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Attention Span Death Watch

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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?

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Wow! And just think...in several years, no one will have an attention span at all and won't be reading! :P:rolleyes:

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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...

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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.

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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.

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