Writing An Addictive Blook – Part 1

The trademark of a great book would be the inability to put it down. Blooks are no different, although the distractions are multiplied tenfold. If you fail to deliver, fun is just a click away.

Personally i’ve found Flow to be more engaging than Hackoff, but as a blook writer i have to explore new blooks. Here are some of the ways i’ve learnt to stickify the text that i’m working on.

Write Short

Online readers are daunted by long passages of text. Cut your chapters into byte-sized chunks. Serialize everything into as many pages as possible. This serves two purposes – one is that search engines place more importance to blogs with more posts. The second being that no one sane is going to read your 400 page novel in a single page. How long exactly should you write? A personal rule i favour is that the text should be around 6 spiral-bound notebook pages. Admittedly if that particular post is integral to the plot or to character development, letting it run longer is perfectly okay. You can do what you feel is right, but as a general rule of thumb don’t cut for the sake of cutting.

Great Characters

This is one of J.J. Abram’s personal rules while script-writing – nobody’s going to care about your story if they don’t care about your characters. Writing fully fleshed-out characters is tough, and i’m still working on mine online as well as offline – with paper, profiles and brainstorming sessions to build up the character as a person sitting next to me. I’ll write about my forays in this in a separate post.

Love your cliffhangers

Writing short gives you a huge advantage – cliffhangers can be skillfully weaved into slow parts of the story, building up some serious intrigue. This, of course, calls for some (little, actually) practise – leaving a plot line or flashback hanging and jumping to another point of view at the next episode is particularly effective, and easily done. Less effective would be blatant use of the exclamation mark.

Fonts – Super Size Me

The little things add-up: font size, colour and type makes for a totally different reading experience. Choose a font that’s comfortable to your eyes – if unsure take a look at Boing Boing or Lifehacker and try to emulate the feel. Colours should contrast with the background – black or white are the best.

And there you have it … the basics of writing an addictive blook. This somewhat applies to most stories, but there’s some extras here, since we’re talking about online text.

Go read Part 2!

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Category: Writing Web Fiction