Friday, October 28, 2011

True or False? A Blog Will Show Readers What To Expect In Your Books

I read blog posts that I gather together through Twitter (as I do a mashup on Mondays called Mind Sieve on my regular blog) and I've seen all sorts of lists, blog help posts, and writer advice posts that tout that aside from giving of yourself so readers get to know you, that it is also a medium for them to get a feel about your writing style/voice and will thus help make readers interested in your books.

From Socious

Since the first time I saw the part of that statement with regards to style and voice it's been eating away at me. Because in my mind, I don't think that's entirely correct.

Yes, a blog will show whether or not I can string two sentences together and have a grasp of basic grammar. It will also show if I can be entertaining or even amusing, but not what my books are like.

A blog is about sharing and creating conversations. Sometimes it's even about imparting wisdom or lesson's learned. Yet it's not really a story or novel. Yes, both entertain, both should have a beginning, middle, and end, but not in the same ways. My voice is totally different in my blog posts than it is in my stories. And even between stories, my voice can vary depending on the genre and POV. So how could a reader know what my books would be like by just reading my blog posts?

I do feel blogs can bring us closer to readers and other writers, as through them we get to know one another and can connect. And, if they like me enough through the blog, they might go ahead and click on over to the website and check out my books. There the sample chapters would do the job of showing my actual writing voice and whether or not it was one that appealed to them. But it would be a side effect of the blogging, not something the readers would have known about until they went the extra step and clicked over to the website.

Am I full of it? What's your take on this? Convince me! Let's discuss. :)


  1. I think you're absolutely right! Unless you are writing your blog in the voice of your character, a blog isn't going to give readers a "taste" of your writing.

    It will give them a taste of your personality, though. And it will show them if you, as you said, can string a sentence together--and also that you can organize your thoughts well.

    I once bought a book by an author because I heard him speak at a sci-fi/fantasy con. Did his book sound anything like his talk on publishing with a small press? Of course not. But I was impressed by how articulate he was, how much he seemed to know about publishing and writing, and figured that would likely translate over to a well-written book. I was right.

    The one thing I can say is that a blog gives the reader a chance to know what your likes and dislikes are, what types of books you write, and what types you read. That can at least narrow things down to a general idea of what your books would be like.

  2. It all depends what you put in your blog.

    If you only talk about one thing, you're right, we learn very little.

    Devon Monk has a good mix.

    Writing about deadlines and book signings tell the schedule and reassure us that we can care about the characters -- the series won't die in the middle.

    Describing your research tells us how seriously you take your research.

    Writing about other books that are similar to yours gives us a feel for your book. Writing about books you like that are different tells us what influenced you and what your other books might be like.

    Giving us short scenes, often good ones that had to be cut for the good of the whole, tells us about your characters and style.

    Blogging about the writing process keeps us intrigued (or worried or giddy), especially short posts like "Not looking forward to writing this scene, a character dies," or "Joe, why did you do that?"

    Showing us your knitting, even if it only appears in a character's knitting basket, encourages us to read with an eye to knit things in the book.

    It all depends on what you put in your blog.

  3. True, your blog voice is not exactly your author voice. But it provides clues into your interests, writerly obsessions, and authors you feel compatible with. Plus, yeah, free sample chapters...
    Perhaps, more importantly, it's a readers' way to feel close to an author he or she likes. And that's a good thing.