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Bob1965
11-14-2012, 12:14 PM
A blovel is a novel written on the fly in short daily posts on a blog. Each post is 500 words max, and each post ends with suspense so the reader will want to read the next post. A typical blovel ends up being around 60-100,000 words in length and is usually finished in less than a year. The story becomes addictive to the readers and thus it builds an audience for the author.

I write blovels, and as far as I know, Iím the only one doing so according to the description given above. I believe blovels are a new art form for fiction. I believe they are the future of fiction, and I would appreciate anyone who could tell me where I might find others doing blovels. Or, if youíre thinking of starting one, I would sincerely enjoy dialoging with you.

http://gordons-ghosts.com

Alitriona
11-14-2012, 12:36 PM
Sounds similar to a trend in fanfiction about a year ago.

Folk called them drabble fics but obiviously they were a lot longer than 100 words. It was roughly 100 words per update but some were longer. Readers went crazy for them for a while because they were quick to read and constantly updated. Like all trends, it faded.

Interesting idea for a blog. Good luck with it.

onesecondglance
11-14-2012, 12:55 PM
Could you come up with a less horrible name? "Blovel" sounds like onomaopoeia for vomiting.

shaldna
11-14-2012, 02:26 PM
A blovel is a novel written on the fly in short daily posts on a blog. Each post is 500 words max, and each post ends with suspense so the reader will want to read the next post. A typical blovel ends up being around 60-100,000 words in length and is usually finished in less than a year. The story becomes addictive to the readers and thus it builds an audience for the author.

I get the concept - the problem is, it only really works if you are reading one post a week, or a day. If you read more than that, the constant resolution-action-cliffhanger sequence becomes very irritating.


I write blovels, and as far as I know, Iím the only one doing so according to the description given above.

You're not. Trust me. I've seen many of them over the years - in blogs, fan-fic, magazines, I've even seen writers write their book on twitter 140 characters at a time. I've seen a couple of folks do the same thing on facebook, and a couple of years ago there were a couple of big novels that were written and posted from text messages.

It's been done.

Not only that, but it's been done for decades. Think back to the pulp magazines of the 50's - they were short serialisation that did the same thing - a couple of hundred, maybe thousand words, ending on a dramatic cliffhanger - 'read on next week to see how Captain Armavagus escapes from the floating snake pit of Death' sort of thing.


I believe blovels are a new art form for fiction.

They're not. This sort of serialisation in small parts has been the norm for most of the last 150 years at least, maybe longer.


I believe they are the future of fiction, and I would appreciate anyone who could tell me where I might find others doing blovels. Or, if youíre thinking of starting one, I would sincerely enjoy dialoging with you.

A quick google search, or half an hour spent on FF.net will show you a lot of people doing the same thing. in fact, FF.net is a perfect example - it's very common for folks to post a chapter at a time, with days, weeks or even months in between. The only difference is that FF.net host the story, rather than your own blog.

Samsonet
11-14-2012, 04:38 PM
I think it's interesting. Except for the constant cliffhanger part, but that's my problem.

Blovels probably won't become that big, for the reasons outlined above, but they could be rather popular if one managed to get publishing contract. I have a question, though. About original fiction that you put on the web, how likely is it that a publisher will take it? Doesn't putting it on a public blog count as self-publishing?

seun
11-14-2012, 06:03 PM
Have fun with it but it's not new or the future of fiction.

colealpaugh
11-14-2012, 06:42 PM
If the future of fiction is a mostly unedited first draft, then I'm totally in.

Susan Littlefield
11-14-2012, 07:40 PM
:welcome: Bob!

Ugh, Blovel is a strange word. As other said, this concept is not new.

Why not just write your novel and submit to agents and or publishers? You post it on your blog and its considered published.

I must say, however, that you blog looks supernaturally fun! :D

veinglory
11-14-2012, 07:44 PM
A suspenseful ending every 500 words doesn't sound, to me, like the makings of a good novel?

Bloo
11-14-2012, 07:48 PM
I thought a Blovel was some kind of zombie killing weapon with a shovel and an ax attached to it

Shadow_Ferret
11-14-2012, 08:08 PM
Wasn't Blovel one of James Bonds' villains?

LJD
11-14-2012, 08:37 PM
So...serial fiction (certainly not a new idea) in very small chunks?

