Thursday, July 7, 2011

Hunting the Perfect Writer's Blog

Being an aspiring author, of course I peruse quite a few writer's blogs. I like to see what people are doing, how effective it is, and of course I look for that gem in the rough, the secret formula that will make something click in my head and turn me into the greatest author of all time.

I find there are four general types of blogs. Of course, many blogs cross over between these types, but in general, they fall into one of these categories. The first is one is the beginner's blog like mine. Basic, aimless rambling. A drunk, staggering through an alley, peeing on every dumpster and stray cat. Throw out suggestions on occasion when something clicks. Very writing centered (Yes, in my mind, this is writing centered. Stop Laughing), because that's the most important thing to me at this time. When did I write? How much did I write? What did I learn today?

The second stage is the soft promotional blog. This seems to be the preferred style of people who have some books out there they have published. They post statistics. They post about the business of writing more than the mechanics of writing, though on occasion they like to remind people they know what they're doing so they'll throw a little gem of writing advice out there. This is a perfect example:

Then you have the mid-list writer. Someone who's had some success, maybe appeared on the NY Times bestseller list. These seem to be the most personal. The author has fans and fans don't want to know about how the author created what they created, they want to know what the author had for breakfast and whether or not the author's incontinent.

The author carefully crafts the blog to reveal cute things that don't offend anyone. Things fans are bound to find interesting. This is my favorite kind of blog. Lisa Scottoline, one of my favorite mid-listers does this well:

The final kind of blog isn't a blog at all. It's the web site of the mega author. Cold. Impersonal. Almost never reveals anything for the fans except when the next book is coming out and where the next book signing will take place. It's a waste of time, unless of course you want to know where the next book signing will take place. It's the Stephen King kind of site:                                                                                                       

I don't have any fans, so there's nobody out there who gives a shit that I went over to my parent's house last weekend to fix their plumbing. So this blog will continue to be an archive of my growth from the dope who didn't understand what POV was until he posted his first story in the Newbie Queue to the dashing and debonair playboy of writing I've become, snatching dangling participles in the blink of an eye.


  1. Your blogs are always interesting, Fred. I'm squirrelling all your snippets away in the hope that one day, I shall be able to earn a living at blackmail.

  2. Fun to read! (did you have a category for that?)

  3. I hate the set up on my blog, and I'm too lazy to spend 18,000 years figuring out something as simple as changing the color. I planned on twisting my son's arm soon, and now I know that I fall in the same category of someone who hasnt much to say other than I went to my parents house the other day to clean the kitchen, check the fridge for suspicious foods, while brooding about a crap novel I can't wait to be done revising, well, it's great to know I'm not alone.