Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Blog Varieties

Howdy - I'm back!  Sorry about missing the last post, but the past few days have been crazy, in keeping with the wild month - now more than a month - that began at the end of April.  I'm hoping things slow down as we approach the 4th of July.

At any rate, I was thinking the other day about the blog roll on the right side of my screen, and it got me to thinking about why I read the writing blogs I do.  Obviously they don't all say the same thing or I wouldn't be reading so many.  When I really thought about it, I figured out it was about the variety they present.

There are, in my opinion, four basic types of blogs:
1.  The News Feed - This is probably my favorite.  Like The Passive Voice, this type of blog takes snippets of news about writing from around the Internet and links to them, often with some comment about the content.  These blogs invite the reader to click on the links provided to gain more information.  I think I like them so much because they open up a larger world and allow me to get snippets of news, and then decide which ones to pursue.  The comments sections of blogs like these are entertaining as writers and non-writers from all over debate the impact of whatever news feed was presented.  These discussions usually remain civilized, but since writers have egos like crystal, they can get out of hand the second a slight is perceived.  I try to keep my own comments on blogs like these to something civil and on topic, but I've been known to stir the pot just for fun.  That often depends on the snark of the thread.

2.  The Story Blog - Like DeAnna Knippling's site, these are the places you go to read a good story.  These writers put out samples of either their work or the work of people they know, for free, and they let the reader enjoy the content.  Sarah Hoyt often does this by posting samples of her free Witchfinder novel.  I enjoy going to these sites when I'm looking for an escape, as well as to get an idea of different writing styles(you never know what tips might prove useful).  Sometimes there are some real gems posted, and they're always enjoyable to see.

3.  The Tipster - We're all trying to break into the writing world, and lots of blogs help by giving aspiring, or even established, writers tips on what works and what doesn't.  Write to Done and The Write Practice try to steer writers in the direction of success by pointing to methods that help capture the attention of the reader.  They'll often discuss plot, character development, and setting the scene, and some even offer mini-contests that give us a chance to practice without having to risk our money(just public embarrassment...which hopefully we can overcome in an effort to get better).

4.  The Business Blog - These sites talk about the state of the profession of writing.  Bloggers like JA Konrath, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and Dean Wesley Smith regularly venture into the intricacies of what it takes to be successful on the business side of writing.  They discuss trends of the industry, as well as details on what to do once you're ready to take the plunge.  When I want to work on my own business plan, these are the sites I visit.

Now, none of this is to say that these sites are exclusively devoted to this kind of content.  Most sites dabble in several areas(Kristine Kathryn Rusch, for example, also posts a tremendous amount of free fiction), but most have an area of focus, and this provides readers with an idea of what to expect.  I consider my own site to concentrate on how to be a better writer, although my secondary focus would be on the business aspect.  Readers would be confused if I stopped posting on what makes a good villain and started talking about how to make cheeseburgers.


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