25 words or less

I share my writing progress regularly in a Facebook group with other writers. Have I written new words and, if so, how many? What progress am I making on an ebook rewrite? Sometimes, like yesterday, I report progress on the two combined. I must be doing something right because a fellow writers asked if the snippet I posted on Storydame yesterday was all they got to read that day.

25. ©iStockphoto/avdesign

25. ©iStockphoto/avdesign

In response, I shared that Storydame currently runs on a two week schedule that includes three full posts and posts that aren’t full. That’s one thing I love about Michael Hyatt’s Get Noticed! WordPress theme; it allows for both full posts and smaller items, too. Smaller items not worthy of a full post in Get Noticed? include appearances, books, events, links, photos, podcasts, quotes, slides, snippets, tips, and videos. Each has a small icon to distinguish it upon publication. For instance, beginning quote marks indicate today’s post is a quote.

I went on to explain that I am a fan of short. I like “flash” fiction and nonfiction. If a writer can get the point across in 100 words, why would I want to read 1000? I admit I sometimes get irritated by nonfiction that take 250+ pages to pass on key facts could be expressed in much fewer words. I blame the publishers, those that won’t publish books composed of fewer words, for bloated writing.

This seems a natural place to put in a plug for Amazon’s Kindle Singles. Kindle Singles are pieces, 5,000 and 30,000 words, that fall out of the range of magazine pieces and print books. Genres include “fiction, essays, memoirs, reporting, personal narratives, and profiles.”

“The Internet,” you’re probably thinking, “the Internet has made her this way.” “It must be the World Wide Web that has taken one of America’s few adults that actually reads books after high school graduation and dumbed her down by frequent bombardment of smaller segments of writing.” I would agree except for my fellow writer’s comment has dredged up a memory from my youth about myself.

In the 1960s, I’m a teen. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are about four years behind me in school. I don’t know about them, but as a teen I have questions, lots and lots of questions. My questions range from fact seeking to the ethereal to, I suspect, anything that holds an opportunity to connect conversationally with my brilliant father.

In the 1960s, things that are normal in our lives today like the personal computer, the Internet, and smart phone aren’t even on the scope of anyone I know in Hot Springs, Arkansas. 1960s tools are much different. My main knowledge tool is my father, a man who had retired from the Army Counterintelligence Corps. Daddy, from his background and personal interest, is up on current events and just about everything else. If I have a question, I don’t have to run to our home set of World Book encyclopedias. I don’t have to trek to the library. All I have to do is ask Daddy. The problem is that Daddy knows way, way, way more than I want to know. So, I learn to preface my questions with, “Daddy, can you tell me, in twenty-five words or less…”

Truth is, I’ve always like information as fast and brief as possible.

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4 thoughts on “25 words or less

  1. LOVED this. Your writing was straight to the point. Engaging and crystal clear.
    Tickled that my question turned into a good prompt for you. I too, like saying more with less. Maybe it’s the poet in me. I thoroughly enjoyed your “why” you do it.

    • I owe you big time for prompting this memory, Anne! I had totally bought into the acceptable though that the Internet is dumbing us down only to remember I’ve always like info in brief chunks! A light bulb moment!

  2. Thanks for the explanation! And I love that your Daddy and mine both were founts of knowledge. I wish I had asked mine to keep his response to something I could manage! 😉 Sometimes when I come to your blog, and there is only a snippet, I wish for more, but at least I know it’s coming, eventually.