With EclecticMasque drawing to a close, I have a question for you all:
How did you feel about the length of posts during the Masque serial?
Long time readers know that I hope to release Asylum as a web-serial, and with the progress I’ve made, it’s looking like that release is sooner rather than later. But one of the things that’s hung us up in the editing process is segment length. Web-lit isn’t like trad publishing, heck, it’s not even like novels on e-readers. With web-serials, you’re hoping to draw the reader back, week after week. And that means holding their attention while their reading, but between posts as well. it’s a fine balance of giving them enough to feel they’ve not wasted their time, but not giving them so much that they don’t check back regularly. How long do you give things you check regularly? Not a “I feel like sitting down to read some blogs” but a “I want to check on X this morning, because it’s Tuesday and I can’t wait to read the newest post!”.
Where is the balance for something like that? Because I haven’t found it yet.
The Masque posts range from 400 words to 3000 (Preparations and Unexpected Guest, respectively). Most of them are hanging out in the 2k range though. And that’s pretty typical of what I’ve seen from other web-lit.
Most of Asylum’s segments are pushing 4, 5, 6k or better. And that’s after I’ve broken them up from the 12-20k “chapters” we had them into start with. Mathematically, that seems way too long, but I don’t honestly see anywhere else to break the sections up.
So the short version is this: How long is too long? When do you, as a reader, start checking out with things you read on the web? 2k? 5k? 15k? Does it depend on the subject matter?