A reader made comment that most of my postings are relatively short. I wasn’t sure I agreed with that, so took a look at some of them and yes, they were right, most of them are less than 500 words, in fact many are 300 words or less. “Honestly, I don’t care” of October 5 is one of my longer efforts at 906 words. Then again, that one was admittedly written with much more passion than are most. Read it and you’ll understand. Yesterday’s “‘He’s an innocent kid’” was also written with a fair bit of passion and it is only 291 words.
The reader didn’t say I’d left anything out, or failed to explain my assertions, just that I didn’t really get overly wordy either. Thinking about this, I think I understand why many of my pieces are short – complete, but short. I worked in offices for years, where I frequently had to write letters to Canada Customs (or whatever they call it now) or insurance companies, among others. Business letters, by their very nature, are short and sweet – just “hi – here’s my comments – ‘bye”. No excess verbiage, no fancy frills, something Joe Friday would like – just the facts. Part of my job involved damage inspections and filing reports with insurers and carriers. Again, something that places a premium on brevity and clarity. (Just an aside here. One thing I had to do an inspection on was a 12″ round steel bar that had been somehow bent in transit. Twelve inches thick, ten feet long and weighed something like 20,000 pounds. I saw the damage, but given the size of the bar, I really, really wanted to see what had bent it.)
So, I would suspect that all those years of business letters and insurance reports have forever doomed me to “just the facts ma’am.” Which may be fine for these posts – I can still try to present a balanced picture, or as balanced as an opinion piece can be – but it really plays havoc with my fiction writing. More description would be allowable in writing fiction, yet whenever I try, I feel guilty – as if I’m trying to pad my word count.
Oh well, I’ll do what I can and if there are any questions, the readers can always ask.
Enjoy the rest of your week and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.