Category Archives: Web Fiction Writers

Shoutout: Cross-Promotion April 1st Fiction Swap

Lyn Thorne-Alder and Wysteria have a cunning plan, which they’d like to share:

Lyn Thorne-Alder: I was thinking this week of the common complaint that most of weblit’s most active readers are, well, each other.

Well, why not use that?

When I started reading web-comics, they would often, on April Fool’s day, draw each other’s strips in a sort of round robin. Why not do that with weblit? Enough of us read each others’ work that it wouldn’t be that hard to write a guest post in their setting. We’re organizing this on a semi-random semi-by genre style, and hope to have participants lined up by the beginning of this week so we have plenty of time for organization and writing.

Wysteria: We have sixteen authors lined up so far, via Web Fiction Guide, and Crowdfunding Creativity. Everyone has been really enthusiastic about it, which is fantastic. We’re hoping to connect the circles of the venn diagram and reach as many authors as possible. We’re planning to close the gates at midnight at the end of Valentine’s Day, February 14th. If you want to participate, more details are available by emailing wsteria at gmail dot com. Please include:

  • Your name:
  • The name of your project:
  • The URL of your project:
  • Any other questions, ideas or special considerations:

Some questions that have been asked, in no particular order!

Who is eligible? You! If you are a web author and have an email address, anyway.

Will the guest story be canon? Not unless you specifically arrange that. It’s fun. There may be barracuda ninjas.

I would say, for the record, that this sounds like a ton of fun.

Monday, 13 September, 2010

The State of The Web Fiction Community

Note: this is an edited version of the original post. Removed a number of paragraphs for tone, focus and clarity.

When you don’t create things, you become defined by your tastes rather than ability. Your tastes only narrow and exclude people. So create.

Here’s a plan, and I’d love for you to hear me out: I want to get web fiction mentioned in the New York Times, in the space of a year.

No, scratch that. I will get web fiction mentioned in the New York Times, in the space of a year.

Maybe it’ll be on an NYT blog. Maybe not. I’ll leave this deliberately ambiguous because the goal in itself is big enough, and audacious enough to try to attempt – and when it’s done, I’ll write about it on Novelr. The results? We get publicity, we get attention, and – most importantly, we’d have proven to everyone in the Web Fiction community who wants to continue this effort – that anything, marketing wise – is possible, and that you should try. You should do it, you should talk to people, you should change things.

Right now.

What This Has To Do With The Web Fiction Community

I want to talk about a disease that has settled amongst us, as a community of writers. I don’t mean this as a bad thing. When I say that this is bad, I mean it in the same sort of way someone would say that being laid-back and relaxed (and maybe lazy) is okay, but being active is so, so much better.

And that disease begin with a question: what have we done in the past couple of months, in the past two years? What have we done that has fundamentally changed the way web fiction is read, the way it is written?

The answer: very little. And we have all had a part to play in this.

I believe that we have lost our culture of communal creation. We have stopped building things that make web fiction better for ourselves.

Things weren’t always this way. In the not-too-distant past we had some culture of creation. Quite a bit of it happened here at Novelr. And I know what you’re thinking – you’re probably saying that I’m biased this way, because I created Novelr. But I’m not. I’m not kidding when I say that the community – once clustered around this blog – got things done; I had to learn this the hard way.

The Nature of Getting Things Done

Ideas are a dime a dozen on Novelr. They always have been, and they always will be. There have been a crazy number of ideas that have graced the front page of this site for years now – many of them made as observations: ideas for publishing-related startups, ideas for community sites, ideas that writers can adopt in their writing, immediately. They come naturally from Novelr’s job of observing patterns in the digital publishing sphere, and then simplifying that for the use of any writer who so wishes to write and publish web fiction.

Wednesday, 5 March, 2008

Four Rules For Community

This guest post is written by M. Alan Thomas II (call him Alan) a.k.a CrazyDreamer of Critical Mass. Critical Mass is a blog that focuses on the advancement of quality in webfiction. It rocks. Alan also has a public first draft of fantasy webfiction called Wet Hero. In this guest post he outlines and details four principles of community.

