I’m Back!

It feels like forever since I posted anything but in reality it has been just over two weeks. Back to working on my novel.

I’m going to base it off the characters I have started here. Since my 5-week project has been completed I’m going to start over and do this how I want to.

I’m going to write this story. It will be at least a two book series. I have a chapter outline started. Feeling pretty good about this right now. It’s going to be about werewolves and vampires in a world that has access to earth but once there, almost impossible to leave.

My goal is to write at least ten pages a week if not more until the book is complete. I dont want it to be terribly long so hoping for around 200 pages and being done by October!

I will use the blog as an experimental writing place and post excerpts. I’d post the whole thing but it would get to be too long and I want to save some of the suspense for the novel. ūüėČ

-Sarah D.

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Fiction on blogs

While researching what Google has to say about fiction blogs, I came across an article with this quote that both spiked my interest and bothered me:

“Read non-fiction blogs for ideas as well. For your fictional blog to be successful, it ought to sound and feel like a regular blog. You can use the traditional elements of non-fiction blogs in creative ways to make your fictional work more interesting, but you must respect the medium, or it won’t work!”

The words “it wont work” bothered me. Why? Because if someone likes your writing, it shouldn’t matter if you utilize mediums of blogs or not. I’ve seen short posts, no links, no images, just a paragraph or two on a given subject usually something¬†borderline controversal¬†and this blogger received hundreds of comments both in support¬†and a few¬†against.

But I understand what the quote was initially getting at. Blogs have mediums for a reason, those aspects are there because they work in some way or another. I take a deep breath and consider it. Yes, it makes sense to use those mediums in writing fiction.

Thus far my fiction posts are basically short stories. I haven’t used any mediums/aspects of blogs besides¬†comments¬†generating feedback. I’m not sure what this would even look like in a fiction post for myself. I know¬†some fiction bloggers¬†will have their characters using separate¬†blogs so they can comment on posts adding another layer of fiction such as iJames¬†has on his blog here. A commenter becomes part of the story.

Another aspect of non-fiction¬†blogs that I haven’t used in my fiction posts are links. I’m not quite sure how to use links at this point to keep in tact¬†with the storyline. Ok maybe I have an idea. Perhaps this week’s narrator will be a character who is more¬†tech-savy, someone who can steal another’s thoughts and place them online…My¬†character, Ryker, will be perfect for this. (Either way it’s worth a try whether it works or not…next week I switch up¬†characters up anyways.)

Linking to your blog from other social mediums seems to be a norm too (maybe I’m wrong?) I might start doing that with my twitter account it’s worth a try to generate a readership centered towards people who want to read in those areas I hashtag.

Lots of new things to consider this week. I wonder how others have tackled this?

-Sarah D. ūüėČ

 

No comments + Few Likes

In my¬†class at Bemidji State University’s online magazine Cre8here we came across a problem we were running into that led to a discussion. Why aren’t people commenting?

Our Facebook page gathers follows and likes but not many comments. Even when we gave commentors a chance to win a prize not many people would leave comments. Instead several will like a status update and the occasional rare comment usually from someone in the class or from the author of a certain published piece.

On¬†Cre8here’s¬†webpage administrators can see how many hits the website gathers a day and although it is a rather¬†high number with viewers from all over the world, with such a vast community surrounding this¬†solid foundation of creativity¬†it’s surprising that it’s such a¬†rarity to¬†come across a comment.

It’s also frustrating because what do likes really mean? Do people really like a piece, or are the just liking posts in hopes for a follow back? When I first came across that idea, I tried it out and liked a bunch of different posts but then I didn’t have any more hits on my blog then usual so maybe I did it wrong but that technique didn’t quite work out for me. Same thing with comments, I went around commenting others hoping for a comment back, but that didn’t quite work they just replied to my comment. So those theories don’t quite always work, also I tried linking to a two different bloggers and they never linked back. I think every situation is different some advice works some quick tips are just spitting in the wind.

Either way, alas, no comments. But why?

