Thursday, January 31, 2008

Writing For Blogs Vs Writing For Print

I’ve been a serious blogger (serious meaning posting daily, not being all frowny faced or anything) for the past 5 years. During that time, I’ve gained a solid grasp on what makes a good post (whether I follow these “rules” is another thing altogether).

I thought to myself… heck, how different can writing for print be?

Very different. Working with my editor on my first novel, Breach Of Trust, I’ve found myself having to “unlearn” these rules. Yep, we’re talking multiple hand slaps for bad blogger habits.

The key habit being my unashamed use of white space. You see on the internet, space is limitless. I can let my words run free, not worrying about the costs of extra pages or binding or shelf space anything like that. Want an extra line for emphasis

Like this?

Then go ahead! It isn’t hurting anyone.

Unless your print publisher prefers your 75,000 word novel not be a 500 page behemoth. Something to prop up the coffee table, instead of sitting on it. No, no extra whitespace for print.

That is a good thing because novel buyers actually READ the pages. I know, the horror! Internet visitors scan. White space is great for people scanning (as are short posts and subtitles and…). It is horrible and irritating and frustrating for those that read.

So this adds a new twist to the common piece of advice that most popular bloggers receive. Why don’t you bundle your posts into a book? Sure, go ahead and do it but know that you’ll have to do some tweaking if you want your print readers to be as happy as your blog readers are.


writtenwyrdd said...

Good point, there. I prefer longer paragraphs in general, but because the trend in current releases seems to be shorter paras, I have begun thinking in those terms without realizing it. Perhaps we have a new saying for writers: You are what you read!