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T.J. Garrison

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Member Since: Jan, 2013

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Cinquains: Volume I
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Blogs by T.J. Garrison

"We hate reading, but love stories" People - and Writing for Them
4/16/2013 10:39:16 PM    [ Flag as Spam or Inappropriate ]

Yep. Secret's out. If anyone had previously wrote the above blog post title, their heads would have been scalded by ink from boiling vats, poured upon them from the crenels of the castle parapets of the publishing world. Should they have survived, a poison pen barrage was sure to follow from the archers of the writing community.

But look at where we are now. Writers have to compete with newer electronic devices and their apps. People work longer work hours demanded by bosses. Students work harder today to achieve their future dreams. Chat rooms were once only the kitchen or a porch, not the myriad of mass social media. People still enjoy a great story and books are NOT going away, but doesn't it seem like time is? By our design, or those of others, we don't have the time we'd like to anymore.

Thin Reads, is a new service that's going to be scoping out and promoting works that are between 5,000 and 25,000 words in length. The serial novel is also making a comeback as reported by The Wall Street Journal. There is even new a genre of what's called micro-fiction, or flash fiction, where the length is approximately 300 to 1,000 words.

Everybody still loves a great story that somehow becomes a part of his or her soul. Itís just that now busy people want stories that they can digest in a shorter reading period. Not something that now takes days, weeks, or months to read, or worse, never finish reading at all. (I love the traditional novel format but I must admit that there are some well known novels on my shelf that have dusty crinkled bookmarks that I really will get to again... someday.) If there's a market for this type of work - and I believe there is - it will survive and find an audience. If not, it will be just another Wikipedia footnote. But just look at what YouTube and the like have done to network and cable TV. Is it far-fetched to ask ourselves if novellas will outsell novels in the near future as eBooks are doing with hardcopy?

I personally like a fast pace in stories, where you want the reader to keep turning the page to see what happens next. No, I donít care what color Aunt Tillyís curtains are in the story unless thereís a point. As a writer, can you make an Ďexplosioní in your story with nothing more than a whisper, instead of a bomb blast? I know quite a few people who love stories in other media forms and say they donít read novels or books because they canít or wonít commit the time. Those of us who write 100,000 word tomes may well be tempted to sniff and scoff at them, but we as writers should perhaps look at this and say, ďHoly cow! A hungry, untapped new audience that hasnít been jaded by Aunt Tillyís curtains. Iíve struck literary gold!Ē

And thatís what writing really is, serving your audience of readers and their needs.

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More Blogs by T.J. Garrison
•  "We hate reading, but love stories" People - and Writing for Them - Tuesday, April 16, 2013  
• "You'll Never Change" - or you might, but not your villain - Monday, March 04, 2013
• Losing Your Character's Grip on "Reality" - Friday, February 15, 2013
• Welcome - Monday, February 04, 2013

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