Write On SC
Long Fic or Short Fic? That is the question.
On February 5, 2022, Kasie and Rex took on the debate between long fiction (novels) and short work (stories, flash).
Full show notes out on the blog here.
After reading an article about the reason we need to keep reading novels, I (Kasie) suggested to Rex that we take on this idea of critical reading and how we build that skill set. We take it for granted that people read. For two reasons: 1) we read a TON and think that’s normal and 2) we write and we are hoping (hoping!) that people will buy our shit and read it.
This week we take a look at this reading thing. What do the trends look like? What are the opportunities (to think about this like entrepreneurs) and what are the worrisome numbers? When I couldn’t find the original article I read, I just googled “screens are making us reading” (seriously) thinking I’d find it. Turns out, I found a lot of conversation, going back as far as 10 years, related to reading on screens versus reading on paper and predicting the end of books. Yup.
Rumors of the long-form demise:
- No one reads novels anymore
- This article is about how no one will read your book – is this a supply and demand problem? Are there not enough readers consuming enough books to meet the supply of so.many.writers.? Publishers Weekly thinks so. Stats: 16 minutes per day reading (for those few Americans who actually do read books) and 3 hours per day of Netflix (if you wonder WTF is with that ratio you’re not alone).
- The big 4 represent 75% of the commercial book market and people tend to read books that are already popular. Sigh.
- Former bibliophiles confess to having a hard time reading or finishing a book in this esquire article.
- Blame our smartphones and their incessant notifications
- We’ve been training our brains to skim and scroll instead of reading for depth and understanding
- The author says, “my mechanisms for focus and attention have been gradually worn out and I find it harder now to shift gears.” Does that resonate?
- And this: “Reading is a prolonged and concentrated effort in dealing with only the subject at hand, weaving through the logical transitions paragraph after paragraph and building a comprehensive thought after one has gone through the entirety of the text. It is, after all, a skill that requires considerable and constant practice. Simply put, the kind of reading we do in social media is easy, messy, random and incidental.”
- Is this about reading comprehension skills? If you had a strong reading comprehension skill set, would the extensive social media reading have degraded those skills? Or, if you had a poor reading comprehension skill set, was social media made for you and is exploiting that?