It’s a Blog Not a Novel

As a Creative Writing major whose main focus is on such topics as charablog writingcter development, plot pacing, and showing vs. telling, blog writing is a different animal entirely. There are those who write blogs for pleasure and to relieve some excess stress. Some write to create a brand for themselves or their company. There may even be those who write blogs in order to feel accomplished that they have managed to get some kind of writing down, even if it is not towards that manuscript that has been lounging about in their hard drive since last year.

The point is that writing a novel and writing blogs for personal or business use is quite different styles of writing. In fiction, rule-breaking is allowed, perhaps even encouraged. Take for example, “So much for that.” This would be considered a fractured sentence. While a fractured sentence may be okay to use during dialogue in a novel it may not be the best thing to use in a business-centric blog post.

When writing for a company one must keep in mind the brand’s unique voice. Is it casual? Serious? Whatever the voice, it should be consistent. A company may have established a brand voice before the new employee (like me) started contributing to the blog. It may prove difficult to get used to at first, but if you want to succeed in blogging on the business level you need to realize that not all decisions about what you write are your own. There may be a set way a company prefers to answer questions or a specific four-paragraph-only format. Whatever the case, a writer must learn to adapt.

There are, of course, cases where novel writing and blog writing can be similar. Both increase one’s time management skills because both have deadlines. Once you are under contract, editors and employers expect the writer to meet the deadline. Showing vs. telling is a constant battle for a fiction writer. How much should they allow the reader to infer? Should they merely say that the character is angry or show the reader by having a character slam a door, stomp their feet, or say something in a fit? A blogger may stumble upon this issue as well. Does each one of their statements need an example or an explanation?

If you call yourself a writer then know this, “Adaptability is key”. No one kind of writing is the same as another. Each has its own set of guidelines for what gets your post or book read. If you want to write a novel, wonderful! I’m rooting for you. Just remember, don’t write it in your blog.

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