Thursday, May 02, 2013

Is This Blog Too Long For You? If So, Maybe You Shouldn't Be a Writer...

I have a class I'll be teaching to teens at the Loft this summer about writing SF/F.  As part of that, I was asked to write a promotional blog for their site.  I was thinking about what to write, and because a dear friend of mine is thinking about submitting a short story for publication for the first time, I was reminded of a blog I'd written for SF Novelists in 2006 about what I called "The Secret Handshake."

I found my original blog about said handshake (which I postulate is manuscript format.) I reworked it a bit to fit a more general audience. The original assumed a science fiction/fantasy writing reader with a bit of insider information, familiarity with terms, etc. At any rate, the finished product was a little over 700 words, at most.

When I sent it in, I explained that it was a bit focused on business and submitting to markets, so if this was meant to promote my teen class I could think of a different subject. I was informed it was okay, but that, frankly, I was old.

Okay, the blog coordinator didn't say it like that, but the basic message was "YOUR EXPLANATIONS TAKE TOO LONG." I was told that the "most successful" blogs have "scannable" content, preferably with a list the kids these days can digest as they do six other things at the same time.


I think what I found shocking about this is that THIS IS FOR A BLOG FOR WRITERS. Okay, if I was writing for or even io9, I'd expect to be told to cut to the chase. Stick to the re-tweetable quips and clever sound bytes, people! But, no, this is what's supposed to draw nascent writers into a class about writing ALL THE WORDS. Let me be clear: I'm not teaching a class on twitter fic. I'm not even teaching a class about flash fiction (which, btw, cuts off around a THOUSAND WORDS, WHICH IS STILL LONGER THAN THIS BLOG.) No, I'm teaching a class about writing short stories and novels. Surely, my target audience has the patience to read all 700 words of a blog about a quick and easy way to help sell their manuscripts!

Apparently, not.

Apparently, only old people read blogs like that. So, I now need to come up with a subject that is listable. Something that can be consumed in passing while traveling at the speed of ignorance....


Eleanor said...

I am not sure the Loft knows anything about writing.

tate hallaway said...

ILU, Eleanor.

Jon said...

The worst part is that it reveals that whoever it is in charge of their blog seems to believe that the Loft blog is hip, and that it needs to stay that way in order to retain its hip, cutting edge, "now" readers.