I listened to a podcast on serialization in romance (http://podcastpickle.com/ViewPodcast.php?id=58359) (DBSA podcast, #32) recently...You might check it out.

Buffysquirrel
11-14-2012, 08:47 PM
Reminds me of an email correspondence I had with a friend some years ago, where we were each writing part of a novel in turn. It descended into each of us getting the protag into as difficult a situation as possible and leaving the other author to get them out. Hilarious, but not publishable. Probably not even of interest to anyone but the players.

defyalllogic
11-14-2012, 08:48 PM
Most people call it "serial fiction" It's not particular new or exclusive.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_(literature)
http://webfictionguide.com/
http://serialteller.com/
http://suite101.com/article/writing-serial-blog-fiction-a218748

victoriastrauss
11-14-2012, 09:27 PM
Me, I'd vote for "novog." Yes, it's somewhat Lovecraftian, but better than than making your readers think about explosive vomiting.

- Victoria

Bob1965
11-14-2012, 09:53 PM
Sounds similar to a trend in fanfiction about a year ago.

Folk called them drabble fics but obiviously they were a lot longer than 100 words. It was roughly 100 words per update but some were longer. Readers went crazy for them for a while because they were quick to read and constantly updated. Like all trends, it faded.
Interesting idea for a blog. Good luck with it.

Thanks.


Could you come up with a less horrible name? "Blovel" sounds like onomaopoeia for vomiting.

I didnít invent the word, actually. I just thought thatís what they were called.


I get the concept - the problem is, it only really works if you are reading one post a week, or a day. If you read more than that, the constant resolution-action-cliffhanger sequence becomes very irritating.

In my opinion, each post doesnít have to end as a cliffhanger, per se, only with a suspenseful element. That could be a question, perhaps, or an ongoing sequence of events. ďÖwith that being done, they walked into the roomÖĒ Something like that.


You're not. Trust me. I've seen many of them over the years - in blogs, fan-fic, magazines, I've even seen writers write their book on twitter 140 characters at a time. I've seen a couple of folks do the same thing on facebook, and a couple of years ago there were a couple of big novels that were written and posted from text messages.

It's been done.

I sure would like to find others who are doing the same thing. If you have any leads. Please let me know.


Not only that, but it's been done for decades. Think back to the pulp magazines of the 50's - they were short serialisation that did the same thing - a couple of hundred, maybe thousand words, ending on a dramatic cliffhanger - 'read on next week to see how Captain Armavagus escapes from the floating snake pit of Death' sort of thing.

I know thereís been serialization since the Victorian age, but Iím specifically referring to blovels as I described in the OP.



I think it's interesting. Except for the constant cliffhanger part, but that's my problem.


Blovels probably won't become that big, for the reasons outlined above, but they could be rather popular if one managed to get publishing contract. I have a question, though. About original fiction that you put on the web, how likely is it that a publisher will take it? Doesn't putting it on a public blog count as self-publishing?
I always thought it kind of went along with self-publishing. Once a blovel is finished, it is taken down from the blog and the author can then make a paperback novel of it, put it up for sale, and start a new blovel. I suppose one could get a deal with a publisher to handle the ďblooksĒ if they had a good audience for their blovels. Or even prove that they can write a good story, that people read their work, and end up with a contract for other original novels.


Bob!

Ugh, Blovel is a strange word. As other said, this concept is not new.
Why not just write your novel and submit to agents and or publishers? You post it on your blog and its considered published.
I must say, however, that you blog looks supernaturally fun!

Thanks, Susan. I like to write in blogs. I can do a post a day and I donít feel overwhelmed by the grind of writing a novel for a year with no reader participation. I have a short attention span; I think a lot of readers do to.



So...serial fiction (certainly not a new idea) in very small chunks?

I listened to a podcast on serialization in romance (http://podcastpickle.com/ViewPodcast.php?id=58359) (DBSA podcast, #32) recently...You might check it out.

Thanks, LJD.

Jamesaritchie
11-14-2012, 10:27 PM
Me, I'd vote for "novog." Yes, it's somewhat Lovecraftian, but better than than making your readers think about explosive vomiting.

- Victoria

I'm sure most wouldn't have this problem, but as a diabetic, that looks like a misspelling of "Novalog". But, yeah, better, I think, than "blovel".

