A Writing Challenge – Come Up With A 5 Minute Read
Many years ago I had an idea. It was a bit wacky. It was the result of one of those corny ‘Let’s all brainstorm a novel new way to spread our written work into new markets’ sessions you have now and then in creative writing groups.
Even all those years ago I realised it was impractical but I rather liked the concept. I even made a ‘mock up’ just for fun. What was it? Read on.
I came up with this bizarre idea that I would design one of those flip open top cardboard cigarette packets that we get (got) in the UK and fill it with ‘short stories’….printed and then rolled up like cigarettes. Eh? Yep, exactly.
The idea was you walked up to a kiosk, maybe at a railway station, and the conversation went something like this….
“20 Short Stories please.”
“What genre, pal?”
“Do you have any sci-fi?”
“Sorry mate. I’m all out of sci-fi. There’s been a run on ‘em. Fancy a pack of historical romances?”
“Not today thankyou.”
“I could do you a packet of five if you’d prefer?”
“Is that a packet of 20 Horror Stories there, under the counter?”
“Fresh in this morning squire.”
“I’ll take those thanks.”
“No problemo. A fiver to you guv.”
Something like that. Then you flip open the pack and take out one of the roll-ups and there is your short story….the pack would have a really smart design too. When you’ve finished reading your story, a good five minute read, you roll it up and slip it into the box and flip back the lid.
Well, I liked the idea. I still do as a matter of fact. You could sell them from a vending machine perhaps? And it has set me thinking….about how you might do it these days? Online?
I read at a speed of around 270 words a minute. I’m not saying that’s slow or fast it’s what I’m comfortable with, and that means a five minute read is around 1,350 words.
How cool would it be to collect together online 20 short stories in a particular genre (around 1,350 words) and offer the stories as a ‘pack of 20 five minute reads’? As I say, it would need a really slick design……but would it work? Probably not. But it’s a fun thought.
And I definitely do like the concept of the ‘5 minute read’….I think that might appeal. Any thoughts?