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Is a thousand words too many?

16 days ago

I know it's probably best to stay within 500-300 words and for the most part, I have been but one of my pages is 1000 words I plan on slimming it down to maybe 700 or perhaps putting another page link.

Thoughts?

Is a thousand words too many?

16 days ago

I believe this belongs in the WW. @mods

Two things.

First. If you're good at writing, or at least good at making a piece of writing interesting, then the word count is relatively inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. Of course, if you aren't a particularly good writer, then I would suggest keeping it shorter in length. If only to save the reader the agony of reading bad writing. But let's say you're a good writer for the moment. You could very well write two thousand word pages and no one would bat an eye. (i.e EndMaster) Then again, you could also stick with what you've been doing and be very successful. (i.e Will11) To sum up my point in a phrase, Quality over quantity. If you're good enough you can get away with pretty much anything.

Second. There are two main reasons (that I can think of) for someone to make a new page. When you're presenting the reader with a choice, or when there's a natural break in the story. The former is something usually planned when someone's outlining a story while the latter is something discovered whilst writing. As a general rule it is best to follow the natural breaks, so as to prevent interruption of story flow. Breaking apart a page isn't something I would do because of wordcount. (Unless it's getting really excessive. Like several thousand words to a single page excessive.) 

Well, that's my two cents. Good luck with your starygame.

Is a thousand words too many?

16 days ago

Well, since you've alluded to the fact that most of you pages are 50-30% shorter than you 1k page, I suggest just chopping it in two (if there's a logical break). Nonetheless, if the page is full of "filler" stuff, then perhaps trimming it would be better. The only reason why you should definitely not cut the page in two is if there are already choice-less pages directly behind or in front of the 1k page.

This also should be in the Writing Workshop I believe.

Is a thousand words too many?

15 days ago
I mean there's no 'best' length, just a point where the average reader is going to get bored because that have the attention span of gnats, or maybe your writing style is simply not that engaging. Just not giving af and making each page as long as it needs to be is still a valid option if you accept you might get some complaints.

Is a thousand words too many?

14 days ago
Are you kidding? You "might" get complaints? No, you will get complaints no matter how long or short any page is. If you're writing to avoid complaints, I suggest you stop right now because that's not going to happen, especially in the age of algore's Internet.

Write what makes sense to you. Write what you've seen others do. Write the story as the story needs to be written.

Is a thousand words too many?

14 days ago
Just 1 page is fine.

Is a thousand words too many?

14 days ago

I'd say you split it up (even with a pointless link) just to keep everything consistent in terms of length. That's the important thing, consistency

Often times I'm reading a really nice story and then BAM huge text dump. I tend to solider on and read them anyway but they still make me groan whenever I see them. My issue with them isn't so much that they're long but that they're so much longer than anything else that (relatively) it ends up feeling like it's taking waaaay longer to read. 

So yeah, I'd say just split it, if only so the reader doesn't get intimidated by a drastic jump in words per page. You can still keep everything you have, just split it up naturally so it's all told over 2 pages. 

 

Is a thousand words too many?

14 days ago

That's something I wasn't expecting. I suppose consistency is important, but I didn't think it mattered to anyone all that much. Especially in comparison to all of the other things he might lose if he were to put consistency higher on his priorities than  story structure flow. 

I'm also curious as to why on earth a jump from 500 words to 1000 words would intimidate you. As a reader, if a huge text dump occurs, ( where it is simply an increase in length rather massive amounts of info ) then I would honestly be more excited. That's a personal observation from me,  but I'm sure most readers would like to read more as well

Basically, I'm simply confused as to why consistency holds so much value to you. Now don't get me wrong. Consistency is important, but does it really take priority over everything else he would be giving up to be consistent?

Maybe I'm just one person out of a hundred, but I can't quite understand why consistency is more important than other important story mechanics.

Is a thousand words too many?

