Mom does chores at beach


Ten days ago, Punk and I loaded up the little Zirros for an impromptu trip to spend a week at the beach in North Carolina. The Onion posted this article:

Mom Spends Beach Vacation Assuming All Household Duties In Closer Proximity To Ocean

Ha! Of course it wasn’t about me, but it captured the spirit of my vacation quite well!

I did get in a few hours of writing while we were there. And I started reading You’ve Got a Book in You, by Elizabeth Sims from Writer’s Digest magazine. Her style is a bit too exclamatory, but she’s got some good things to say.

YouveGotABookInYouShe gives these rough word counts for different forms of fiction:

  • Microshort story: 5-100 words
  • Short-short story: 100-1000
  • Short story: 1000-5000
  • Novelette: 5000-10,000
  • Novella: 10,000-40,000
  • Novel: 40,000-infinity
  • Most novels and short story collections run between 50,000 and 100,000 words.

Probably pretty standard info, but good to have it in numbers like that for reference.

I also got to talk to an author who lives in NC. He thinks the length of the novel is destined to shrink. He says self-published e-books already tend to be shorter, attention spans are dwindling, and people expect us to get to the point much quicker, or they expect more “jolts per second” in the getting there.

Maybe he’s right. My last two Kindle reads were both under 200 pages. So was Neil Gaiman’s Ocean at the End of the Lane. But is it really something new? The last Fitzgerald and Hemingway novels I read were also quite short. Maybe it’s all part of the cycle– periods of long-winded discourses followed by periods of brevity.

Which do you prefer, epic sagas or short & punchy?

Me, I prefer taking a maid along next time we party at the coast.


4 thoughts on “Mom does chores at beach”

  1. I think I’d like to try that next Summer, because spending the Summer on intensive-at-home-duties is not as interesting as doing cleaning to the rhythm of the ocean waves 🙂 Epic saga or short and punchy? hhhmmm EPIC SAGA, definitely…though I read two anthologies of the Town & Country essays on Modern Manners, those very fun, short and quite punchy… read you soon, Alexandra


  2. Hey there, Mame, I’m glad you’re finding some useful stuff in the book, and thanks for sharing it here. Re: my exclamatory style, I think it’s a reaction against all the genteel advice about writing out there. Claim it and exclaim it, that’s what I say! Best wishes to you and your writing.


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