Writing in Pieces: Blogging A Narrative Novel

writing

Writing friend Tara Lazar has some interesting thoughts about the ways writers are using Twitter and similar platforms to connect with readers.  She mentions me in the first paragraph of the linked post, but I’m especially interested in the idea of tweeting, say, a novel, or the mobile novel deal she mentions that’s going on in Japan.  The interactivity (in terms of direction) of the later is probably too much for me, but serialized novels in pieces on your mobile phone sounds right up my alley.

I’ve been thinking about serializing my manuscript in this space, and I’m especially tempted because of its format.  (It’s told in pieces by various narrators).  Perhaps even more fitting would be setting up blogs for each narrating character, with a link at the end of the first post that would go to the appropriate post on the next narrator’s blog and so on.  I may have to explore this.  Meta-blog novel?

12 thoughts on “Writing in Pieces: Blogging A Narrative Novel

  1. This all sounds fascinating. I must look into Twitter at some point.

    All the best with your work. I’m blogging on creative writing subjects. Check out my blog at lawrenceez.wordpress.com

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  2. I’m intrigued. This may be what I needed to get myself motivated to write a short story / novella I’ve been pondering.

    I love the idea of meta-blogging a few different character’s point of view on a story… I wonder how it would work out?

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  3. One of the teens in my youth group is very passionate about his novel writing. He writes murder mysteries and shows a mastery of character development. His characters are typically from the Lehigh Valley and have a long history in the area. He also is fond of using real news article references and lining up important news events in his writings to make his fiction more believable.

    He hasn’t discovered Twitter yet, but he has created Facebook accounts for his characters who are “friends” with one another. His plan is to build up a traceable history of his characters on the web and to deeply integrate fiction with reality. I must say, I’m impressed.

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  4. Stella and Lawrence: nice to “meet” you. thanks for commenting.

    Nate: I think the structure of my manuscript lends very well to the meta-blogging idea. Right now, each character’s turn of narration is marked off by their name and a colon, almost like a play script. I’d written the original few drafts with the same structure as far as the multiple narrators telling various angles of the story, but I didn’t set them off so explicitly until I read “Rant” and saw that it could work and was an okay way to mess with form. Originally, I set the apart by put their names at the top of sections they were narrating, sort of like chapter titles. This got confusing, especially since there are metanarrations going on: characters recounting to the reader what other characters told them. Conrad did this a lot with his Marlow character. He wasn’t the first to using this kid of framing device (Canterbury Tales does it, for example), but he’s first one I came across as a teen. Man, I love him.

    Nick: that is awesome. I’m impressed, too. Keep encouraging him! thanks for sharing what he’s doing. I love that it’s set in the Valley, too. I sense that the region is long over due for literary renown: maybe this is in the works. Stephen Vincent Benet, HD, Elsie Sangmiester; these are precedents.

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  5. Hey there, thanks for checking out the blog. It is fascinating to see what is going on in the Twittersphere with writing. One of my early gripes, however, is that new tweets get delivered to the top of the page, so if I’m catching up with a story in progress, I’m reading from the bottom-up. Takes some getting used to. And I’m not sure a novel in this format works, given that it’s a lot of words spread out over a long period of time. (Although most of the writers are delivering a scene at a time in a matter of a few minutes, not one line every hour or two. And they are posting the novel on a website as it develops.) But I think the short story form has a legitimate place there and may indeed gain a following, especially if more well known authors take the lead. The screenwriter from Monk, Tom Scharpling is writing a novel called “Fuel Dump” but I haven’t seen a #FD post in a while, so I’m reading a lot of his back and forth convos instead of a story. He might benefit from a separate Twitter account. I have met one children’s book author who self-published his book and is using Twitter as a one-man marketing tool, and doing a helluva job with it. He’s already got 19 five-star reviews on Amazon and 5000+ followers. I’m interviewing him on my blog in February for authors interested in using Twitter to market their work. All this research and tweeting, I’d better get back to my own writing…hope all is well with you, CC!

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  6. “The heteronyms sometimes intervened in Pessoa’s social life: during Pessoa’s only attested romance, a jealous Campos wrote letters to the girl, who, enjoying the game, wrote back.”

    LOL

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  7. Having posted a novel at twitter at twitter.com/talkingcat I saw there is a different problem with comprehension in a
    backward reading story. I needed to post a “real” version at pick2prod.com Much easier to read that way.

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  8. I was wondering about that. I think if I were to blog a novel from the pov of the different narrators and include a link to the next piece, that might make it easier to read. Even so, people will stumble upon the “fake” blog of the character (nothing fake about it, really) in midstream, so there’d need to be some kind of system to the whole thing if new readers wanted to start from the beginning. Setting up a blog novel that reads the way people encounter blogs would be another thing in and of itself.

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