Morgan Locklear: Wordslinger…

Drabble Rabble

While I am not a big fan of drabble postings I would nevertheless like to defend the trend and explain it’s evolution and importance in the current online writing culture.

First of all, if you do not know the term, Drabble is a style of writing that consists of very small chapters (usually less than a thousand words).  I first saw the style used in a story posted online last year and while the gimmick (I do not use the word as an insult) created a lot of buzz, the story relied too heavily on it’s concept and any readers after the fact missed out on things like real time posts.

As writers, we want our work to have a consistent impact on readers and part of that is creating a world they can immerse themselves in.  That can hardly be accomplished by reading small clumps of fiction sometimes no bigger than a wind energy pamphlet.

Still, there is a reason it has taken hold and I must admit that it is a perfect example of social adaption.

You see, online writing used to be all about the stories but as we developed friendships and communicated on blogs, threads, Twitter and what have you, we realized that we were anxious to get back to the discussions we were missing while busy reading.  Long chapters first became skimmed then skipped so drabble evolved as a way to keep things short enough so as not to interfere with our new social engagements.

Now we can read a chapter that takes about as much time as listening to a song and I completely understand how and why drabble became so popular.  I just worry that the style will stop the momentum of some very talented writers.

Ah, but what if someone is not interested in writing the next great novel?  What if they are just having fun?  To those people I intend no offense.  It is a worthy way to spend time, and if people are enjoying it then more power to you.

Although there are some who will never see it’s appeal, others have been drawn into reading and writing online as a direct result.

I wonder if anyone else loves reading letters and emails in stories like I do? It’s a fun way to have a bit of drabble right in the middle of a bigger story.

I think small chapters are fine. But at what point does it take more time to get over to the site it’s posted on then it does to read the smattering of words offered up, thereby making the very thing designed to save time do nothing more than make us work harder for less.

Do people review drabble?  Are some reviews longer than the post itself? Continue reading