HOW TO BLOG
Brevity is the Soul of Wit
Brevity is the Soul of Wit
Musings on Blogging
I have got feedback that my blog posts are too long.
My span of attention on the screen is much less than my span of attention on paper.
Also, my eyes get fatigued faster too.
I noticed this while reading an ebook on my friend’s ebook reader recently and decided to defer buying an ebook reader till I feel more comfortable.
At least, as of now, I prefer to read paper books.
They say ebooks will soon edge out paper books and the “electronic word” will replace the “printed word”.
This will surely affect writing style and a wannabe author like me must take note of it.
Brevity, simple words, small paragraphs, light forgettable reads – these seem to be the requisites of new creative writing.
You are just going to glance through and browse. Reading on a screen is something like seeing a movie, in contrast to reading on paper where you can pause, re-read, reflect, assimilate, absorb, ruminate and then let what you have read perambulate in the mind for years to come.
There will be a paradigm shift in reading style – new-age reading will be hurried, “read and forget” style; not the erstwhile unhurried “read and savour” style.
Now you have no time to think or to ponder over what you have read – you just want to read and forget, and quickly get on to the next page.
Writers (especially Bloggers) cannot afford to “tax the brain” of the reader. This is because of the fact that when you read on a laptop or PC screen you cannot think as clearly as when you read on paper. I have noticed this myself during my research work too, when I referred to IEEE journals, which were earlier on paper and now are available online only.
In fact, on many occasions, I had to download and take printouts of research papers and then meticulously read them later on. (Downloading and printing defeats the very purpose of ejournals and ebooks).
This is true for creative writing too.
I still remember stories I have read long back during my schooldays (on paper), but what I read online on the internet I tend forget very fast.
On the internet, when you read online, on your laptop screen, you tend to read fast, as there seems to be an underlying sense of urgency to finish and go to the next page or website.
In fact, sometimes I don’t even have the patience to finish what I am reading and want to go to another website.
Also, there are distractions of enticing advertisements and seductive pop-ups and alluring clickable url links which tend to lure you away to new websites.
Just imagine reading epics like WAR AND PEACE online.
Maybe, you’ll have to take a printout and read it in peace, but then that defeats the very purpose of the electronic word and online literature.
Of course, there will be a great advantage if the proliferation of online literature reduces monopolies of the “literary middlemen” like publishers, distributors, editors, agents etc and facilitates seamless interface between authors and readers.
Look at the phenomenon of blogging, for instance.
Blogging has made it so easy for so many budding authors to unleash their creativity and display their talent which earlier was very difficult, since the decision whether to publish a literary work or not was exclusively in the hands of editors who formed a barrier between authors and readers.
Now you can just post your writing on your blog for the world to read, appreciate and, most importantly, give you feedback, since blogging is interactive in nature.
I once read somewhere that characteristics of good writing can be encapsulated in three factors (Writing Triad):
Similarly, the three characteristics of good blogging (Blogging Triad) are:
FREQUENCY (of posting)
BREVITY (of posts)
PERSONALITY (of the blog/blogger)
Now let me introspect on my own blogging.
I have been posting quite regularly.
Yes, my blogging FREQUENCY is quite good.
My blog has a distinctive PERSONALITY.
So that point is taken care of.
It is the BREVITY aspect that I have to focus on – most of my posts are too long. When reading online one doesn't have the same patience and concentration as one has while reading a book on printed paper.
From now on I will endeavour to keep my blog-posts “short and sweet” – after all: “Brevity is the Soul of Wit”.
So let me try an practice what I preach.
Here, dear reader, is a short and sweet story - THEN and NOW about a “Kabab Me Haddi”
THEN AND NOW
Kabab Me Haddi
A LOVE STORY IN TWO SCENES
Aditya: 30, a bright young upwardly mobile executive.
Anjali: 27, Aditya’s wife, also a high flier executive, working in a different firm.
Nisha: 26, Anjali’s classmate and friend, just arrived in town, looking for a new job.
SCENE I – THEN
THREE MONTHS AGO.
Aditya calls up Anjali on her cell phone.
ADITYA: Hey, Anjali, let’s drive down to
for dinner tonight. Lakeview Gardens
ANJALI: Wow…the weather is lovely…it will be really amazing driving out there…let’s go to our favourite place…
ADITYA: Cupid’s Cove…?
ANJALI: Yeah…Cupid’s Cove…I love the ambience there… Okay, I’ll tell Nisha…
ADITYA: Nisha…? Why Nisha…? Why take her…? I thought just the two of us…a romantic evening together…Let’s not have kabab mein haddi…!
ANJALI: Please Adi…try to understand…she is all alone…this place is so new to her…poor girl…she is so lonely and all at sea…Nisha has no friends except us…please let’s take her…
And so the three of them, Aditya, Anjali, and “kabab mein haddi” Nisha, drive down to Cupid’s Cove in
for an enjoyable dinner… Lakeview Gardens
SCENE II – NOW
Nisha calls up Aditya on his cell phone.
NISHA: Hey, Aditya, let’s drive down to
for dinner tonight. Lakeview Gardens
ADITYA: Oh yeah…great idea…it is perfect weather for a lovely drive…it’ll be really amazing out there…let’s go to our favourite place…
NISHA: We’ll go to that lovely place…Cupid’s Cove…I love it out there…the atmosphere is so marvellous…
ADITYA: Okay…I’ll tell Anjali…
NISHA: Come on Aditya…why have kabab mein haddi… let’s go…just the two of us…a romantic evening together…
ADITYA: What shall I tell Anjali…?
NISHA: The usual…working late…meetings…
ADITYA: Okay…I’ll ring her up…and I’ll pick you up at seven…the same place…
NISHA: I’ll be waiting for you…
And so the two of them, Aditya and Nisha, drive down to Cupid’s Cove in
for a romantic dinner, without the new “kabab mein haddi” Anjali, the innocent oblivious and unsuspecting wife, who stays at home wondering why her darling hubby Aditya and her best friend Nisha work so late so often... Lakeview Gardens
In this story, the good natured unsuspecting wife Anjali does not see the warning signs of the cuckoo.
At first she persuades her reluctant husband Aditya to help out her lonely forlorn friend Nisha and she is so trusting that even later she remains oblivious when Nisha cuckolds her and surreptitiously usurps her place in her husband’s heart.
The earlier haddi has now become the kabab and the erstwhile kabab is now treated like a haddi ... !!!
It is amazing, isn't it - How the haddi in the Kabab changes...! Or is it that the kabab itself has changed?
Can this happen in real life too? Have you seen such stories happening around you, especially at your workplace? Do comment and let us know.
Have a Bright Thursday.