What is a Blog Fiction?

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The was originally posted in my Terran Resistance Forums. I've reposted it here. It's a topic I'm still learning and thinking through.

As I've been cruising the internet looking at and studying the ways other people have written blog fiction, I've run into a dilemma. What is a Blog Fiction? I have found some people that, while using blog software, aren't really writing what I thought of as a blog fiction. Therefore, a definition, or loose definition has to be decided upon on what really constitutes a blog fiction.

Betsy Friedrich wrote an entire thesis(pdf) on blog fiction. She had a chart of the hierarchy of blog fiction.

Blog Fiction Heirarchy

The chart shows pretty clearly that she and I agree what blog fiction is. A Blog Fiction includes any story that uses blog software to tell it with a few exclusions.

My first exclusion is a pre-written novel. A novel that's published using a blog is not a blog fiction, it is still a novel. If a novel is pre-written and then a chapter is published every week (or month or etc.), it is still a novel that's been self published by the author.

My second exclusion is a novel using a blog to help write it. For example. Let's say you're writing a blog fiction. You publish 5 chapters to the web. Then, while writing chapter 6, someone leaves a comment that it would be a better story if you changed the setting from Futuristic Japan to Modern day Africa. If you go back and change chapters 1 through 5 to change the setting then it's not a blog fiction. What it is, is that you are using a blog to get help\suggestions from people on writing a novel. This isn't a bad thing nor something that I'd discourage people form doing, but it is not blog fiction.

Third Exclusion: Serialized fiction. This might cause the most discussion because I think it's the closest cousin to blog fiction. Just because you're using a blog to publish your serialized fiction(even if you don't ever modify your chapters once published) doesn't make it blog fiction. To those who think that publishing your story before you've written the entire thing is new, you have a phone call from a Mr. Charles Dickens.
A quick test to see if you're writing a blog fiction vs. serialized fiction would be:
If you're writing in the third person: Serialized
If you took your work and put it into a novel, could someone identify your novel as being a diary\blog? If no, then it's probably serialized fiction.
Is there interaction(in character) with readers as you write it? If yes, then i'd say it's blog fiction.

My fourth Exclusion is commercial\marketing blogs. A blog written by a marketing company to promote a product(like the Captain Morgan Blog). Also, a character blog written by a company to promote a movie or tv show. I object to these when they are used for marketing, rather than revealing more detailed plots. I would reconsider if the blog told a story or reveled plot points you may not have known otherwise.

My fifth exclusion might also cause some... discussion. A real blog written by a fictional person. That is, a blog written just like every other blog. You comment on actual local\national\world events. Muse about things you find funny. Link to interesting articles. That is a blog even if you're a 14year old girl pretending you're an 80 year old man. If the blog starts talking about the 80 year old man chasing after a fictional 30 year old woman, then, I think, it turns into blog fiction.

All of this is not to suggest that my exclusions are not good or proper "fiction". I think it's all good, legitimate ways to write fiction, it's just not blog fiction. If you disagree with one of my exclusions, or think that an additional exclusion should be added, my mind is open and ready to be changed. The purpose of this is to open up a discussion.

2 comments:

Lord Likely said...

Good day, sir!

I have just stumbled upon your fine web-log here, and wish to say that I think this is a marvelous idea for a blog.

I hope it works out well, and that you keep up the fine work.

Consider this place added to my blogroll henceforth!

Sincerely,

Lord Likely.

DustinM said...

Thank you lord likely. I appreciate the link. I look forward to hearing more about your... adventures.

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