Rule #1: Acknowledge your membership.A Crowded Train Station

If you are reading this, then you are probably part of the blooking community or a closely-related one. A community is made up of a lot of things, but one of the most important is simply a recognition by its membership they belong to it. If enough people say “I am part of the X community,” then the X community exists. What’s more, not only is there strength in numbers, but the more people who acknowledge their membership in the community, the more visibility the community has and the more likely it is that someone who is involved around the edges will realize that the community is one of their interests and will want to become more involved.

Rule #1 is fairly simple, but it enhances everything that follows.

Rule #2: Be involved.

Membership in a community is more than filling out a form; it means paying your dues. Not monetary dues, but involvement. It’s like being in a social relationship: According to some sociologists, a relationship begins when there is an awareness of being observed. In other words, it begins when you and the other person are both able to be affected by the other (because you both observe the other) and acknowledge that fact (Rule #1). In the case of an online community, this requires that you do something for another member of the community to notice.

Eli will have stuck some sort of answer to the question “Who is this strange person writing on Novelr?” at the top of this post. I presume that it mentions my own blog on the subject of webfiction[1], Critical Mass. Hopefully other members of the webfiction community notice my contributions there, particularly after reading this post. (Hey, guest posts are good, free advertising. I never said that being part of a community had to be altruistic!) If you don’t want to run your own blog—and I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t—a guest post can add a new topic to the core conversation or develop an argument at length with far more prominence and ease of commenting than a comment to someone else’s post can. Whether or not you have the time or desire to write a guest post, you can and should write public comments, e-mail other members of the community, and/or otherwise make a nuisance of yourself add your thoughts to the mix.

Tuesday, 8 May, 2007

King Among Blookers (Really?)

My War Killing Time In IraqMeet Colby Buzzell: blogger, author and soldier. He fought the war in Iraq, told a story of pain and bullets and blood. He’s also one of the nominated authors in this years Blooker prize, out on May 14th.

In theory, Buzzell could have kept a diary, gone home and turned it into a book. In practice, he wouldn’t have had the self-confidence. His blog gave him strength because it attracted praise from hundreds of readers in the eight weeks before the authorities stopped him posting from a cyber cafe at the US base in Mosul. Their encouragement made him realise he could make it as an author.

And make it he did.

Shortly before his death Kurt Vonnegut sent him a fan letter. That’s not something anyone can boast about. This was (literally!) a once in a lifetime thing, made only possible with the advent of blogging.

Be proud of Colby. He’s shown us that despite all all the books being churned out every 30 seconds in this world it’s still possible to succeed. Blogging is empowering – who knows how good you are until you actually try?


Friday, 23 March, 2007

RE: Why All Blooker Prize Winners Are Amateurs

After my counter argument to Ed Infinitum’s Bugger Blooker article, I took the liberty to ask Paul Jones, head of the 2007 Blooker Prize judging panel to give his opinion on the discussion. To which he replied:

So I’m wondering what’s wrong with amateur writers. Julie Powell’s book got the kind of New York Times Book Review space that any writer would be delighted with. Cherie Priest’s book isn’t in the dominant genre — Zombie Gothic has its own set of fans. I can’t say much about this year’s Short List since I just got my first shipment on Monday, but I think that we can say that the Blooker celebrates a breaking of genres and of concepts of what good literature is and will become.

I think I shall sum it all up, before this debate carries on for far too long:

The Blooker prize is new, just as blogging and blooking is new. Paul Jones has had his say, so has Ed and I.

And in the end I look back at Paul’s reply: “Julie Powell’s book got the kind of New York Times Book Review space that any writer would be delighted with” and think to myself: is it not good enough that previously unknown writers get their big break through the Blooker?

That’s food for thought for you. To the rest of the authors shortlisted in the 2007 Blooker Prize: God Bless and Good Luck. Us online writers will be watching, with or without the hype.