Hello again all you wonderful bloggers!
I am taking part in The Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Blogging Challenge. So a special welcome to the other members of my sub-tribe. Hi guys! This is the 4th post in this challenge.
We’re working through the alphabet as we look at ways to build a better blog. Today we come to F for
Facts or Fiction
Here is a less than commonly known fact: Tweet it if you will.Blogs can be fact OR fiction. Just make sure your reader knows which. #writetribeproblogger #writebravely Click To Tweet
Here is a list of tips or suggestions. You won’t be able (or want) to use them all, but maybe one or two will spark a flame of creativity in you!
First, we’ll look at the more common type of blog: the one based on FACTS, in other words, non-fiction.
Write on a Nonfiction Topic and the Facts you use will increase your Authority.
This applies to individual posts, or to dedicated blogs. I have a blog dedicated to encouraging and inspiring those going through the cancer valley. It is called Rise and Soar, and all the posts are on some aspect of cancer. How am I qualified to do this? I am a cancer survivor (20 years but who’s counting?). I am also a retired Registered Nurse (RN). And I’m a pastor’s wife. (Also retired – not as his wife, but Rob has retired from full-time ministry. Although at times I wonder, he does so much preaching at away churches I expect our own minister to welcome him as a visitor!) Yet because I blog on the topic, I am amazed at the variety of questions I am asked.
Disclosure: This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience.
Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
See How the Experts Do It.
Dean Wesley Smith is in the process of updating his already-published book, Think Like a Publisher. You can buy it from Amazon.com, or you can read it one chapter at a time for free on his blog
Bring in Experts.
If you’re doing a non-fiction series and there is a section you don’t feel fully qualified to write about, approach someone else to write the post. This gets them exposure and shows your readers you’re not afraid to ask for help when you’re not sure of the facts. This will also help you form relationships with other writers, and it will bring some of the guest blogger’s readers to your blog for a visit.
Choose your Topic with Care.
Select a topic you feel qualified to write on, and still do research to add additional material. Don’t forget to credit any facts you get from someone else. Apart from being the right thing to do, it helps to share the load of responsibility, in case some facts are wrong.
I haven’t been able to find the author of this quote, but I do love it:
MOVING ON TO FICTION IN BLOGGING
I’ll say more about this approach as it is not used as often. Nevertheless, blogs can be a tremendous source of promotion for the fiction writer.
How to Use Fiction in Blogging.
There are various ways to do this. Just, whatever you do, don’t publish a blog in your own name and present fiction as facts. Most of us remember the scandal that broke over James Frey’s “memoir” which turned out to be mainly fiction: A million Little Pieces. (You can read the story here.) Readers should know from the outset whether your work is fiction or based on facts.
What About Fantasy?
If you are writing fantasy or science-fiction, a blog is an ideal place to unpack your characters. You can also create a landscape, using your blog to expand the description. Perhaps invite your readers to point out problems in the land you’re describing. Or you could suggest a problem your character faces and ask for suggestions. You could just get a new take on your story line. You could also suggest to give credit in the acknowledgement page to anyone who gives you suggestions you use.
Unpack your fictional landscape and characters in a blog! #writetribeproblogger #writebravely Click To Tweet. Again, make sure your readers know it’s fantasy.
Fictional Character Blog Hop.
In recent months, there have been some blog hops where readers follow a link from one site to the other, meeting up with fictional characters at each stop. This is a fun and creative means of introducing your characters. Follow this link to see an example of how this works.
Try interviewing your fictional characters on your blog. #writetribeproblogger #writebravely Click To Tweet
Interview Your Characters on your Blog
….or those belonging to another writer: This is a fabulous way to promote a novel. For example, Heidi McCahan, an American author, interviews Adam Carter, hero of Marion Ueckermann’s, Helsinki Sunrise. If you get someone else to interview your character on your blog, that not only promotes your book, it will bring some of the author’s readers to your site.
Visit Towns or Countries to do with your Novels.
By doing this, you give your readers a look into the backstory which possibly doesn’t appear in your book. e.g. Marion Ueckermann again wrote an attractive blog post on Finland, the location for the same book mentioned above, Helsinki Sunrise. Because she has visited Finland, she was able to share many personal photographs with her readers.
Use Poems, Video Clips and Book Reviews.
These and other types of blog posts, even if they are based on facts, especially linked to your article, will help to bring your story or non-fiction book to life.
Blog a Novel.
This is a fairly common practice, although personally I think it has its risks. After all, why would you buy a novel that you’d already read online? Mainline publishers will normally turn away anything that’s been published on your blog.
Having said that, a writer friend of mine, Sean Young, who used to live in South Africa but is now in England, published his book on his blog. Because he couldn’t interest a publisher in his book, he gave it away for free on his site. Some weeks later, a publisher contacted him telling him to take it down at once as they wanted to publish the book.
The book is Violent Sands by Sean Young, and it is still available on Amazon. com. It was subsequently published in Spanish as well, and he has gone on to produce another two novels. And it all started when he put it on his blog!Have you read VIOLENT SANDS by SEAN YOUNG? Background here. #atozchallenge Click To Tweet
My other concern with this idea is that you need to know how the story will end. I am a SOTP (Seat Of The Pants) writer. I’ve written 7 novels (6 of them for NaNoWriMo and none published.) But I have never known the ending before I got there. I was often as surprised as the characters at the sudden turn of events in the story. One of my novels ran into a wall at the end. Should I ever want to publish it, I would have to rewrite the ending. You wouldn’t want that to happen in public on your blog.
“Blogging is good for your career. A well-executed blog sets you
apart as an expert in your field.” ~ Penelope Trunk
I plan to compile these blog posts into a book when they’re finished. Leave me a suggestion and it may end up in the book (with credits of course!)