IN this week's column, you said
Oddly, from a writer's perspective, 17 pages were easier to structure, as 8 or 11 page stories are.
I'm curious... you wnet through why the 22 page story is difficult, but I don't see why 17, 8 or 11 are any easier, and you didn't explain.
I can understand in general why a specific page limit can be a problem in storytelling, as any particular story might not need exactly that number of pages. But I would think that was true of any page count.
And if you look at the 22-page count (or any page count) as similar to Haiku - extremely regemented in structure and theme - then the issue doesn't seem to be such a big deal anyway.
OTOH, the strict page count works for the publisher and consumer by not providing monthly "sticker shock" that might jolt a habitual buyer out of their buying pattern.
Though I can think of quite a few times where a publisher added a page or two to fit a particular story on a occasional basis.