Writing An Addictive Blook – Part 2

This is a continuation of my Writing An Addictive Blook – Part 1 post, and if you haven’t read it yet it doesn’t really matter, since the points in part 2 do not build on the points in part 1. Part of these techniques require basic coding skills – after all html, css and xml are the underlying languages of the web. So, we’ll start off with something we’ve all seen …

Pullquotes

Pullquotes are especially effective to catch the attention of readers – and creating them requires very minor tweaks to your CSS style sheet(s). I haven’t implemented pullquotes in this blog (most of my time in Novelr is actually spent wrestling with the sidebar, grr), but trust me on this one. In blogger, for example, i did it with a blog called BUGS (example: here) and it took a total of 15 minutes to get everything the way i liked it. WordPress junkies can go here for a brief tutorial on implementing pullquotes in WP blooks.

Excerpts!

Don’t let your episodes run uncontrolled on your main blook page – personally i hate seeing a flood of words with not one pretty picture to break the monotony of the text. Instead, cut off your posts and place a Read More link – WordPress users have this built-in (the more tag), but Blogger blogs will require a CSS hack to do so.

Be Prolific

This is true of all blogs – the more they post constantly the more traffic passes through, the faster the story progresses, the happier readers are. There’s quite a problem here, though – writing a blook isn’t as easy as writing about, say, celebrities – you have to ensure the story is going in the right direction, that the characters say and do the right thing, and at least read through it thrice (that is, if you’re as much of a perfectionist as i am). Posting once or twice a week should be understandable if your schedule chokes the typing ability out of you. Truth to be told, i have let Janus rot for a month without posting once – real life just caught up with me.

Comment, Comment, Comment!

If readers can take the time to give encouragement, to give support or to just have their say, then it’s your responsibility to have a conversation with them! This is one of the benefits of being a small blog – it’s very easy to develop a connection with your readers, be it through comments, trackbacks or references. I’ve even heard of a blooker who asks for a comment per episode … or he doesn’t post. While i’m not exactly sure how this works, or how he does it effectively, the blogging medium opens up different, often exciting ways to connect with readers in ways that cannot possibly be done through books.

And there you have it … a collection of 8 surefire ways to stickify a blook – which works as long as what you’re dealing with is online text. Once your blook hits the shelves in physical format, however … everything changes. The text and the story/content is now what matters, but let’s get into that on another day, shall we?

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Category: Writing Web Fiction
  • Pingback: Writing An Addictive Blook - Part 1

  • http://criticalmass.crazydreams.org/ CrazyDreamer

    Fanfic writers often use the “comment or I won’t continue the story” line. This tends to come off as needy when phrased as a demand like that. It’s even worse when the author can’t take criticism, not even constructive criticism. The primary problem, however, is that readers just don’t see it as their job to tell the author to write; comments, especially praiseful ones, have to be earned, not required.

  • http://www.novelr.com Eli James

    Oh gosh. I’m starting to feel embarrassed by my old articles. It was a newer, more innocent time *inserts halo*

    I’ve learned a few things since then. Like action doesn’t necessarily mean interest, and interest is a completely different thing from pace. And, yes, asking for comments isn’t exactly wise.

  • http://criticalmass.crazydreams.org/ CrazyDreamer

    Don’t feel too discouraged; you have to take a stance to learn whether or not it’s the right one. (Sometimes you have to take a stance in order for other people to learn whether or not it’s the right one, too.) In general, this post is full of good advice. I’m planning to link to it, in fact. I just feel that I have to register my objection to that one point, especially if I’m going to be pointing to the rest of the post as a resource.

    I’m up through “Why Adverbs Suck” on reading your entire archive and planning to stop there for the night; don’t go and take stuff down before I have a chance to decide whether to agree with it or not for myself!

  • http://www.novelr.com Eli James

    No problem, Crazy Dreamer. I’ll just have to clarify my new stances in later posts. It’ll be better that way, I think. More transparency.

  • http://arcanadium.monoxide.ws/ Spotty

    I’ve been jumping about your site a bit, there’s definently some interesting reading here, and I think I might just go from start to finish at some point…

    On the topic of asking for comments though, I don’t think asking for comments is bad in and of itself. I find for me atleast, some form of feedback is a great motivator, even if it’s just people pointing out small mistakes that got through my proofreading. I suppose it’s just proof that someone is actually reading (and probably enjoying, since they’re taking time out to let me know about something, even if it IS just the aforementioned mistakes). I pretty much have only two requests for comments on the site, the first being on the frontpage (I have a proper introduction page) that is more or less tongue in cheek, and the second being on the bottom of the “How to support this story” page.

    That said, the pure hubris behind saying “comment or I won’t post” is staggering. That’s more than likely pushing it more than a little far.