Cre8here¬†is fairly new, and I’m even newer to the world of blogging and online literary magazines. Our class came up with several ideas and then moved on to more work. Here’s a glimpse into what we discussed as well as my own perspectives of possibilities on why we weren’t receiving comments…(Depending on a blogs content I see how these could¬†vastly differ so¬†I suppose I’m mostly thinking about fiction blogs or creative writing here.)

  1. Reader wants to remain anonymous online for various reasons.
  2. Reader doesn’t want their comment to be taken the wrong way.
  3. Reader isn’t sure how they felt after reading a piece.
  4. Reader is afraid they might interpret a piece differently than the authors intentions.
  5. Reader doesn’t have an emotional response to the piece thus not worthy of time to react past a simple ‘like’.
  6. Reader sees so many other comments maybe the feel they are just repeating what someone else already has mentioned.
  7. Reader doesn’t want to be the first comment to break the ice.
  8. Reader doesn’t want to take the time.
  9. Reader doesn’t know enough to defend their point of view in a specific¬†genre.
  10. “…………..”

What other options are there? What could another reason be?

-Sarah D. ūüôā

#1 Research: Starting a Fiction Blog + Gathering an Audience

What works and what doesn’t work when writing a fiction blog? First step I took was to take a¬†close look at other fiction blogs and learn from their example. How did they organize their site? How did they utilize images?¬†How long¬†should a post be?¬†Part of the blogging experience is to gain an audience. But how?

(*Note: Feel free to comment different ideas or conflicting opinions this research post is to generate¬†ideas on what works and what doesn’t. My views are short sighted since I’m a beginner blogger)

Tags

When I first published my piece I got zero hits. I added tags, and presto, hits! Got some likes and a few comments. Life is good. Using tags was more of a learn by experience thing for myself. I searched WordPress topics under the tag names I used for my posts and saw how mine looked alongside others. Something I noticed right away is that pictures made a huge difference.

Organization

As I read through fiction blogs that I found interesting I noticed that organization either attracted me deeper into a blog or drove me away. If someone had 20+ chapters and I couldn’t find the first one, I had no desire to look deeper.

What I liked was when the fiction bloggers did a series of short stories and each post included a fraction such as orpheusfiction did on their blog using a 1/3 for the first, 2/3 or the second post, and a 3/3 for a third on their Fear of Dragon’s series.

Pictureskeyboard2

I was especially drawn to posts that utilized images in different ways. Humor is always attractive, artwork is impressive, mysterious is nice. What didn’t work I thought were those that were tacky or didn’t relate to anything the rest of the post had to offer. I appreciate pictures that somehow illustrate beautifully what a piece is going to be about without being too obvious or too cutesy.

Length

Now for length I am unsure. I found it was easier to read posts that are 300-500 words long, but my posts are usually quite lengthy being over 1000 words. Skimming is what happens all too often and that is why I bold¬†good¬†one liners of my piece in order to keep a readers attention onto key points, (maybe its distracting?)¬† Length, I guess, depends on who your audience is. If you’re a person who loves to read then a long post will be welcome over a short and sweet post that would have a reader begging for more.

Other Helpful Resources

I searched on google to find out what suggestions were out there for gathering an audience some of the suggestions I would have never thought about. Such as on this website¬†I learned that there is a way to submit your¬†URL to search engines I’m not quite sure how that works but that is an interesting idea that would reach¬†a wider audience outside of the blogosphere. On a side note that website was called ’15 tips’ but only had ten so perhaps that isn’t the most creditable site to look at.

Or this article suggested to utilize different social medias such as facebook, or twitter, and advertise yourself so to speak.

Conclusion

A lot¬†of it seemed to generate around the idea of connecting to other bloggers¬†in any way shape or form. By linking, liking, and¬†commenting on another’s blogs will attract those bloggers back to yours.

Getting Started

befunkyme.jpgIf new check out the “About” page to get an idea of what this weblog is all about. Reference the character profiles if you get lost on the different characters otherwise the unique collage style format allows for each post to be read on its own. Feedback and suggestions are welcome. If you’d like me to go in a certain direction let me know and we’ll see where it takes us.

First section of stories will be posted next.

–Sarah D.