With shortening attention spans and the way we consume content nowadays, is there any shift in the way modern fiction books are written? Do contemporary writers write differently than those living in the non-digital era?

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    Hi daskas! Welcome to Writing.SE! Take a look at our tour and help center pages, they're great for figuring out how our site works. The answer to "do writers now write differently than before" is yes, always: like every art, writing keeps changing and evolving. Enumerating all the differences is too broad a question. But if your question is whether your writing should differ from examples of 50, 100, or 200 years ago in terms of pacing, that is quite answerable. You might want to edit your question to make it more focused on that one aspect, though. Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 21:57
  • Thank you for your comment and suggestion, Galastel! I was asking mostly as a reader, not a writer. Perhaps this site isn't best suited for these kind of questions, but wanted to try my luck. Would it help if the question was phrased as "How" instead of a closed variant Do/Should or if I were asking for examples?
    – daskas
    Commented Jul 10, 2019 at 21:45
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    You can indeed ask "how". The problem (and probably why you're getting downvotes) is that this SE is for writers trying to help other writers: we are rather focused on "how to write" questions. If you seek only to understand existing literary works, but not to write your own, your question is a better fit for Literature. Commented Jul 10, 2019 at 23:11

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Are writers changing to accommodate short attention spans?

Yes, in some ways. The flash and micro flash formats seem a product of the digital age and are written to convey a complete story in 100-1000 words.

But, General Audience novels and short stories aren't shorter. The reading level of the language might be a little lower, but that is because of an attempt to reach a broader audience. And style has certainly continued to evolve and change as what is considered more interesting has changed.

For instance, Sci-fi from the 1930-1950s was much lighter on characterization. Today, character-driven stories are the fashion for most pro-rate publications. And it will change in the future to something else.

I think that there exists this impression because of the writing they see on most advertising-supported web pages. These are intended to be read quickly and are reaching a broad segment of the population -- like tweens and teenagers to retirees. Since the goal of the publishers -- or web site -- is to push as many advertisements in front of as many eyes as possible, they don't want people to linger over a story. They want people to read, share and repeat.

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