Saturday, April 30, 2011


Musings of a Wannabe Writer

I’ve got feedback that my blog posts are too long.

I agree.

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 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, browse, something like seeing a movie, rather that seriously read, pause, 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. You have no time to think or to ponder over what you have read – you just want to read and forget, and get on with the next page.

Writers cannot afford to “tax the brain” of the reader, since 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.

It 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 forget very fast. On the internet, when you read online, or 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 have the patience to even finish what I am reading. 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 it 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)

So 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”.

Oh My God – I have already exceeded 500 words. Maybe I ought to quit blogging. I hate to “count words”. It affects my flow and the quality of my writing.

Tell me, Dear Fellow Blogger, do you have the patience to read a long post? Do you find my posts, especially my fiction short stories, interesting? Maybe I should quit blogging and focus on publishing my creative writing in printed books. But then how do I reach out to so many readers all over the globe?

It is indeed a Catch 22 situation, so while I ruminate over this, please advise me and give me your suggestions, my dear readers and fellow bloggers. I eagerly await your comments and feedback.


© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures(2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories, creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional research papers in journals and edited in-house journals for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 14 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts. 

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Fiction Short Stories Book

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