Value of condensed stories

Today we are overwhelmed with messages coming from radio, TV, newspapers, billboards, and myriad social media. Which ones are most valuable? Which ones hold our attention?

Here are three interesting statistics: the length of an average local TV news story is 41 seconds. The most popular lengths of TV and radio commercials are 30 and 60 seconds. And today, the average length of a movie scene is only 90 seconds. 

What’s the message? Grab people’s attention with the first sentence. Get to the point quickly. Make sure to reinforce the main points you want the reader to remember. 

Who are the all-time masters of this art? One of the first was Aesop, and we’ll talk about his fables in an upcoming chapter.


Published by

Rix Quinn

Rix Quinn is a former magazine editor and now a syndicated columnist for over 100 weekly newspapers. He holds degrees from Texas Christian University and California State University.

One thought on “Value of condensed stories”

  1. This is interesting, Rix. For a while I had a subscription to Blinkist, because of course I want to read everything and who has the time? But I’m beginning to see the appeal of just dialing back the connectedness a smidge. It’s a tossup between feeling guilty about killing time watching the birds and feeling guilty about spending too much time on the computer! — Barrie

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