscreen than on paper. Not to mention there's no handy bookmark feature if someone wants to go off and take a break mid-read to rest their eyes.

The best thing to do is to divide your chapters into parts. It will make it easier for your readers to keep their place when they take breaks, and it will also make your chapters less visually intimidating.
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Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:59 pm
Rosey Unicorn says...



You also have to remember the depths of people's reviews. If I start reading sections of the work over 3 pages long, then reviews take me 30 minutes+ (just writing time. Add in ten minutes of reading time minimum) no matter how much depth I go into.

In my experience, reviewers who say a chapter is too long aren't commenting on how long they think a novel/chapter should be; they're saying it'd be one heck of a lot easier to review if the post wasn't so long.
A writer is a world trapped in a person— Victor Hugo

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Sun Apr 24, 2011 8:05 pm
freewritersavvy says...



Screens are hard on people's eyes, and it's much more difficult to stay focused on text onscreen than on paper.

This is understandable but still, the word novel should give the reader heads up, "Hey, this could be long!"

The best thing to do is to divide your chapters into parts. It will make it easier for your readers to keep their place when they take breaks, and it will also make your chapters less visually intimidating.

I will keep this in mind. If I may ask, I noticed a couple of reviews where the writer was accused of having a 'confusing' first chapter/part, is it not a little unfair to the writer to review based on one chapter let alone part of a chapter? I mean, I understand if it is grammatically confusing to say, "I can't understand this mess!" but some of the reviewers were confused about the plot! Who would not be confused about the plot when all they have read is one or part of one chapter?
If I ask my work to be reviewed I would kind of like readers to keep in mind that it is impossible to give a complete review off of only part of a chapter! That is like reading half a sentence and then saying "That is not a complete thought." Not very fair.

You also have to remember the depths of people's reviews. If I start reading sections of the work over 3 pages long, then reviews take me 30 minutes+ (just writing time. Add in ten minutes of reading time minimum) no matter how much depth I go into.

In my experience, reviewers who say a chapter is too long aren't commenting on how long they think a novel/chapter should be; they're saying it'd be one heck of a lot easier to review if the post wasn't so long.


Alright, so I am looking more for peoples feelings on my work. I have an editor already so I do not need my spelling checked and unless the grammar is horribly off I can take care of that myself too. I will remember to put this at the top of my posted works so everyone knows. :)
http://www.isiseiyr.com
~When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world. ~ George Carver

Writing...they claim it is a dangerous occupation... 'they' have no idea!




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Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:07 am
Kyllorac says...



If I may ask, I noticed a couple of reviews where the writer was accused of having a 'confusing' first chapter/part, is it not a little unfair to the writer to review based on one chapter let alone part of a chapter? I mean, I understand if it is grammatically confusing to say, "I can't understand this mess!" but some of the reviewers were confused about the plot! Who would not be confused about the plot when all they have read is one or part of one chapter?

People will be confused. Whether or not that's a good thing or not is entirely up to how you want to present your story.

Usually, when I'm reviewing chapters in a novel, I'll ask lots of questions in my review. The thing is, I'm usually expecting these questions to be answered within the story later on. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of the "confusion" and the questions asked were in the same vein.

You also have to keep in mind the age of the reviewers. Some of them are still new to the literary world, and so may honestly be confused because the whole reviewing and reading novels thing is still new to them.

If I ask my work to be reviewed I would kind of like readers to keep in mind that it is impossible to give a complete review off of only part of a chapter! That is like reading half a sentence and then saying "That is not a complete thought." Not very fair.

If you're that concerned, we do have a forum for posting entire completed novels: Advanced Critiques. Before you post anything there, though, be sure to read the instructions and other stickied posts.
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Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:15 am
Rosey Unicorn says...



Alright, so I am looking more for peoples feelings on my work. I have an editor already so I do not need my spelling checked and unless the grammar is horribly off I can take care of that myself too. I will remember to put this at the top of my posted works so everyone knows.


This actually isn't what I meant when I said "depth of reviews." My reviews, and the reviews encouraged on YWS, focus on the person's thoughts/feelings about a work, and the reason they have those thoughts and feelings. Quite a few reviewers do into analysis (as best they can) on plot, setting, characters, and other elements of fiction. While it is impossible to give a complete picture on smaller chunks of a work (as Kyll suggested, going to Advanced Critiques is good if you want full feedback) it is certainly much more manageable.

Also, feedback on just a certain chunk can be invaluable as well. They can point out logic errors, plot anomalies, and out-of-character moments even in a short span. At the very least, they can make the author question their writing. If the questions become answered, then the story truly is sound. If they questions are not answered (ie- why does character X behave this way?) then there is a problem.
A writer is a world trapped in a person— Victor Hugo

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Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:52 am
freewritersavvy says...



