Why is everything so long? I came home after a day at work, made it through two hours of Aquaman, and shut it off, because I was exhausted. Good movie, but too damn long.
Browsing through the library the other day, I saw several new books by first-time authors as thick as The Lord of the Rings. Too damn long, especially if I don’t know you and you haven’t earned the 20 hours it would take to read that tome. All that tells me is you can’t edit your book for clarity, and neither can your editor. And don’t even get me started on what ‘established authors’ are allowed to print. Someone could hurt themselves carrying around those 900 page tomes. Sigh.
I’ve sat through a miniseries, riveted for the first five episodes, and pumped to make it through the last two, and then felt horrified to learn there’s four more. Inevitably, the plot won’t stretch that far and you get at least two episodes of filler. Or they introduce a bunch of unnecessary subplots and characters that turn an excellent four episode miniseries into a mediocre seven hour one. (Here’s looking at you, Shadow & Bone. Recut the three plots separately. I’ll just rewatch the Darkling one, thanks.)
Maybe working as an editor who streamlines the hell out of my own books has made me hard to please. Or baby, I was born this way. But it seems like our society has an excess of bloat. We eat way too much, drink too much, stare at television screens too much, spend too much time on our phone, own too much stuff, and create too long of epics, often due to unnecessary characters. That’s my other main complaint. There’s such a rush to follow Game of Thrones across every genre, each television show must have 20 main characters whose stories get spread out over six seasons’ worth of subplots. In the case of some of them, like LOST, the first season is spectacular, but bringing in 20 more new characters in season two ruins a good thing.
Some of the best movies out there are tight. You reach the end and want more. That’s better than checking your watch and sighing when you realize this thing is another 25 minutes long.
Do we not know when enough is enough?