Old Hack
11-14-2012, 10:29 PM
A blovel is

... a horrible word.


I write blovels, and as far as I know, Iím the only one doing so

No you're not. I've seen loads of them. Very few are good.


if youíre thinking of starting one, I would sincerely enjoy dialoging with you.

Do you mean "talking with you"? If so, why not just write that? Or do you mean "writing dialogue with you"? Again, if so, why not just write that? It would be clearer, and more elegant, and would avoid another "eugh" moment from your readers.


###

I wonder if this thread would fit better in our Self Promotion room than in here.

Jamesaritchie
11-14-2012, 10:37 PM
It really is just plain old serial fiction, and being on a blog doesn't change this. It also sounds like it's pretty much all first draft, which doesn't have to be bad, but is a problem with many writers.

Few readers have short attention spans, and attention spans are not getting shorter. The great majority of readers still prefer long books, and even children are reading very long novels. Didn't Harry Potter teach anyone anything about length and attention spans.

I like a lot of the serial fiction I've read, but I always wait and read it until after the last installment is finished. I usually do the same thing with trilogies and the like. I didn't read any of King's Dark Tower books until the last one was out.

I think you'll find an audience for anything, if you write well enough, but not because it's short segments on a blog, and certainly not because attention spans are getting shorter. If readers want it, they'll want it because it's as good, or better, than whatever else that have to do or read with their time.

BenPanced
11-14-2012, 11:07 PM
Me, I'd vote for "novog." Yes, it's somewhat Lovecraftian, but better than than making your readers think about explosive vomiting.

- Victoria
I think the cardiologist sent me home with prescriptions for novog and blovel yesterday.

MJNL
11-14-2012, 11:23 PM
Sounds fun! But I clicked on the thread thinking it was about novels that were blah.

NeuroFizz
11-14-2012, 11:26 PM
I think I had too much novog at the Christmas party last year. I bloveled all the way home.


Although, I'm thinking more along the lines of alien sex...

His blovel twitched, gained volume, and reached toward her. She spun her tentacles and her high-pitched squeal stung my ears. In a quick bound, she lept at him, encapsulating the blovel with her novog. Her scream ramped in tone and volume, and the windows shattered, showering me with shards...

defyalllogic
11-14-2012, 11:54 PM
I agree with all of James' post.
I want to read polished stories. My attention span is only shortened by poor editing and its similars. Also, I usually only want to start a serial if I know it has an end. What could be worse than getting caught up in a story only to find it just drops off because THE AUTHOR LOST INTEREST (it happens all the time with serial fiction online)?

amrose
11-15-2012, 01:00 AM
Any takers on "blook?"

Samsonet
11-15-2012, 01:25 AM
... I'm in. I can do it. Expect a link sometime this weekend.

P.S "Blook" does sound better than "blovel", in my opinion.

Filigree
11-15-2012, 01:43 AM
Look here for one of the trends: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cell_phone_novel

Drachen Jager
11-15-2012, 01:52 AM
I'm writing something similar, though my posts tend to the 1500-2500 word range. I've read a lot of online novels posted in installments like this, and I don't think the format works at all for it.

Online serials on the other hand seem to work a lot better. I normally have 3-5 posts per serial installment, and each installment can read as a separate story. So far I've been getting pretty good reads. I even have an offer from a decent sized e-magazine to publish with them (unfortunately it's an unpaying market, but what can I expect when the material is previously published on my blog).

I also don't publish first drafts. Normally I write 2-4 weeks ahead, and give it a pretty good polish before it goes up.

RedWombat
11-15-2012, 02:31 AM
I did that for awhile--not cliffhangers, but as a set of journal entries written by an explorer in a strange ruin.

It was actually a lot of fun--readers got very engaged in, for example, figuring out what species the main character's companion was!--but I eventually ran out of steam on it. In order to go anywhere worth going, I was going to have to kick up the plot a notch and I didn't see any way of doing that on the fly and not sucking.

DreamWeaver
11-15-2012, 05:43 AM
Blook sounds like the sound a bubble rising in boiling mud makes when it finally breaks free. Or, alternatively, a very polite fart.

:D

Susan Littlefield
11-15-2012, 06:33 AM
I think I had too much novog at the Christmas party last year. I bloveled all the way home.