13 days ago

I just think it's a good thing to keep the reading consistent, especially in storygames, for the same reason I don't really like it when one chapter is longer than others in novels; I want to get on with the story. If I see a huge jump in word number, I'm going to assume that you're either a) dumping lore or unnecessary details on my head, b) building to an immediate or very close climax, or c) (in the case of a storygame) taking control away from me (which could be avoided by just providing a thing to click halfway through), and fair enough, sometimes those are necessary/fine/good/great.

Admittedly I might have been overzealous in stressing consistency's importance. I think I forgot we were talking about page length and word count per page rather than consistency as a general principal in making creative work, which I still think is extremely important. 

My bad, and sorry for my lack of focus. I was wrong.

Especially sorry to OP for unfocused advice.

So revised advice to OP

The page can stay a 1000 words, even if it's bigger than normal. Just make sure there's a reason for this and it isn't because you forgot to add a choice or because you suddenly started describing a ton of things in detail you haven't done before/ don't need to.

If you want to start adding larger levels of detail/longer pages, always first consider why and if it's adding to the experience, or just padding.

That's it for OP.

Going back to your post again EbonVasilis, I get "intimidated" for the same reason I get "intimidated" when I see a powerpoint slide black with small text all over. Intimidated was a poor word, fatigued may have been better? I don't know, but when I see text dumps (relative to the rest of the work) I always just sight and do a "here we go" even in things I like. Idk, prubs just my own quirk. A dump of text after you've shown me you could do good work within a certain boundary sort of gives the impression that you're wasting time since you probs could have written out the page just as well with a shorter word count. 

idk, just makes me sigh. ¯\_(?)_/¯

Edit: RANT INCOMING, FEEL FREE TO IGNORE, REALLY JUST ME EXPLAINIGN SOMETHING THAT WAS PROBS UNNECESSARY TO EXPLAIN. 

Also, regarding " Consistency is important, but does it really take priority over everything else he would be giving up to be consistent?", I think if we're talking in regards to page length, which we are, then you're absolutely right. Bigger fish to fry and all that, but it would be a nice thing to look at during editing (and given he's not working on a deadline, I don't see why he couldn't meet most priorities). However, in the context of me saying consistency is super important, blah blah blah, I meant that in the context of consistency in one's work in general, like a "design principle"? Is that the right way to put it? (I'm not trying to imply you misinterpreted me, I'm saying that didn't express what I was saying clearly, so I just want to clear that up)

Anyway, again, like I mentioned, I failed to properly grasp the question of the OP, and if we were talking about page length balancing, then yeah, it's not that important, but if we're talking about consistency as a whole (consistency of quality, if you will) then I do think it's super important and I don't think that he would need to "give up" anything to reach it. The way I see it, you don't have to sacrifice the quality of your work to be more consistent throughout, because being more consistent in of itself improves the quality of your work. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and so by raising up the standard of your whole story to meet a certain expectation by never skimping out on a part over-indulging in something, you only serve to improve the quality of your work.

Furthermore, consistency isn't a "component" of your work that you modify or chose to focus or forget about in order to focus on another mechanic. It's a principle and something that is... just done? Hmm, hard to explain... basically I would disagree with you saying "why consistency is more important than other important story mechanics[?]" on the basis that it's not more important than other story mechanics because it itself is not mechanic/feature.

Think of it this way: In a book, you can choose to focus on dialogue or descriptive language. You can make the conscious choice of going "Yeah, you know what? I think I'll do less dialogue so I can really focus on detailing what's taking place." Similarly in a videogame, you can choose to focus on aesthetics or gameplay over the other. It's perfectly viable to think "I'd rather this be a test of the players mastery of my controls rather than something that's visually appealing." Likewise, you could do the opposite of those statements on focus on the other thing. It's perfectly viable to make either of those decisions on the basis of you wanting to engineer a specific experience or based on your goals, artistic merit, or what you're trying to accomplish, and focusing on some areas over others that better represent the philosophy of your work is perfectly viable, as focusing on other, less related parts of your work may take away from the core aspects of your work (ie, using the game examples, spending time on graphics in a mechanical shooter instead of spending it on the mechanics can prove pointless or even harmful to the overall experience you set out to achieve if it draws attention from developing the mechanical side of the game). 

