What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

05 October 2010

Crusader Challenge #1

I sat down to write the other day, and realised that my posts tend to be astronomically-long.

Maybe not astronomically. Not like the distance from here to Mars. But long enough that my intrepid readers might get bored halfway through and wander off for a pick-up game of Quiddich. Which would be less of a bummer if they would only invite me to join them; heck, I can write shorter posts if there's going to be a Quiddich game at the end. Emptying my brain doesn't have to take that long.


Anyway, I ran across a blog while browsing earlier that has a 250-word limit per post, which in theory is a great idea. In practise, I'm not sure I could impose a limit upon myself; the very thought reminds me of an episode of The West Wing when Leo orders the senior staff to give him one-page memos and Sam tells him, "That's really gonna cramp my style, Leo." Hee hee. If only I could write as beautifully as Aaron Sorkin.

Stephen King, in On Writing, says that he is a writer who puts in too much detail to start with and then wants to add things in revision, a tendency he must fight against. And I have a similar problem, whether blogging, writing academically, or "working" on my never-ending book that I've been writing, kinda, since I was in high school. (Never-ending because I may never finish it, not because the story is that long.) I have had some improvement in that direction over the past couple of months (really-- I take stuff out of my posts before they are published; they could be even longer), but since I have the memory of an elephant, I remember the words that I laboured over and mourn their passing when I must remove them from whatever medium I'm currently using.

This post is the result of the Crusader Challenge, part of the Writers' Platform-Building Crusade over at Rach Writes. Wanna join in? Head over to Rach Writes, look for the "Original Crusade Post" in the sidebar, and join a group of aspiring writers who are building their online presence.

25 comments:

Brandon P said...

I recently started a document where I keep whole sections of deleted text from my writing. Paragraphs and sentences that I am particularly proud of, but don't end up making the cut in the end. I'm not sure if this little document will make much sense in the future, but maybe it'll be a jumping off point for more one day.

Rachel Morgan said...

Don't worry, your posts aren't SOO long that I've wandered off for some Quidditch :-) There are some blogs where I'll scroll to the end, think "WOW, that's long" and move onto the next one!

Su said...

@Brandon: That's a really fun idea. I'm thinking with some rearrangement, you could probably get a good story out of that.

@Rachel: Thanks! But if you do wander off, at least let me know where you're playing. ;) A couple of years ago I was writing posts that were like novelettes, so I've trimmed down since then.

Megan K. Bickel said...

Great post! I worry about my blog length as well. It is a constant battle!!

Su said...

Thanks! It's nice to know we aren't alone, right? :)

Rachael Harrie said...

Great post Su, and so true about the length of posts - somethimg I have to think about too. Love how you've worked in the random words from the Challenge :)

Su said...

I've always wanted to talk about Mars outside of Astronomy class & the chocolate bar aisle. :)

Faith said...

Sometimes I worry about the length of my posts... but only 250 words, all the time?! Yikes... nope, that'll never happen. I like to talk too much (even if no one is reading my words, apparently... haha).

Though, you have now inspired me to find my Golden Snitch and see if anyone is up for a pick-up game of Quidditch. However, it should be noted that I did finish reading your post first.

Patricia A. Timms said...

Hello! I am a fellow crusader and new follower. Great post. I like the way you used the challenge words.

I'm a lengthy poster as well and commenter. Yikes! I feel bad about it. I can't wait to read more of your future posts.

Su said...

@Faith: I'm in! Where are we playing? :) I wish I had taken note of the 250-word blog; I was browsing & sped on by too quickly.

@Patricia: Thanks for stopping by! I guess it's normal for writers to keep on writing, yes? No wonder we have long posts.

Charlie's Church of Christ said...

I aim for 250 and land in the 300's. My limit used to be 700, then I realized I wouldn't even read my own post. It's good to have that awareness, similarly in facebook I try to make each photo in an album awesome, so you're not looking at 70 photos of a two day period.

Su said...

LOL! Yeah, I guess not being willing to read your own posts is a good sign they are too long.

Alison Stevens said...

I wondered how you were going to get elephant in there. :) I've started writing much shorter posts and the number of comments has increased substantially.

Timbra Wiist said...

If you will labor to the end of ANY SINGLE ONE of my posts, I will always labor to the end of yours :) I enjoy them all! I also mourn when I have to take out sections of text, though you may not believe I ever do that either :)

Su said...

@Alison: I almost forgot! Good thing my memory came to the rescue. :)

@Timbra: But your posts are so fun, they don't seem long.

sparquay said...

So what Friend would I be if I didn't also comment on your most commented post.
So anyhow, I guess I never really had a problem with length, because I've managed to either A) be concise or B)been too lazy to write it more completely.
Anyhow, I'll continue to observe this Crusader Challenge as a spectator. Hope it proves helpful to your writing skills.

Su said...

I wouldn't have hated you forever, or anything. :) I've "met" a lot of really fun bloggers with this challenge already!

Tessa Quin said...

I'm right there with you on the length issue! I not only write long blog entries, but I tend to write very long replies to other peoples' posts! I'm trying to restrain myself these days. I figure that the less text I post, the more often I will post. So far, it has worked ^.^

And yeah, I also did a sharp intake of breath when King told me (through his book) to take out 10% of the word out in my revisions. I had just planned to make my MG a little longer on my first revision >.< I'll see how it goes. Maybe I can add stuff, let it sit for another month, and then pretend it's my first revision when I read it again!

Long reply...

Su said...

I think that's a great strategy. :) It just keeps making me happier to hear that everyone else has this issue, too.

Quinn said...

Hey! I'm a fellow crusader and new follower. Somehow I missed you, but all's well now.

Sometimes I worry my posts are too long too, but people seem to love them. I think if what you're saying is interesting, the post can be long ... I'll still read anyway.

Marieke said...

Heh, so true!

Su said...

Hmmm... my comment from earlier has magically disappeared.

@Quinn: I sneaked in late, so that's probably why you missed me.

@Marieke: I just love the sound of my own thoughts. :)

L'Aussie said...

Hi Su, I'm a new crusader, joined too late for this challenge but I'm reading/voting.

Good post. It's true, readers don't like long posts. I find it hard to be succinct but it's good to have a word limit.

I've become a follower both here and on twitter. I hope you'll add me to your list.

I am:

L'Aussie at

http://laussieswritingblog.blogspot.com

Grandpa said...

Well, well, well, Su, what can I say? Quite a lot, actually: first I found myself singing to the tune of Helen Shapiro's "I will follow you"! Of course she and I are way way before your time...

Second we have a number or things in common: I have the whole collection of Aaron Sorkin's The West Wing; then I simply cannot keep my post short! And I mix English and American spellings ALL the time! What more can I say, except very glad to have met you and Chad, and that I thoroughly enjoyed your writing.

Su said...

@L'Aussie: I will add you now! Thanks for dropping by! Can't wait to read your story for the next challenge.

@Grandpa: Now I have to go look up that song. ;) Isn't TWW great? I wish someone would pay me to watch the reruns; I think that would be a great way to make a living. Glad to have met you as well!