Right, thanks. I will look at the advanced section. I like feed back on small portions. I just feel like it is silly to claim the, 'I am lost card' in chapter one or part one. In a good story the reader should be lost in chapter one! Just my opinion.
Thank you again!

~FW~
http://www.isiseiyr.com
~When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world. ~ George Carver

Writing...they claim it is a dangerous occupation... 'they' have no idea!




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Sun May 08, 2011 3:52 pm
WritersUnleashed says...



That usually happens in advanced critique(long chapters). But if you want ti make chapter by chapter posts, split the chapter into two, three, or even four parts.




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Sat May 21, 2011 6:51 pm
GagaforEverything says...



Your work is great
But if you want to write a real novel
try pencil and paper
its more satifying
it strains people eyes when they have to read something
more than 3 paragraphs
no offence
you dont have to listen to me
but its the thought that counts man
-CrAzY!




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Sat May 21, 2011 8:21 pm
freewritersavvy says...



Um... that is funny! Have you tried writing whole sentences?
http://www.isiseiyr.com
~When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world. ~ George Carver

Writing...they claim it is a dangerous occupation... 'they' have no idea!




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Thu May 26, 2011 5:14 pm
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Mongererofspoons says...



I am just like you I guess, whenever I try to put my ideas on paper I just keep expanding on them until they are pretty big. I had to make a whole chapter for the prologue for this very reason though I prefer longer books, as they give the characters a better feel and enables them to develop more. Not that I don't like reading short stories, as I can just read one before I go to school for example, but nevertheless I am still sticking to longer stories and chapters for my "vote".




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Thu May 26, 2011 5:49 pm
freewritersavvy says...



I have seen people say that the short stories are too short and that the novels are to long....what's up with that? I guess I just find it confusing.

Personally I like both short stories and novels. I just think a short story should be short and a novel should be long. Perhaps I am weird? Hmm....

Oh and another thing I do not quite get, why do people complain about reading long posts on the internet? No one is forcing you folks to read a certain story or post. If you don't like the length don't read it, simple and easy.

~FW~
http://www.isiseiyr.com
~When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world. ~ George Carver

Writing...they claim it is a dangerous occupation... 'they' have no idea!




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Thu May 26, 2011 6:20 pm
kjr5horses says...



Lol Free you are hilarious!

I would have to agree with you and Mong. I like short stories they are quick and easy to read before school or before bed. But I would rather read a nice 400+ page novel.They allow you to get to know the characters better and allow you to watch them develop, grow, and change. A nice 15+ page chapter is fine with me and is much better than a 3-5 page chapter...if you can call it that, 3-5 pages to me is a short story NOT a chapter.

When I find myself reviewing a chapter of a novel on this site and everyone complains about it being too long and how they don't have time to read it or can't save their spot...Why don't they just open a new tab? That way their spot is saved and they can continue to surf the web and come back to the chapter later!

I am sorry but if you are going to read something that is part of a novel that should be your first sign that it is going to be LONG! If you want to review something short then go to the short story section!

And to answer your question Free, I have no idea, it boggles my mind! If you think its too long then don't review it and complain for the first half of the review! If they are going to complain then maybe just maybe they just like to complain and be miserable? Maybe they are dieing for attention? Or maybe they want to sound superior and sound like they they have a higher intellectual grasp on the subject? I don't know :/ But it is not only a waste of their time, but a waste of the writers time as they can learn nothing from the review.

*sigh* Okay....sorry for going on about that. Yes, I am in a mood. I just watched Season 3 Episode 23 of LOST and Charlie...well died and its just upsetting.

Anyways! Overall I like my short stories short and my novels long

~KJR~
"Me I'm dishonest but a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly its the honest ones you have to watch out for because you can never tell when they are going to do something incredibly...stupid." ~Capt. Jack Sparrow




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Thu May 26, 2011 7:52 pm
Formslipper says...



The only problem I would ever have with long chapters is if they impose too much information on the reader. I like starting simple, then working up to greater complexity, rather than starting in a complex plethora of characters and being expected to stomach all of it from the start.

I think it was E.B. White who said something like, "Since writing is a form of communication, then clarity can only be a virtue." I would say that simplicity and clarity are nearly synonymous; don't give me any definitions.




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Thu May 26, 2011 8:15 pm
Mongererofspoons says...



freewritersavvy wrote:
Oh and another thing I do not quite get, why do people complain about reading long posts on the internet? No one is forcing you folks to read a certain story or post. If you don't like the length don't read it, simple and easy.

~FW~

I believe that is just something to complain about, some people just want to find anything wrong with a post in order to criticise it, it is the same with spelling where you get those who just do that to provoke an argument.
Because of both of these, the terms "TL;DR" and "grammer nazi" are used frequently on the internet.