Attention Span Death Watch

Discussion in 'Writing & Publishing Discussion' started by suspensewriter, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. suspensewriter

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2016
    Messages:
    179
    Likes Received:
    49
    Long novels aren't dead yet. Hopefully H.K. Rowlings, George R.R. Martin, and Stephen King have given Christian Writers a chance to present longer works as well with hopes of being published. But in the background are statistics that most publishers are all too aware of these days, such as:

    The average attention span in 2015 8.25 seconds
    The average attention span in 2000 12 seconds
    The average attention span of a gold fish 9 seconds

    and:

    Percent of page views that last less than 4 seconds 17 %
    Percent of page views that lasted more than 10 minutes 4 %
    Percent of words read on web pages with 111 words or less 49 %
    Percent of words read on an average (593 words) web page 28 %
    Users spend only 4.4 seconds more for each additional 100 words

    Source: Harald Weinreich, Hartmut Obendorf, Eelco Herder, and Matthias Mayer: “Not Quite the Average: An Empirical Study of Web Use,” in the ACM Transactions on the Web, vol. 2, no. 1 (February 2008), article #5.

    So how long will the next book you're writing be? More than 100,000 words? Ouch. Better be good. More than 200,000 words? Keep the defibrillator handy.

    What do you think?
     
  2. lynnmosher

    lynnmosher Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Messages:
    31,053
    Likes Received:
    1,323
    Wow! And just think...in several years, no one will have an attention span at all and won't be reading! :p :rolleyes:
     
  3. NurseRobin

    NurseRobin Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    1
    Interesting...keep the good stuff coming to us!
     
  4. suspensewriter

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2016
    Messages:
    179
    Likes Received:
    49
    Lynn, I was trying to follow what you were saying, but I kept looking down at NurseRobin's bird picture...
     
  5. Nicola

    Nicola Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2017
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    24
    Ah yes, the lowest common denominator. I'm not writing for them. There are people out there who beat the average. Intelligence and curiosity are not dead, only smothered; harder to find but well worth the hunt.
    I'm going to give the above average people something to feed on, something to encourage them and build them up. I guess you'll have to call me an elitist.
    Nice bird picture, by the way...
     
  6. Phy

    Phy Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2005
    Messages:
    4,509
    Likes Received:
    187
    I grew up reading shorter, punchier novels, and have a preference for them. That, and my favorite author, Roger Zelazny, moved very fast. His signature writing style turned me off to larger, more languid tomes like LOTR, in which nothing seemed to happen for large spans of time.
     
  7. Justin Swanton

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2017
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    38
    'Once upon a time they lived happily ever after.'

    Who's offering movie rights?
     
  8. Robert Johnson

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2017
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    3
    I just spent slightly longer than the average to read your piece and it held my attention, so that's good. I've also always wondered if the stat on the average attention span of a gold fish is accurate? And do the same scientists who gave us that stat, are the same ones who give us the rising temperature stats for climate change? Just curious.
     
  9. suspensewriter

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2016
    Messages:
    179
    Likes Received:
    49
    Actually, I believe the study itself was conducted by goldfish, although with admittedly limited internet access.