The Great Debate

I read a post awhile back that got me thinking. If I could remember the URL I’d share it with you, but I can’t, so I won’t. Take my assessment with a grain of salt since you aren’t able to read the article for yourself; it’s possible I was reading too much into it. The point of the post seemed to be that people should expect the blog posts of authors to be rather long and verbose as that shows they are good at their craft. It even hinted that if you consider yourself a writer but your blog posts are short then you aren’t much of a writer.

I’m a bit perplexed by the correlation between blog length and writing ability. To me, length and ability cannot be compared in any way. Take a site like MicroHorror.com for example.  A lot of great stories there are quite short, but that doesn’t take away from their power. Another example would be the 100 Horrors anthology that I’m lucky enough to be a part of. Each story is only 100 words and many of those stories are very well written. To add more to them would ruin their very essence.  On the other hand, take a lot of self published novels that didn’t get quite as much pre-publishing attention as they probably should have. Nothing against self publishing in general, I’m working on self publishing a piece myself, but many authors don’t take the time to properly edit or format after their work is complete. The result: some very long novels that are rather bland accomplishments.

Blog posts are meant to be a way to get a point across in a timely manner.  If you choose the right words then you don’t need to pad it with drivel to make your case.  If you waste fifteen minutes of your readers’ time by forcing what should be a short post to fit the format of a long post then they probably won’t be your readers for long.  It’s the same principal as a short story.  Let the content determine the length, not the other way around.

That’s my take.  What do you thoughts on blog post length?

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3 responses to “The Great Debate

  • kbnelson

    I absolutely agree. Shorter is definitely sweeter. Those who think good writing means lengthy writing must also subscribe to the squeaky wheel theory. Just because it’s out there, doesn’t mean it’s great!
    Many of these unneccesarily verbose blog posts would never get through an editor’s consideration – mostly because they don’t grab, and hold, the reader’s attention.
    “The point of the post seemed to be that people should expect the blog posts of authors to be rather long and verbose as that shows they are good at their craft. It even hinted that if you consider yourself a writer but your blog posts are short then you aren’t much of a writer.”
    I hope people DO NOT expect authors’ posts to be long, otherwise readers won’t bother visiting them! (And if “short” means you aren’t much of a writer, how do you explain Hemingway, who wrote the shortest story ever, in just six words?)

    • Adam Ickes

      I’m on the same page. I don’t understand why some bloggers insist on long posts. Usually with longer posts, I end up skipping half of the post so I don’t grow roots and end up stuck to the floor because I’ve been there so long.

  • TheOthers1

    I think about audience when I’m writing a post or a story. A regular old post about my day isn’t going to be lengthy because the reader isn’t interested in reading a 2k post about anything. Blog posts have to be concise so you don’t lose your reader; they don’t have time for anything else. I don’t think skill and talent as a writer are less evident. I think saying someone isn’t a good writer because their blog posts are short is dumb. Writing ability and post length have no correlation in my opinion. One doesn’t determine the other. You observation about longer pieces that haven’t gone through the editing process before publishing are true. It’s how you write not length that determines ability.

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