Saturday, May 03, 2008

Too Many Words

I don't have this problem with fiction, for some reason, but when it comes to non-fiction?

Oh, Lordy.

I'm revamping my studio website, and goodness. I write content, and then I literally have to delete 90% of it.

Even sadder is that of the10% left, probably about 90% of that should be cut, too.

Or maybe not.

See, online, people tend to skim. So I was wondering: if they only process the main points and skim the rest, then isn't there a point when cutting out everything but the parts they don't skim, would mean they would still skim and miss more main points?

I didn't explain that well.

Take a reader who skims 80% and reads 20%.  If you cut out the 80% they normally skim, would they still read the 20%? Or would they skim 80% of the 20%, and then read only 20% of the 20%?

So, in that case, should we leave in the original 80%, suspecting they'll skim it, so that we know they'll get the 20%?

(Am I making any sense at all?)


See. This is one of the reasons why nonfiction is such a challenge for me.

So what do you think? And how was your weekend? Whatcha up to? How's the writing going?

(Over here, guild is over, I'll be able to write on Monday, finally, and I'm still working on the spy thriller. Except for the last week, but it was a busy one. I'm trying to convince DH to take me to a drive-in movie tonight!)

11 bonus scribbles:

Heather Harper 5/03/2008 06:56:00 PM  

I would love to go to a drive-in! If only I could find one close enough. (Gas prices yanno.)

I've been having to manually edit my blog posts this weekend. Argh! Love the new template, but the links in the posts were so close to the same color as the non-links that you couldn't tell that there were any links in a post.

And my hand is about to fall off. ;)

(I had something else to say and can't remember what it was. I need a nap.)

conley730 5/03/2008 09:42:00 PM  

They still have drive-ins where you are? Wow! That would be really fun. I'm not a skimmer...I read everything!

Edie 5/04/2008 08:40:00 AM  

The first time I'm at a website, I'll read the message on the home page. But I don't know if it's missed or even necessary. I've redone my website twice, and each time I cut words. When I have a couple published books under my belt, I think I'll just have one of these sites that show a picture of my latest books, maybe a picture of me (or maybe not), and all links to other pages.

But that's an author's webside and your studio website is different. Good luck!

Melanie Avila 5/04/2008 03:01:00 PM  

I tend to skim after the first couple paragraphs. Can you do subheads with only a paragraph or two for each? To me that seems a manageable amount to read, even for those you skip around.

Good luck!

Melanie Avila 5/04/2008 03:02:00 PM  

That should be "those WHO skip around." Not those you avoid. ;)

spyscribbler 5/04/2008 11:21:00 PM  

Heather, our drive-in is about 30 - 45 minutes away, so it's definitely a splurge. But we opted for a closer theater, but then I fell asleep in the car after getting a taco, and we went home instead of going to the movie. I was exhausted!

Good luck with the template! Looks great so far!

spyscribbler 5/04/2008 11:22:00 PM  

Conley, yes! You don't? There were three, but one got bought. :-( They're all about 45 minutes away, though.

I skim some things, but with contracts and stuff, I read every single word.

spyscribbler 5/04/2008 11:23:00 PM  

Edie, music and writing is so close in my mind, LOL, that it's all the same to me. I agree with what you say. I'm including some videos of my students and links. Then they can choose what they want to read, you know?

spyscribbler 5/04/2008 11:24:00 PM  

LOL, Melanie. I've been working just on that! I've been using the Copyblogger template, because it has great headings, subheadings, lists, blockquotes, and pullquotes. It's great.

Bernita 5/05/2008 08:47:00 AM  

Write what needs to be there.
Why write to compensate for some people's ADDs?

Melanie Avila 5/05/2008 06:34:00 PM  

Spy, I am a graphic designer by day so I'm used to putting things together with the idea that people might not read the content. Subheads are my friend. :)