How to Write a Fiction Blog Series
Blogs and websites work well for posting a self-contained blurb about your day, for giving advice like this, and for telling stories. I run in fiction writing circles for the most part, and I like reading people’s stories on here. Some fiction posts are easy to follow and others take a lot more work to go back and catch up on the story line. Both are good, but I think that the blog format works well for classic series writing (think Great Expectations).
As I’ve perused others’ blog fiction writing and monitored how readers responded to mine, I’ve come up with a short list of some techniques that I think would work for series writing.
1. Be a Pantser. Series writing is intentionally open-ended. I think it’s okay to conceptualize an overall story arc, but this is not a novel. Think only a few installments ahead and leave space to deal with whatever the Dungeon Master in your head throws at you
2. Holy Recap, Batman! Begin the past with a summary of previous significant events. I think this would be most helpful in a series that covers an epic range of geography and character POV.
3. Remember kindergarten. Posting online in a series can be done with a group of friends, but only if you’re willing to let it be a think tank. If you share an idea, it has to be unconditional—you can’t tell the others that they have to deal with it the way you want them to or they can’t use it. No take backs! You want to encourage creative sharing, not kill it.
4. Take up knitting. In the same spirit as the direct recap, learn to recognize areas where your current installment needs additional context and weave it in. To someone who goes on a binge and reads all of your posts in one sitting, the information might seem repetitive, but to the greater percentage of your readers who read installments a week apart, additional context grants that post better stand-alone readability.
5. Stay single. These are not chapters, ladies and gents, these are scenes. One setting, one POV, one significant event. If you can, keep the post under 1000 words—even better if it’s between 500 and 750. We’re all busy, people.
That’s the list. Use it, and share in the comments any more techniques you’ve discovered for effective series writing. Along with this post, I’ve posted my next episode for the Islands of Insight series on the Lands of Unitus. I’ve place brackets [ ] around the sections that I added just for context. Does it help this episode stand alone?