Although, I'm thinking more along the lines of alien sex...

His blovel twitched, gained volume, and reached toward her. She spun her tentacles and her high-pitched squeal stung my ears. In a quick bound, she lept at him, encapsulating the blovel with her novog. Her scream ramped in tone and volume, and the windows shattered, showering me with shards...

Ohhhh..... :evil: :Guitar:

JayMan
11-15-2012, 06:52 AM
Instead of trying to come up with portmanteaus like blovel, novog, or blook, it might be less awkward-sounding to coin an entirely new term altogether. Like "quast."

Bob1965
11-15-2012, 10:40 AM
... a horrible word.
No you're not. I've seen loads of them. Very few are good.

If you have any links, I sure would like to look at them myself.


Do you mean "talking with you"? If so, why not just write that? Or do you mean "writing dialogue with you"? Again, if so, why not just write that? It would be clearer, and more elegant, and would avoid another "eugh" moment from your readers.

I donít know. I guess I suck at writing. Thanks for correcting me.




I think you'll find an audience for anything, if you write well enough, but not because it's short segments on a blog, and certainly not because attention spans are getting shorter. If readers want it, they'll want it because it's as good, or better, than whatever else that have to do or read with their time.

I hope youíre right.



Any takers on "blook?"

Ah, technically, a blook is a regular book that is created from the content of a blog. So, when I finish and remove my blovel, I will then (probably) self-publish it as an e-book and paperback book. It will then be a ďblook.Ē

What would be great is to get a deal with a publisher to publish my blovels as blooks whenever I finish them.



... I'm in. I can do it. Expect a link sometime this weekend.
P.S "Blook" does sound better than "blovel", in my opinion.

If you start one, let me know, and I will post your link on my blog, and you could do the same with my link on your blog, and the next thing you know there could be this whole web of blovels.

I mean, one good thing about a blovel, and the reason I posted this looking for other blovelists is that one can read several blovels at a time. Most people donít read several books at one time. Iíd love to be reading like ten other blovels right now.





I did that for awhile--not cliffhangers, but as a set of journal entries written by an explorer in a strange ruin.

It was actually a lot of fun--readers got very engaged in, for example, figuring out what species the main character's companion was!--but I eventually ran out of steam on it. In order to go anywhere worth going, I was going to have to kick up the plot a notch and I didn't see any way of doing that on the fly and not sucking.


You know, thatís why I tend to think of this as a new literary form, because unlike serial novels that are written and planned out, a blovel is written on the fly, so itís truly the storytellerís art form. I have no doubt you could do it again if you wanted to. Finishing the story, however, I believe is the most difficult thing a blovelist has to do. So, I feel your pain.

onesecondglance
11-15-2012, 01:14 PM
a blovel is written on the fly, so itís truly the storytellerís art form.

I have no idea what you think that means. Is anyone who happens to think about an idea before they write it down not a "true storyteller"?

seun
11-15-2012, 01:18 PM
I think I had too much novog at the Christmas party last year. I bloveled all the way home.


So tempted to put this as my sig.

amrose
11-15-2012, 05:39 PM
Ah, technically, a blook is a regular book that is created from the content of a blog. So, when I finish and remove my blovel, I will then (probably) self-publish it as an e-book and paperback book. It will then be a ďblook.Ē

Just curious, but where are you finding this info? From a website? Or are these personal terms you've coined?

Samsonet
11-15-2012, 06:15 PM
I searched "define:blook". Turns out he's right. "Blovel" is on Wikipedia. Although of course, being Wikipedia, I'm not sure if one should count it.


...I shouldn't be posting so often, but the concept really interests me. Forgive me if this is arrogant or otherwie wrong, but I think I can see what he means by it being an art form. Not everyone is going to (or even should) do it, but some people will, and it will just be a technique. And by "future of fiction" -- well, not all fiction, but imagine: eblooks! I think that by the time I grow up blovels will be at least a notable percentage of ebooks published.

shadowwalker
11-15-2012, 06:22 PM
Just curious, but where are you finding this info? From a website? Or are these personal terms you've coined?

