Thursday, May 14, 2009

Blog Your Book

This is not an original idea - far from it, actually - but it is one I have discussed with others many times over the years. I have told everyone that the greatest thing about blogging as it concerns the larger act of writing is that I am actually doing it. For whatever reason(s), I really took to this form and sometimes excel in it, though I realize many do not consider it "writing." However, I have most of those people beat simply because I am actually doing it - every day, I blog on something, whether it's here or elsewhere. I enjoy what I do and have no real ambitions of writing larger works, but for those of you who do, you should consider blogging your book a piece at a time.

The wonderful thing about this form is that there is no set structure; you can write lengthy essays, pithy one-liners, or short paragraphs. You can use the inverted pyramid to report on things which interest you, break into poetry whenever it moves you, or write fiction. And though true blogging generally refers to keeping an online journal of your life and events which interest you,, the blogging platform has been, and is, used for any number of things. So why not your novel?

Julie Powell began a blog when she undertook the task of preparing every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, largely because she was afraid she wouldn't finish it. That blog was made into a book and now a movie! I reviewed another blog which was turned into a book several months back. However, these blogs stay true to the form, and you don't have to.

Why not start a blog as one of the characters in your project? Better yet, start a blog featuring all of your characters and make posts as different ones as it strikes you. You can tell readers what you are doing, but you may attract more constructive comments if you don't; no one needs to know the bloggers are fictional but you.

You could also simply write your book through your blog. Every entry should be at least a paragraph or more. Use tags to keep track of the entries - suggestions include "Ch. 1," "Ch. 2," "Billy," "Mandy," "Scene 1," and so on. Whenever you feel you have covered enough ground or accomplished some other goal, collect the fragments simply by clicking on the tag you made and edit the pieces into a single work (chapter, short,

Along these same lines, you may wish to post on topics to be included in your finished product. As we writers know, a lot of what we learn is transitory - research for a project often makes us authorities on any number of topics... for a few days. Why not create a post from your research notes and offer it to other writers?

Don't forget to monetize that blog! In time, I'll share more information on how best to do that in the Blogging the Write Way series, but you should be looking into it on your own. While it isn't likely to make you rich, a few extra dollars every month goes a long way these days! It also gives you another incentive to keep blogging.

Within a year or so, you should find that you have enough material to start editing it into an actual work. Comments from others may provide great feedback which you can use, but it doesn't matter if no one reads it, so long as you keep at it. Set a goal of one post per day or maybe five posts per week and stick to it. In short order, you may well find you've already written that novel/screenplay/short story you always wanted to write!

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

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