6 Tips for Blogging a Novel

blogging a novel, blogging fiction, blovelThe process of blogging  a book lends itself well to nonfiction. However, there are writers blogging fiction and ending up with “blovels,” or novels created based on the contents of a blog. The term “blovel” was coined by blogger Ana Marie Cox in  her novel Dog Days.

Much like other bloggers who have landed book deals, you don’t really want to base your blovel–the end product–on a bunch of blog posts you piece together that you wrote aimlessly on your blog over time. In other words, don’t look at your blog and say, “Oh, lookey here. I’ve written some pretty creative stuff over the last three years. Maybe I can weave it into a blovel with some good editing an revising and a bit of extra writing.”

Nope. That will likely not make for the best read over all.

To blog a novel, I suggest you go through the same process I suggest with a nonfiction book–the proposal process. You can find two great posts on this here and here. This will help you determine the viability and marketability of your idea and focus your content. And that’s really the big part of blogging a novel as far as I can tell. (Remember, I’m a nonfiction expert.)

Here are some basic tips for blogging a novel:

  1. Plan out your story arc to a T.
  2. Plan out each chapter so you know it’s story arc as well.
  3. Break each chapter down into mini-scenes that can be written in post-sized bits.
  4. Know how you will hook your reader at the beginning of each post-sized bit.
  5. Know how you will keep your readers wanting more at the end of each post.
  6. Determine how you will weave each post together to create a manuscript that flows from one piece to the next.

That takes serious plot crafting and planning. I recently read a comment from a woman who was blogging a novel and she said doing so has made her a much better writer. Why? Because she has to work really hard at each small section of her book — every 250-500 words. She can’t take anything for granted. Each little part has to be riveting for readers and string them along. And then each of these small pieces–each post–must be woven into the next so it flows well and becomes one coherent whole.

In the process of creating a cliffhanger each day, she develops a loyal readership. They wait impatiently to “turn the next page” and find out what happens to the characters.

What fun! I would think writing fiction this way would be immensely challenging and enjoyable. And it would work equally as well for short story writers.

If you have successfully produced a blovel, I’d love to know about it. Or if you have more tips to add on how to blog fiction, leave me a comment.

Photo courtesy of steviegreer

How to Blog a Book is now available as
both a paperback (blook) and an ebook.
You can purchase it at the following
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  1. says

    A question I had is about the statement that editors and agents make, that your work needs to be previously unpublished and they mention that a work being on the internet means that it has been published. How do you deal with that? Thanks!
    Jacqueline Corcoran recently posted..Review: V is for Vengeance

  2. Nina says

    It’s true that some editors shy away from previously published work, and a blogged book can qualify as such. This can be more of an issue for fiction than for nonfiction. If you want to self-publish, of course, it’s not an issue. If you want a traditionally published deal, it can be depending upon the publisher. Show enough interest–readers–and most publishers won’t care. They’ll just see dollars. But if you are worried, don’t do it. You can always write the novel, try to peddle it to a publisher, and if you don’t land a deal, blog it after the fact.

  3. says

    I wrote my novel in parallel and have been posting excerpts of it on my blog as a way to catch readers’ attention. I’m hoping enough will care about my characters to want to buy the book when it comes out.

    Not sure how successful this strategy is since I mix in these excerpts, once every two weeks, with regular posts about Project Management and leadership which I post 2 or 3 times a week. That might be confusing. I also created a blog just for the book and links between each so the reader can read it in one shot if they want to. But not many of my readers bother yet.

    I’m just about to read your chapter of how to drive readers to my blog so this may change soon.

    Thanks for all your advice, Nina,

    Bruce Fieggen recently posted..Leadership on the Bounty


  1. […] writers would like to blog a memoir. It’s not that different than blogging a novel, which I wrote about in a recent post, except, of course, you are blogging or writing about your own experiences. That makes your book as […]

  2. […] Another reason I decided to blog my memoir was because of a book I’m reading: “How to Blog a Book: Write, Publish, and Promote Your Work One Post at a Time” by Nina Amir. How to Blog a Book teaches you how to create a blog book with a well-honed and uniquely angled subject and targeted posts—and how to build the audience necessary to convince agents and publishers to make your blog into a book. Which is only a good thing, in my opinion. Author Nina Amir explains how writing a book in cyberspace allows you to get your book written easily, while promoting it and building an author’s platform (and we all know how much we need a platform as a writer, right?). Nina writes an excellent article about blogging a novel on her own blog here. […]

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