26 May 2009 - 12:52 pm

Blog Fiction

It’s curious how this blog fiction thing has taken over my life.

Honestly (and I know I’ve said this before), this started as a way to make sure that I wrote something approximately every day, and a vague attempt to get my writing Out There. I’m happy to say that it has achieved both of those ends.

I’m regretting the schedule. Of course, I only recently stumbled onto some handy advice about what to think about before starting a fictional blog, five months into this endeavour. One of those things to think about is, of course, how often you can feasibly manage to post.

A post a day is a lot, but I’m keeping up. Sometimes, that’s all I’m doing, but that’s okay – I am insanely proud that I haven’t missed a day yet, though it’s been close a couple of times. It’s an interesting learning experience. I know I could pull back and post less often, but I feel like I made a promise to my readers when I started this. I’m too stubborn to back down now anyway.

Also, the real-time aspect of the Apocalypse Blog is interesting to juggle. I couldn’t imagine catching up on a week’s worth of elapsed time in a single post – my posts are already hovering around 1,000 words each on a regular basis (I should update my spreadsheet and work out what my average is). I still struggle to keep my posts down to one a day sometimes – I don’t think posting less often is going to happen anytime soon, unless I get sick again.

The other mistake I think I made was not turning comments on. Honestly, I never thought of it as a problem (or a negative point) until I found Blog Fiction and read the post on comments. The thing is, the format and concept behind the blog makes it difficult to put comments on there – the blog isn’t technically posted online, so Faith can’t respond, and I thought it would be a bit weird to have out-of-character stuff on there.

Of course, in doing that, I cut off a route of feedback (readers can always comment here if they want to, but it’s not the same, I know). And I love feedback. Those of you who talk to me about AB know that I love hearing what people think, what they like and don’t like about it. I get ideas from you! It’s awesome!

Another thing that I see mentioned about blog fiction is internal links back to earlier content. I considered doing this at one point, but honestly I didn’t have time (there are a lot of posts to go through to find specific events). I feel bad because I could easily do it (and unlike comments and external links, it would be feasible within the world of AB for Faith to do that inside her own blog). Perhaps I should start doing that.

Well, part of why I started this whole thing was to learn stuff, and I’ve certainly done that. I’m filing all this information away for later, and for when I start my next blogfic. Yes, I do intend to do another one. I have the damn thing crawling around in my head already (and the test site for it has been up since February, damn), but I’m not going to start that until the new year.

  • Target for the Apocalypse Blog: continue to the end of the year.
  • Next year: shiny new blogfic

Might as well aim high, right?

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  1. Elle says:

    I am SO GLAD you posted this. It gives me some reading and planning tips on how to conduct/produce my own fictional blog starting November. 🙂

    May 26th, 2009 at 8:48 pm

  2. Beej says:

    My main concern is that fiction blogs eat up first electronic publishing rights. Lots of markets these days are looking for those, and while the idea of a fiction blog intrigues me, I would hate to spend so much time on something and get feedback on how to make it better (through comments, etc.) only to be unable to publish it because of a technicality among publishers.

    Why would they pay you to market something that has already been (and likely still is) online for free.

    I love the idea of a fiction blog and online workshopping sites (I personally use writing.com, or I did before this started to become a real concern for me as I move into trying to get a few stories published for my CV), but I am very much afraid of losing potential markets from partaking in letting my work “roam free,” so to speak.

    May 27th, 2009 at 1:39 am

  3. Mel says:

    Elle – I wish I’d found this stuff before I started! More links coming soon, once I have them sorted out. 🙂

    May 27th, 2009 at 8:33 am

  4. Mel says:

    Beej – Yes, posting your work online does use the first electronic publishing rights, and that makes it more difficult to get it published elsewhere (even on paper).

    However, that’s the whole reason that I started the Apocalypse Blog. I wanted to get my writing Out There, but without posting pieces of my novel (augh, not before it’s finished) or short stories that I might want to submit for competitions or publication. I wanted to post something that I didn’t have any intention of chasing publication for. And hey, if someone wants to paper-publish it, that’s fine by me (yes please!), but that’s a bonus extra in my mind.

    Bear in mind that the Apocalypse Blog isn’t a blog where I post fiction – it’s a blog by a fictional character, and the form doesn’t lend itself to being published any other way. Again, that’s one of the reasons I chose to do it.

    Also, you can be paid to blog. There are sites that will do that for you: some claim all the electronic rights to the work; some don’t. So the form of blog fiction does not mean ‘giving your work away for free’ if you don’t want it to.

    It’s all about what you want to do with it, and what you’re doing it for. I’m not saying blogfics are for everyone, though.

    May 27th, 2009 at 8:44 am

  5. Beej says:

    Then I completely misunderstood the point of your Apocalypse blog, and I am far more intrigued now that you’ve shed some light on that.

    Not that it wasn’t interesting or well-written before, but I was expecting more of a fragmentary or themed series of shorts instead of a narrative through a fictional character.

    May 27th, 2009 at 10:41 am

  6. Mel says:

    There are lots of ways of doing them! (Some of which I am still discovering.) Some people post novels/stories a chapter/episode at a time, some post short stories, some are fictional blogs like mine. It really depends on what you want to do. 🙂

    Hope you enjoy!

    May 27th, 2009 at 11:25 am