How to Blog a Novel
By NinaAmir on June 27, 2012
The process of blogging a book lends itself well to nonfiction. However, there are writers blogging fiction and ending up with “blovels,” or novels created based on the contents of a blog. The term “blovel” was coined by blogger Ana Marie Cox in her novel Dog Days.
Much like other bloggers who have landed book deals, you don’t really want to base your blovel–the end product–on a bunch of blog posts you piece together that you wrote aimlessly on your blog over time. In other words, don’t look at your blog and say, “Oh, lookey here. I’ve written some pretty creative stuff over the last three years. Maybe I can weave it into a blovel with some good editing an revising and a bit of extra writing.”
Nope. That will likely not make for the best read over all.
To blog a novel, I suggest you go through the same process I suggest with a nonfiction book–the proposal process. You can find two great posts on this here and here. This will help you determine the viability and marketability of your idea and focus your content. And that’s really the big part of blogging a novel as far as I can tell. (Remember, I’m a nonfiction expert.)
Here are some basic tips for blogging a novel:
- Plan out your story arc to a T.
- Plan out each chapter so you know it’s story arc as well.
- Break each chapter down into mini-scenes that can be written in post-sized bits.
- Know how you will hook your reader at the beginning of each post-sized bit.
- Know how you will keep your readers wanting more at the end of each post.
- Determine how you will weave each post together to create a manuscript that flows from one piece to the next.
That takes serious plot crafting and planning. I recently read a comment from a woman who was blogging a novel and she said doing so has made her a much better writer. Why? Because she has to work really hard at each small section of her book — every 250-500 words. She can’t take anything for granted. Each little part has to be riveting for readers and string them along. And then each of these small pieces–each post–must be woven into the next so it flows well and becomes one coherent whole.
In the process of creating a cliffhanger each day, she develops a loyal readership. They wait impatiently to “turn the next page” and find out what happens to the characters.
What fun! I would think writing fiction this way would be immensely challenging and enjoyable. And it would work equally as well for short story writers.
If you have successfully produced a blovel, I’d love to know about it. Or if you have more tips to add on how to blog fiction, leave me a comment.
If you want more information on blogging books, my blogged book, How to Blog a Book: Write, Publish and Promote Your Work One Post at a Time (Writer's Digest Books), is now available as both a paperback (blook) and an ebook. You can purchase it at the following
online stores and at your local bookstore:
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