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What chapter length do you find easiest to read on SDL?
Less than 800 words 17%  17%  [ 3 ]
800 to 1500 words 33%  33%  [ 6 ]
1500 to 3000 words 28%  28%  [ 5 ]
3000 to 4000 words 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
4000 to 6000 words 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Over 6000 words 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Doesn't make any difference 22%  22%  [ 4 ]
Total votes : 18
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 Post subject: Chapter Length Poll
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2011, 00:31 
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I've just been trying to read some drabbles on the SDL and found I had to give up some of them until I have more time, as it is just wearing working my way through all of the text in some of the very long chapters, especially on my tiny phone screen.

If I stop for a bit and then go back later, it can be hard to find my place again. Wheras some of the drabbles that have chapters betwen about 750 and 2000 words have been easier to read on the SDL than they were on CBB, since I can read a few chapters then easily find my way back to continue later.

This is probably only relevant when people are archiving drabbles, but I wondered if anyone else was finding the same, and whether it was putting them off reading drabbles they would otherwise enjoy.

Obviously some of the drabbles will have chapter length defined by their content, but I wondered if it might be a useful resource to do a bit of a poll to see what length people find easiest, while we are all getting used to the SDL and a lot of archiving is going on.

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Last edited by Beecharmer on 23 Jun 2011, 08:24, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Chapter Length Poll
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2011, 01:15 
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I might be alone here, but I find short chapters incredibly irritating - it's one thing on the CBB where someone might add a couple of paragraphs to their story fairly often and it's very easy to just scroll through a story, but when you're having to click to the next chapter every few minutes it really interrupts the flow for me. I've been combining short updates into more natural and longer "chapters" - and I'm unlikely to read anything that doesn't do that, unless very short chapters work stylistically.

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 Post subject: Re: Chapter Length Poll
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2011, 05:41 
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Well that thats really why I'm asking the question - to find out what people describe as 'short'. I have some chapters that are 800 words and others that are about 5000 at the moment. I agree about too many short chapters, but was interested to find myself avoiding some of the very long updates as hard to read in short CBB visits, since I tend to only have 5 minutes at a time to log into CBB most of the day.

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 Post subject: Re: Chapter Length Poll
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2011, 06:39 
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I personally find a story with chapters less than a 1000 words a bit of a turn off. When I post fic to archives (SDL or otherwise) that I've written in parts on the CBB or LJ, I usually combine chapters.

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 Post subject: Re: Chapter Length Poll
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2011, 08:01 
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Nightwing wrote:
I might be alone here, but I find short chapters incredibly irritating.


You're not alone. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Chapter Length Poll
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2011, 08:10 
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I prefer longer Chapters but really I am finding the whole thing most annoying. I much preferred Drabbles on here.


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 Post subject: Re: Chapter Length Poll
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2011, 08:21 
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I personally prefer to read between about 800 and 1500 at one sitting, which means I have beautifully excluded my own preference from the poll with an irriational need to do things in 500 or 1000 segments!

It does depend a lot on the context too, and how they are being read. I normally read quite fast, so expected to find long chapters on SDL an improvement to other fan fic sites. But actually I have found myself having to give up drabbles with chapters longer than about 1500 words, and I don't always remember to go back. Wheras with the slightly shorter updates on SDL I was reading the whole thing properly I find myself skipping through some of the 1500 or more and being less likely to read and review.

ETA - have amended the sizes, so if you have voted you might want to change, in case it changes what any of the 4 other votes woukd be - shouldnt do properly

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 Post subject: Re: Chapter Length Poll
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2011, 09:11 
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Normally I'd post between 500 and 750 words at once. I also find very long chapters hard going on a computer screen. However, although I don't know about anyone else, but when I was transferring drabbles on to the SDL I ended up posting 10 pages or so of Word (font size 10/12) as one chapter, whereas normally I'd only post a page or so at once. Some of my drabbles are over 80 pages long and posting them one page at a time would've taken for ever and I just haven't got the time to do it.

It could just be me, but I suspect other people might've had the same problem. I would think that when people start posting new drabbles then the average chapter length will become shorter. I asked a similar question a few months back - it would've been February because it was when we were doing the unValentine's Day thing :D - and the general consensus seemed to be that people aren't keen on very long chapters.

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 Post subject: Re: Chapter Length Poll
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2011, 13:08 
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When it's an ongoing drabble, I like long chapters as it gives us more story, but if I'm reading a complete archived drabble I don't mind it being shorter, though not too short.


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 Post subject: Re: Chapter Length Poll
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2011, 15:51 
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Alison H wrote:
Normally I'd post between 500 and 750 words at once. I also find very long chapters hard going on a computer screen. However, although I don't know about anyone else, but when I was transferring drabbles on to the SDL I ended up posting 10 pages or so of Word (font size 10/12) as one chapter, whereas normally I'd only post a page or so at once. Some of my drabbles are over 80 pages long and posting them one page at a time would've taken for ever and I just haven't got the time to do it.

It could just be me, but I suspect other people might've had the same problem. I would think that when people start posting new drabbles then the average chapter length will become shorter. I asked a similar question a few months back - it would've been February because it was when we were doing the unValentine's Day thing :D - and the general consensus seemed to be that people aren't keen on very long chapters.


I will be the same, Alison. I intend to post ND by combining two chapters from the actual doc, otherwise I will be here forever. The posts after that will be slightly shorter, as I myself find reading long screeds on the screen exhausting to my eyes. So you may still not be able to access ND, Beecharmer, if you can't read a lot at once. You did say you wanted to read it all without the yibble. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Chapter Length Poll
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2011, 16:06 
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I think with the fairly small font and wide screen of the SDL, even chapters that are of a reasonable length (c. 1000 words or so) can look a bit short. I have to shrink down the window and increase the font size quite a bit before I've got something I'm happy to read.

