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Why do authors give what happens in their stories in their blogs?

richardshagrin

An Author Jefferson asked basically this question this May in his blog, which I just read. There are some authors whose blogs are posted pretty much the same day as their new chapters that give details on what happens in their newly posted chapter.

I took a stab at giving a reason, but I suspect I am wrong: I think saying at least part of what is happening in the latest chapter posted is "traditional". Lots of (well a few) authors do it. It is probably intended to attract readership. Maybe it keeps a continuing story in a potential or past reader's mind, even though he didn't have time to read this weeks (months, semesters, years) installment. Its an investment in the future. If a reader keeps his eye on what is happening in the story, maybe he will pick up and read next time since he won't be disoriented by not knowing what happened last episode. I know, its kind of lame, but at least its a reason.

On the other hand, instead of reading the story you can get the Cliff Notes version by reading the author's blog, either every time it comes out, or saving all the blogs for a rainy day and reading them once the story is done.

Like reading the actual story at 2,000 words per minute. Like reading a fairy story "Once upon a time...And they lived happily ever after."

Ok, now you have "read" (for some values of read) every fairytale ever written. Except the ones in a foreign language.

All purpose SOL story: Introduction, character (repeat characters as needed) plot, sex, sex, sex. The hero wins. The end. Details of the plot vary. Sometimes there is more or less sex. On Fine stories they leave it out almost entirely. Sometimes married women have babies, it must be immaculate conception.

You probably can tell I am not a writer. I do occasionally review stories. I am not very good at that, either.

Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

An Author Jefferson asked basically this question this May in his blog, which I just read. There are some authors whose blogs are posted pretty much the same day as their new chapters that give details on what happens in their newly posted chapter.

I'll admit, I don't read author blogs very often (I usually go there to find things out, like why they haven't posted for a long time), but it seems a strange thing to do. Your theory might account for it, but ... many readers regularly examine the blog posts, so often, an intriguing blog will attract new readers. This might happen in an attempt to hook those reluctant readers. However, it's also likely to annoy most blog scanners, making them hate you, so it seems entirely counterproductive.

More likely, it's someone trying to write a weekly blog who has no clue what to say.

Switch Blayde

When I post a new chapter all I do is inform people I posted the chapter. I never mention what happens in the chapter. That goes for my Yahoo group as well.

Now, in the Yahoo group, if someone asks about something that was in a posted chapter, I'd tell them to wait and see what happens. But after the story is complete, if someone wants an answer I respond. However, I start the post with something like "*SPOILER - DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE STORY*".

Ernest Bywater

@richardshagrin

I post story alerts and answers to reader questions in my blog, as well as personal status reports so I don't get emails about how I'm going.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I post story alerts and answers to reader questions in my blog, as well as personal status reports so I don't get emails about how I'm going.

I agree with Ernest, about not describing what happens in the story in the blog, but my reader questions rarely fall into the spoiler territory. Sometimes they'll ask where the story is going, but I tell them to wait and see.

What I have done is comment on the story (i.e. "this might be disappointing to readers, but ...") although I've learned not to downgrade my own stories. But sometimes, having a character doing something unsatisfying leads the story in a new direction, and I'd rather not lose readers for a temporary change in the story.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

But sometimes, having a character doing something unsatisfying leads the story in a new direction, and I'd rather not lose readers for a temporary change in the story.


I don't give away anything. I'm even careful in the description and story codes. In the latter, I'm willing to get a 1 vote for not including someone's squick if it would ruin a surprise in the story.

I expect a lot from my readers. In "Teacher's Nightmare" I had a reader complain with something like "Enough is enough." I had the protagonist go through stages: anger, fear, depression, paranoia, despair. That's what the reader was referring to. She kept getting into worse and worse situations. But I needed to get her to the despair level where she felt hopeless. To skip some of the emotional states wouldn't have been right. If I lost readers because "enough is enough," so be it. The integrity of the story comes first.

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