He gives more details/discussion here:

http://www.writersdigest.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=70641&hilit=blovel

http://www.writersdigest.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=69761&hilit=Wikipedia+blovel

http://www.writersdigest.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=71201&p=505241&hilit=blovel#p505241

bearilou
11-15-2012, 06:54 PM
Is it bad that I want to do this but am too chicken to put something out there that hasn't been edited to hell and back, hasn't been outlined and prewritten several months in advance so that I would reduce the risk of running out of steam before the end because I don't want my name attached to first draft dreck (as I know I can produce)?

edited to add: What I'm finding distressing is all the nitpicking. "well that's really not a blovel, that's a web novel which is totally not the same as a web blog serial, which is not near the same as a blovel serial, which is not the same as a blook which isn't the same as a..."

Christ. I wouldn't even know what to call it.

amrose
11-15-2012, 08:08 PM
He gives more details/discussion here:

http://www.writersdigest.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=70641&hilit=blovel

http://www.writersdigest.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=69761&hilit=Wikipedia+blovel

http://www.writersdigest.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=71201&p=505241&hilit=blovel#p505241

Wait, I'm confused. Is Bob1965 Edward G?


What I'm finding distressing is all the nitpicking. "well that's really not a blovel, that's a web novel which is totally not the same as a web blog serial, which is not near the same as a blovel serial, which is not the same as a blook which isn't the same as a..."

I agree. What matters is the story not the format.

seun
11-15-2012, 08:25 PM
Oh, Gord, it's you. Welcome back (for what? The sixth time?)

Filigree
11-15-2012, 11:40 PM
The format wouldn't work for me. My first drafts stay in the hard drive or notebook until they are honed. When I'm sort of satisfied with them, they go to my editors, who shred them again and send back the traumatized little pieces. Eventually we come up with something that can be published.

As a commercial artist, I'm amazed at the number of artists and writers still subscribing to the myth that every 'genuine' project must be conceived, attempted, and finished all in the same try. That may work for poetry slams, but it's a chancy way to do anything more involved. Sure, it can show the artist's mind at work. I have friends whose sketchbooks are marvels worthy of museums. But even they have 'D'oh!' moments.

The reality is that only other artists and writers are really interested in process. Readers and viewers often just want to see the final project, and they can get confused or hostile if we ask them to follow the design path instead. I'd let them make that choice, rather than forcing it on them.

Sketches are useful, but not sacred. Neither are first drafts.

Old Hack
11-15-2012, 11:52 PM
The OP has left our company now.

Jamesaritchie
11-16-2012, 12:03 AM
I searched "define:blook". Turns out he's right. "Blovel" is on Wikipedia. Although of course, being Wikipedia, I'm not sure if one should count it.


....

Yes, and if I understand right, it was just put there by a member of the Writer's Digest forum, who is writing such a novel.

Jamesaritchie
11-16-2012, 12:08 AM
I mean, one good thing about a blovel, and the reason I posted this looking for other blovelists is that one can read several blovels at a time. Most people donít read several books at one time. Iíd love to be reading like ten other blovels right now.

You know, thatís why I tend to think of this as a new literary form, because unlike serial novels that are written and planned out, a blovel is written on the fly, so itís truly the storytellerís art form. I have no doubt you could do it again if you wanted to. Finishing the story, however, I believe is the most difficult thing a blovelist has to do. So, I feel your pain.

It's no tougher to read several novels at once than it is to read several "blovels" at once, and many people do just this. Including me.

Why would it be tougher to read one chapter of a novel, then a chapter of another novel, than it is to read two blovels at once?

And just which storytellers are you talking about who do everything on the fly? I have a friend who's an oral storyteller, and she writes, rewrites, and practices speaking the story ninety-seven times before anyone actually hears it.

Well, okay, maybe only twenty times, but at least that many.

seun
11-16-2012, 12:24 AM
Seven posts and gone again? That's a new record for Gord.

Samsonet
11-16-2012, 01:24 AM
Who's Gord?

Jess Haines
11-17-2012, 12:47 AM
Oh, Gord, it's you. Welcome back (for what? The sixth time?)

/thread derail

Every time I hear the name Gord, all I can think about is Acts of Gord (http://www.actsofgord.com). :D

/end derail

Filigree
11-17-2012, 01:54 AM
Oh, my freakin' Gord. I'd heard about these, but never read them. Having survived retail sales (and I never want to return) I can so understand.

Gnoen
07-12-2013, 09:06 PM
yep, that's my blovel