But if a drabble on the SDL has got a lot of short chapters and you're finding it annoying to read, one way round it is to click on the little 'print story' icon. This turns the multi-page story into a single page, which is much easier to read on screen (and means you can read the story offline too).


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 Post subject: Re: Chapter Length Poll
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2011, 18:09 
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I will get around to it Mary ! I actually quite liked the yibble, it was the being in loads of parts because it has been going so long AND the yibble that was hard for me to cope with. And getting addicted to drabbling just a tiny bit myself didn't help!

Archived drabbles aren't so much the issue, though it does make me less likely to read them if they are really long chapters. It's hard to read long chapters in a glance or two while I'm "ahem" working, without it being blatantly obvious to the staff that I'm skiving!!

And my silly and blatent cliff creation drabbles need short and often to work generally. I'm happy enough with them since the people who read and comment seem happy with little and often, like me.

Its more in preparation for some other ideas I have, where I would probably write most of the story before posting any that would need putting into chapters. I just wondered really what people consider 'short' and 'long' which is what the poll is for!

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 Post subject: Re: Chapter Length Poll
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2011, 18:10 
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I do agree about the page width and text size on the SDL not really being conducive to the reading of longer chapters. It is on my list of things to fix.

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 Post subject: Re: Chapter Length Poll
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2011, 18:31 
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If the idea is to read stories as a unit rather than in installments -- the strength of the SDL IMHO -- chapter length doesn't much matter to me. If the chapters are irritatingly short, clicking on "Story" solves the problem. If chapters are really too long for my eyes to handle, I can copy into a document file. This allows me to change the fonts and color scheme for easier reading, and lets me mark where I left off easily.

Right now my problem with the SDL is figuring out how (or whether) it will fit into my normal routine. The CBB system of short entries was perfect for short work breaks; I can't afford to let myself be sucked into much more. A page or so and the interactive feel of the yibble was just the right level of distraction. In addition, I liked being able to click a handy orange "unread" button that took me to just where I left off. I haven't found an equivalent on the SDL. Even using the "recent" list, by the time I change the order from alphabetical to most recent, wade through 3/4 screen long listings, find my place in the list and then in the drabble, time's up.

For the special, usually longer entry drabbles I saved for end of day/end of project rewards, SDL should be fine, assuming that special drabblers continue to drabble. Adding them to "favorites" will make them especially easy to access. The question is whether, without a new daily skimming routine, I'll ever find new "special drabbles." Frankly, time slots long enough for serious browsing are generally reserved for proper books.

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 Post subject: Re: Chapter Length Poll
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2011, 18:42 
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Thinking about what Kathy says, might it be possible to have a 'brief' and 'expanded' view option on the SDL? So the 'expanded' view could give you all the information that it currently does about genre and characters etc, but the 'brief' view might only give you the title, the author, the house, the number of reviews, and the date it was updated. This would save people having to scroll down half a screen to see whether there's recent updates/action on drabbles they're interested in.

Just a thought, though I understand the software might not support it :D


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 Post subject: Re: Chapter Length Poll
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2011, 21:09 
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I find very short updates a bit pointless - if they're under 500 words or so I tend to get bored because there just isn't enough story to keep me interested. On the other hand, if there's more than about 2000 words in an update I tend to find it too long and cumbersome - probably only from habit, though, as that's more or less what I'm accustomed to on here! I tend to keep my own updates to somewhere between 900 and 1200 words. But again, I suspect that's mostly habit!

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 Post subject: Re: Chapter Length Poll
PostPosted: 24 Jun 2011, 09:13 
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Kathy_S wrote:
Right now my problem with the SDL is figuring out how (or whether) it will fit into my normal routine. The CBB system of short entries was perfect for short work breaks; I can't afford to let myself be sucked into much more. A page or so and the interactive feel of the yibble was just the right level of distraction. In addition, I liked being able to click a handy orange "unread" button that took me to just where I left off. I haven't found an equivalent on the SDL. Even using the "recent" list, by the time I change the order from alphabetical to most recent, wade through 3/4 screen long listings, find my place in the list and then in the drabble, time's up.


Would it be worth using Google Reader (or some other tool) and add the feeds of the stories that you want to follow? Then you can easily see any updates and read them as and when you want.

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 Post subject: Re: Chapter Length Poll
PostPosted: 12 Jul 2011, 20:56 
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Any one able to tell me what the upper word limit is for a chapter on SDL? I've just tried to post a chunk of several thousand words and it wouldn't accept it all. But how else am I going to post the whole of ND? :banghead:

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 Post subject: Re: Chapter Length Poll
PostPosted: 12 Jul 2011, 21:11 
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janetbrown23 wrote:
I prefer longer Chapters but really I am finding the whole thing most annoying. I much preferred Drabbles on here.

Me too Janet but we are clearly stuck with it.

My main problem is that I keep forgetting that it exists at all and so forget to go looking for drabbles.....

And yes I have got a reminder set up for my favourite authors.

Longer chapters suit me better but I have to adjust the font and page size to make it comfortable for me to read

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 Post subject: Re: Chapter Length Poll
PostPosted: 12 Jul 2011, 21:11 
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It let me post around 5,500 words in one go. I'm not sure what the limit on the SDL is, but it wasn't possible to post more than around 6,000 words at once in the old CBB drabble fora either (I tried it when I was reposting stuff after the Great Hack). 5,500-ish was fine, though, if that helps.

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