This post is particularly intended for my friends who are doing NaNoWriMo again or for the first time this year. Though I’ve never taken a novel past the rough draft stage myself, years of practice with screenplays has left me with a good, intuitive sense of how Hollywood structures a story. And since the most common complaint I hear from writers attempting novels (and from those unfortunate enough to be reading novels by first-time writers) is that they don’t understand structure, I figured I may as well share what I know in the hopes that it will help you figure out how to structure your work.
I think the majority of you who read this are probably aware that I’m a screenwriter. No, I never had any commercial success, but I suspect that in terms of minutes of screen time written by me, I’m on par with most WGAw members. One of the fascinating things about screenwriting is how little description we get to put on the page.
One of the things I was assured that any author serious about succeeding absolutely must do is have a blog. And that blog, of course, would become the author’s professional presence on the web.
One approach to doing this is to set up shop on one of the popular blogging sites, such as WordPress.com or LiveJournal.com. Micro-blogging on Twitter is also regarded as a perfectly acceptable way to interact with readers. All these sites have a large community of users, providing you with ample opportunities to find new potential readers, interact with them, and make new friends along the way.
The other — regarded as more professional — approach is to incorporate a blog into your own URL — the www.myname.com approach. The advantage of this is the standalone identity, and the complete control over the look and feel of the blog (admittedly accomplished through hacking the PHP code in an existing theme). The downside is, well, let’s be honest, at my level who is visiting my site except people who already know me?
At least one of the popular blogging services lets you set up your own URL for a recurring monthly fee. Assuming you can live with their restricted design options and haven’t already built a solid web presence elsewhere, that’s a good solution for that particular web community. But what about all the others? Is it possible to have a presence on all of them with only one blog post?
Well, I’ve spent the past two days digging through the available plugins for a custom WordPress installation looking for options. Based on a friend’s recommendation, I’ve found one that will crosspost to LiveJournal. I’ve found one that is supposed to send out a Tweet when I post. I’ve found another one that crossposts to other custom WordPress installations, but not to or from WordPress.com, which doesn’t support plugins and doesn’t appear to allow posting via the method used by the plugin. So to accomplish that I’m experimenting with a plugin that e-mails my blog posts out to subscribers, and then subscribing from the WordPress.com post-by-email address.
Consider this a test post. I’ll let you know how it goes.
This blog is intended to be for all things writerly. I expect I’ll blog about the craft of writing, the business of writing, the life of a writer, and anything else that might crop up along the way.
Now, before I go any farther, a few ground rules:
- You are welcome, even encouraged, to disagree with me. I do not pretend to know everything. I am an early-career writer, and much I what I post here will be my own process as I discover new things, so I don’t promise to agree with myself as time goes on. But please be polite and respectful.
- Yes, it’s my blog, and I’m completely within my rights to ban/block you. Don’t do anything to deserve it. I’m also completely within my rights to not ban someone at my own discretion.
- Please be respectful of other people commenting, even if they’re WRONG. Try not to make assumptions about the person making the post, and to confine your arguments to what is actually in their posts.
- I don’t get paid to write this blog. While I, personally, like to see a blog with a consistent publication schedule, paying (or potentially paying) work will always trump blogging. Please be patient with me if I’m irregular or unpredictable.
- Typos happen.
- Please don’t try to correct the Latin. You’ll just make your brain hurt.
So, anyway, welcome to my blog, and I hope to see you lurking around more often!