Reading in the New Yorker (Sept 29, 08) this morning, I ran across an article about “the world’s first iPhone magazine” (26).  The editor-in-chief, Patrick McMullan, was being interviewed about the nature of the writing that could be satisfyingly read on a three-by-two inch screen:

“It’s a little different, because you’re more conscious of the fact that you have to turn the page a lot,” he said.  “So, if I’ve turned the page six times”–a page of PMc has about a hundred and fifty words of text–“I start to feel like, O.K., something has to have happened already.”  This hasn’t been much trouble for the writers who have contributed so far….”There just have to be fewer adjectives and adverbs,” [Merriam] said.  “Just nouns followed by verbs.  I think a Joan Didion sentence–a lot of short sentences–can do that.  Joan Didion’s sentences don’t rely on subordinate clauses.” (26-28)

In contrast to Didion’s, my writing tends to have really long sentences.  I feel like I need to show the relationships among strings of ideas by linking them together within one sentence.  Looks like I won’t be signing up for an iPhone publishing gig anytime soon.

Advertisements