Coffee Share 201205: Preparing for Year-End

This is a Weekly Coffee Share Essay.
I’m part of a small group of bloggers who stay in touch and chat about blogging, writing, or just about anything else that might be of interest.
Link to This week’s full list
Link to my Story Blog:  Table of Contents.
Greetings all,

Wow, it’s so good to have the chance to sit down for a few, enjoy a hot beverage and your visit.  Today, I’m thinking about the end of 2020.  It’s almost like a pre-New-Year-Resolution thing.  I want to shed some stuff, and start some new stuff, but being an adult comes with the need to comply with things like gravity (can’t jump like I used to) bio-chemistry (gotta watch both my blood sugar and cholesterol)  personal micro-economics (certain creditors will not be denied without a fight) and that all time most successful wet blanket known as “reality”.

  • First, I want to shed Facebook.  There are so many things wrong with them, corrupt politics, sneaky information harvesting and scary targeted marketing, that I just want out of this rat cage.  The problem is that so many friends and family use it for updates of major events, I would miss those a lot, but still. . .  Hmm . . .
  • Next I want to cancel a subscription to a news magazine I’ve been reading for two years.  They so badly messed up their coverage of the recent US election, that I just don’t want to fund them any longer. Grrr . . .
  • Next, I want to refresh my story blog.  I’m sick of inflicting ads on my readers.  Other than paying for them to go away, I have no real control over them.  My free theme, I think, is designed to look old, rode hard and put away wet.  Many of yours look so good, I think they put mine to shame.  So, I may yet pull the trigger.  But I doubt any additional payment will get rid of the WP Block Editor.  Brrr. . .
  • I want more free time to write and would love to publish, but taking up the effort to publish just sounds like that full time job you don’t get paid for and the benefits are limited to unlimited reading of your own work for free. Uh ohhhhh. . .
  • I’ve been accidentally  ignoring some of my most loyal readers for no good reason.  Most of what I write tends to be weekend coffee shares like this essay, which go out with Alli’s InLinkz collection, but gI rarely share with my followers, thinking these “shares” are less formal, more folksy and less enduring than my “Solid Story Efforts”  which  produce as pages, rather than posts and been enthusiastically sharing via a teaser post (because there is no way I know of to automatically share a page) – but my production of these story pages has been much less in both word count and frequency.  When I do share out the coffee shares, they seem to be well received, so I’m going to both start writing them with my followers in mind and sharing them much more often.  It should not have taken me this long to realize this simple dynamic but there it is. Dohhhh!

 – – = = ( o ) = = – –

I missed you last week, but had to decide how best to use a limited amount of time available for writing. and I really wanted to progress my expansion/rewrite of my story, “Ayem Notthymn: 2nd Door”.  So, that’s what I worked on and made pretty good progress. 

‘Ayem 2nd-D’ is now up to about 9K words and , if you know me at all, you know that I try to set story size limits, write with the limit in mind but try not to restrict the flow of good-content production too much.  I give myself the prerogative of adjusting the limit if the quality of the story merits.  I may again adjust, but at this point prefer to keep the size below 10K words because, 10K words = 50 minutes readers time and that is more than I think the readers I have access to would give me .

Along this same line, I’d like your opinion on something.  I did some research to figure out what we call stories of different lengths.  I quickly found out that there are only rough guidelines that vary widely between publishers and writing organizations.  

So here’s what I’ve boiled down my findings to.  I confess, that some of the ranges bug me.  I’m OCD enough that I want the sizes to grow in some rational way, like logarithmically, but those who define the industry have settled on ranges that do not take my OCD-ishness into account.   

Sizes Categories Word Count Ranges
< 25
Micro Fiction
25 – 100
Flash Fiction 100 – 1 K
Short Story 1 K – 6 K
Novelette 6 K – 15 K
Novella 15 K – 50 K
Novel 50 K – 100 K
Epic > 100 K

I know this cannot be used of as standard – because there is none, but some of you are much more experienced that me, so what do you think of the chart above?  I would love for the classifications of ‘Novelette’  and ‘Novella’ to just go away.  Both sound cheesy somehow.

I mean, how do you respond to that dinner party question, “So what are you up to these days”?

If your answer is any form of, “I’m just finishing up a speculative historical fiction novelette which is a splenetic social examination of the antagonism of modern day employees by modern day corporate HR departments.” To pull this off, you would need to have a stale cracker with green tinted brie and a pimento in one hand and a plastic cup with white wine and two ice cubes from the self-serve boxed wine selection table. 

ascotOh — and you’d have to be wearing one of those authorial looking ascots to prove you have the credentials to talk like this.

The name novelette, just screams that such a thing must be the Velveeta cheese of the literary world.

I know some of you will want to tell me to use whatever length the story needs, rather than force a story into a certain size bucket.  I’ve tried that and a story that simply did not deserve it grew to 300K words and as a result I struggled with everything related to managing the thing. 

So, according to my researched chart, Ayem 2nd-D is already in Novelette  (ick) range, and I think it’s going to land in this range.  I could get it up to 15K but then it would only qualify as a “Novella,” which is almost as bad and in this case, my 15K words would take the average reader 60-70 minutes which I just don’t see as a formula for success and might instead leave me exposed to the The Writer’s Digest, most excruciating novella award which I understand is a participation prize consisting of a paisley printed ascot.

So do let me know your thoughts on reading and writing stories of these lengths.  I’ve had some fun thinking about it.  Surely you can poke some fun at it.
And with that, I’m off to visit each of your coffee share so I’ll talk with you in a few.   
If you are among my followers, thank you for doing so and I hope you will look forward to hearing from me a tad more often via these coffee shares .  Near the top, I always note the link to the full collection of shares from other bloggers around the globe.   As I did, you may find several of them worthy of your weekly attention. 
Thanks for stopping by.


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5 thoughts on “Coffee Share 201205: Preparing for Year-End

  1. Gary!
    I too detest Facebook. There is some emotional baggage that comes with it but sadly there are a few groups I belong to that meet no where else. Ugh. I have a new account that I do not friend anyone on! haha
    The end of the year review is taking longer this year for me than normal. I am using several different processes. I am trying to take my time with it this year and not rush. My daily walks help for me to unpack my thoughts and start to organize what becomes story and what just stays in the journal.
    As far as reading length, it honestly depends on my mood and the story. Sometimes I am good with just a flash piece that is strong and satisfying like espresso. Other times I want to linger with longer pieces to savor. I think each story knows the length it wants to be. I discovered my novel from NANO last year is really more novella length. The revision is going so much faster now that I have wrapped my brain around that fact.
    Thanks for the visit and the coffee my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. An you Tammy, I’d love to have a non-virtual chance to sit down (unmasked) face to face to discuss your many insights and disciplines. I don’t know whether I could pull off being a good listener, because so many of the things you’ve said have provoked more questions, or could I just let you go and enjoy the taste of the firehose blast of information I know would result.

      Regardless, I think we would have a fine time.

      I’m so glad to know you’re out there, thinking away and sharing some of the fruit of that mind of yours.


  2. I try not to get hung up on the word count especially when I am just trying to the story out of my head and onto paper. WRite and when you are satisfied, fashion it to fit into conventional standards.
    Have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. No mAtter how much you pay you cant get rid of the editor and I noticed other platforms are adopting a similar approach too at this rate I think even the next update Microsoft Word might have blocks hahahaha


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