This post is approximately 550 words. It had been longer, but…difficult choices were made.
Phew. It’s been more than four months since I posted Tighten Up Your Writing #6. The final draft editing continues apace, which is the primary reason I haven’t been blogging.
Well, that and the Gears 5 Tech Test over two weekends in July.
Anyway, today’s update is about a choice I’d been debating a few months. Jack, aka Trusted Reader 16 and one of my most enthusiastic contributors, had given me the same feedback each time I provided new chapters: Some were too long.
He was right every time and I followed his suggestions.
After his latest round of feedback, I literally tallied up the word counts of every chapter and put them in a spreadsheet (hey, I’m a data guy). A few hit 6,000 and two were on their way to 8,000. In most cases, every scene within a chapter was connected and followed a theme. I did my job well enough that the chapter titles fit all the pieces within.
And yet, those were some long chapters. I’d recently set a target of 3,000 to 4,000 words to keep the reading effort light, while also making it feel like the story kept moving. I was missing the mark. It reminded me of reading when I just want to get to the end of a chapter so I can take a break. Fortunately, I’ve yet to receive that criticism from my Trusted Readers.
I had a difficult choice to make. Do I break up the big chapters?