However, consistency makes no such trade offs. There is no instance in which you think "You know what? I think I'll focus less on making this work good all the way throughout to focus on something else" when it comes to consistency. It's not a part of the work, it is the work (lol that made no sense). It's the same with spelling, you wouldn't ever go "Oh I'll focus less on spelling properly so I can do more intricate storylines," because spelling is the work. If you don't spell properly, your work will only get worse and worse, and it's not something you should be actively choosing to ignore in favor of something else. Same with consistency, and punctuation. It's not something you priorities, it's something you must do or your work will be just be bad. It's not an artistic choice or an acceptable trade off to have bad grammar in your books, and neither is it an acceptable choice to have your work fluctuating in levels of quality throughout.

You can release a story with poor spelling and grammar and call it finished, but it will be a bad story. You can release a story with bad consistency of quality, but it will be a bad story

So no, I don't think that consistency takes priority over everything else a writer would need to give up to achieve it simply on the premise that it's not something where you need to give up something else to do it. It's simply a necessity and something that should be done well if you want to write a good piece. 

So yeah, I do think consistency isvery important, but I don't think it's something your prioritise over other things. It is something that is prioritized because without it you won't have a proper story, it's something that must be done.

Phew, just realized that this is way longer and defending an argument that didn't even start. For all I know you agree with me. Might put a disclaimer in. So yeah, if we're talking consistency as in page length, then yeah, I agree with you. It shouldn't take priority. But if we're talking consistency in quality of your work, then yeah, I strongly believe it's important and that it's not something where you're doing it at the expense of another thing as it's simply necessary. Felt like just clarifying that and had the time to kill.

Again, sorry for whole lot of nothing, and I hope I cleared up my mistake. Hopefully the bold advice is more suited to what OP is trying to do. 

Thanks,

Is a thousand words too many?

13 days ago
I found this text dump too intimidating to read. It's almost like the poster was just trying to waste my time since I'm sure whatever point they were making could've been gotten across with fewer words.

Is a thousand words too many?

12 days ago

Haha, clever! ;)

Seriously tho, I was considering just deleting everything and putting in "treat consistency of quality like grammar", but if someone asked "why" I would have to respond with what I've already written so I just left it anyway.

I do get your point tho, and I suppose there is a point to be made of sometimes needing to increase the word count just to get across a certain point. Ofcourse, I don't think forum posts and books are comparable in this sense, but the irony isn't lost on me. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Is a thousand words too many?

13 days ago

Your explanation cleared up quite a bit. Certainly enough for me to understand that what you meant to say (consistency of quality, rather than just consistency) makes much more sense. I agree with most of your "rant" there at the end. Consistency of quality carries much more relevance than consistency of word count, however, I would say that consistency of quality does have an inverse. It's almost laughingly simple, but easy to overlook. The inverse of of consistency of quality is quantity. Which would be giving up good solid writing for the sake of more. 

 Everything is essentially cleared up though, so I suppose all is well.

Is a thousand words too many?

12 days ago

Ah of course! Can't believe I missed that. 

Know of any examples where a text focus on quantity over quality and comes out better for it? I think I said that you can't compromise on consistency or quality without making your work worse off for it (not saying you couldn't do it, just that you shouldn't).

I'm interested to see an example in text of "quantity [having] a quality all of its own".

Glad to hear we're on the same page, and sorry for wasting your time!

 

Is a thousand words too many?

11 days ago
Probably yes. Reading a cyoa online is different that reading a book as you are constantly waiting for the next choice. Too much words and the reader starts getting bored (unless of course there is a 'story' disclaimer on the preview page in which case the reader starts with different expectations all together). I would suggest only using long pages when there is a constant stream of them.