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Thursday, April 21, 2011

How Long is Long Enough?

I am a skimmer.  When I read, I skim all the descriptive stuff.  I am impatient and I just love the action and I need to get to the end and find out what was going on.  When I wrote my first book (Secrets) I left a lot of the stuff I tend to skim out.  My book ended up around 41k words, as opposed to the 50+ thousand for a typical book.

Is this wrong?

Are there people out there who also skim?  Who just want to stay with the action and don't care about what the house looks like or what the character is wearing?  I really tried to add to the story, but it just felt forced and slowed the story way down.
Which then begs the question, how long is long enough?  If a book description interests you, then you see the word count is small (not short story small which is a different category to me) does that make you want the book a little less?  Let's assume the price is low, say 0.99-2.99.

I'd really love to know how people feel about this, especially because my second book will be coming out this  summer and I'm doing the same thing. I think the story is killer and the pace is great and that's all I want from the books I read but...

You tell me...


  1. I believe the process of writting wordie books was established because it was just tradition. Times change. Sometimes I want to fly through the fluff and get to the meat which is why I typically read the last chapter of a book first. I like to know the endings and then see if I can figure out how the author got there. Then I read the book. May just be my way of thinking. I do the same with movies. Tell me the ending, I don't care.
    So, I guess I like shorter straight to the point books. So just stop where it feels good.

  2. I would never skip a book because the word count was too low! As for skipping the detail stuff- though I am sometimes tempted (especially when its redundant) I always read it all. Lots of people that I have talked to prefer to skip the "small talk" and get to the action, but I just like to read it as the author intended. If you are the author- you decide how it flows!


    PS- thanks for stopping by my blog!

  3. I have to admit that I am a terrible skimmer. At times I skim so much that I realise I don't understand what happened and have to go back and read over a section again.

    To be honest, I think it comes from me not being that bothered about overly descriptive writing. I am happy to just imagine things myself without needing an author to spell it all out for me.

    Either way I will read long or short books, if it appeals then I will pick it up and read it.

  4. It's good to know I am not the only one. And that I can write the kind of book I want and people will still read it.
    I knew I couldn't be the only skimmer!
    Thanks for the comments everyone.