What's a good chapter length benchmark?

Hi, everyone!

I prefer to write linear stories (and am currently having a lot of fun with portraits!) and I was wondering if there was a good chapter-length benchmark for linear stories. Say, like, 1000 words is approximately x-many minutes of reading time?

Thank you in advance if someone answers this :blush:

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Hi! :smiley: Tales even made a Tutorial about this… However, I admit, it’s not that easy to find:

The name is totally misleading for anyone writing linear :slight_smile:

Though for you the last two points are of interest :smiley:

Keep in mind, those are recommendations. Hope this helps :slight_smile:

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Thank you so much! I definitely looked for something like this and only found information for branching stories.

I really appreciate it, thank you so much!

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any time :smiley:

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Hi Kate & Amanda, if I may just chime in here maybe from another prospective, it might, shed a bit of light on Kate’s (?)…

Snap Shot:
I write linear prose. Based in mainland EU, I’m also a member of a UK literary group + website. In that realm, there’s like a colony of; wicked smart, smok’n hot writers, poets, song writers, literature professors, journalist + scouts/agents look’n, publishers for content = periodicals, (& the published tribe that test there material before before it goes public)…

NO bravado intended… As I was allowed in, on a trial basis… I had to face my darkest writing fears & got some, kind & not so kind, help along the way as to my story line.

This is what I learned:
*They limit there story/poem post to 17,500 charterers/aprox 2,500 words. (you can create a series, chapter by chapter, story line, episode from that).

*Why would they do that=limit?
In the world of mobility, mobile devices migrating to screens at a desk top, people read at different speeds in different situations = on commute, lunch break, holiday what ever, night, busy +++ environments… So, someones 3min of reading, could be 5,7,10min+ for others… regardless of the readers skill set/comprehension.

For me this next part was the mind blower:
Daytime, nighttime, sunrise, sunset, soft light, bright light, changing light as the reader is in motion, and, as a rule, most readers around the world don’t adjust the light on their devices properly (=2) the environment they’re in… (uh-ha… ok- hold on, follow me here)… And there’s the readers temperature &/or comfort zone.

  • It equates to a humans attention span, the reader engaging, ability to focus in, in their environment, reading conditions, subject to their light & current environment. (their is some real math behind this = measurement(s), in a kind a bandwidth, target zone to engage there, those numbers match interactive content, more or less = N’ da Zone.

It scales up readers i.e. fan base for your genre easier & timely.

Drawing a circle around this:

17, 500 characters (w/spaces) aprox-2,500 words is a target for real engagement for the content you write/ create… it also forms into kind of rhythm for a series, chapter or call it a ‘reader box set’. & it publishes well… + plus makes editing, copy cut & paste go much more smoothly, = less frustrating ;)…

Or, look at this way; there is a formula (template) to de-risk your content so it gets noticed easier and readers lock on to it, regardless if there’s a better story line in that genre thats not easy to read &-readers (=2) the mobility equation cant lock on to it…

In the Tales world here;… maybe some gifted programmer picks that up and turns it into visual story… because it was de-risked, easy to read and makes sense in their light++.

Although I have enjoyed some successes w/ my story… article(s) & some shorts picked up & republished out there, in various languages, + a scaling fan base in EU & emerging markets (in my demographics)… I am ‘No Guru’ on this, I acquired this knowledge the hard way, like stripped, edited, cold comments, helped + challenges… & Thx to the math/ data peep’s out there that made it stupid easy for me to understand, kinda…(Ahhh)!

Anyway… hope I shed a bit light on this…
Best wishes Kate, kind regards & thank you Amanda (luv ur input) & big THX Tales!.. (as soon I can free up, I’ll be back… Cheers Kris*


Wonderful addition! Thank you so much for sharing this with us :heart:

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Thank you so much!