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Like readers, authors also have busy lives, especially first-time writers or entrepreneurs or doctors or scientists or celebs or influencers who are itching to tell their stories but are busy in life doing something else; it is they who especially need a helping hand. In all, five classic options exist in which to divine your creative tongue, and there are many professional writers out there, myself included, who live for the day an email arrives seeking our collaboration on something highly unique yet less than a full-tilt boogie novel.
The normalcy of today finds people reading shorter prose in less time with more distractions than ever before.
Attention spans for books are shrinking, simple as that.
The Short Story The classic short story runs between 35 words.
Assuming there are 325 words on a typical paperback book page, that’s 11 to 23 pages.
Then there’s the insatiable who can devour a whole opus like weightless caramel corn, reading between every crack in day or night until the last page is turned.
More to reality, we all go through phases; sometimes we read a little, sometimes we read a lot, sometimes we’re all over the place.
Social criticism lends itself to analysis by both fiction and nonfiction so it may be easier to convey through the essay. Was there an unexpected claim that became convincing? The novel is not used for speech making, but the characterization can be strong enough that the whole perspective gets across somehow.
Or does it talk directly to the reader’s experience the way nothing else has? Or was another so affected that they used it as the base of their philosophy?
The inimitable Kurt Vonnegut was smitten with essays, writing many in his career, not the least of which is “Here Is a Lesson in Creative Writing.” Future writers of the world — download it today!
Or follow the path of the inimitable Ralph Waldo Emerson, whose fame came from his essay, “Self-Reliant.” Or Nora Ephron, who between novels needed only “A Few Words About Breasts” to buoyantly make her point. Sandwiched between the novel and essay are short stories, novelettes and novellas.