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Focus On: Fiction and Poetry Blogs

Did you know literature was an Olympic event until 1948? Of course, all creative submissions had to reference athletics in…

Did you know literature was an Olympic event until 1948? Of course, all creative submissions had to reference athletics in some way, and many think the quality of the work suffered as a result. That’s why blogging is such a great way to develop and showcase your creative writing – there are no restrictions or limitations beyond your own imagination!

If you primarily write fiction or poetry, or if you’d just like to try your hand at a poem or story, here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Focus. Sheer invention can be tough, and Facebook beckons just over on the other tab. Try minimizing distractions while you’re working. Hang a ‘do not disturb’ sign on your door, turn on some classical music (or put in earplugs), and give the Distraction Free Writing mode a try.
  • Format. When posting poems on your blog, getting the spacing right can be tricky. But there’s no need to sacrifice your perfect formatting to the HTML gods. This article has some tips to help you format your poems exactly as you envision them – whether you’re writing haiku or concrete poetry, or whether you just want some extra breathing room between your stanzas.
  • Add visuals. While stories and poems are all about the text, a well-chosen image can add visual interest and color to your posts. Many creative writers also dabble in drawing or painting, so if you have original work to share, go for it! If your work was inspired by a video, photograph, or song, add it to your post. Or go the other way and make your writing the focus with a clean, minimalist theme.
  • Participate. Perhaps fleeing to a cabin in the woods was the traditional way to finish a novel, but these days participating in a group writing challenge online might be more effective – and more fun. For some motivation, check out sites like Nanowrimo.orgstoryaday.org, or NPR’s current revival of the Olympic poetry tradition.
  • Imitate. The best way to improve as a writer is to read and imitate excellent writing. If you’re blocked, nearly every literary magazine these days has web content. There are some fantastic lit mags on WordPress.com, and you can also browse the poetry and fiction Topic pages for writing inspiration.

Are you a novelist or a poet, or do you aspire to be? What tips do you have for how best to feature creative writing on a blog?

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  1. I feel that being original is a very important factor, be it any kind of blog for that matter. We can imitate the style of some other bloggers, however that personal touch can only be added by being original, by projecting what it is that you think and message it is that you want to convey from your blog.

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  2. Blogging is one of the unique ways that people with talent who are not recognised can get thair work out in the open.An amazing thing really. It is shocking how my support you can get from strangers from across the world….. when there is non from the people closest to you :D I am so happy to have my voice back

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    1. Right on! I was urged by some of my dearest and nearest to have my blog started, only to find that they would not actually follow my postings consistently. Anyway, the experience of sharing is awesome, and that is what most writing is for, isn’t it?
      You can visit http://www.avadapalabra.wordpress.com by the way -prose and something like poems in English and Spanish. Comments, insights, shares, etc. welcome ;)

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    2. I found out that those closest do not always support writers…Blogging has opened doors for me by allowing me to connect and share with other authors. We learn from each other.

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  3. Elizabeth, Love the info you are supplying. I am a published author of a childrens fiction book that doubles as an ESL text. I am also published for poetry and journalistic articles, but my next step is to publish a second book using the same characters from my first (a series) and to publish my poetry into its own or my own collection. Any input would be greatly appreciated as I am far from a professional writer eventhough my BA is in English Professional and academic writing. Thanks, J E Wilson (Jeff)

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  4. This is useful information, thanks.
    It’s always interesting to look at the blogging world from a slightly different perspective. Makes me think I need to add more creative writing to my blog to give people a taste of the style, rather than just talking about my fiction and why I write.
    Great! Thank you again,
    Amaya Ellman

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      1. I found what works for me is to have my actual writing in one blog and writing about writing in another. I am completely new to the arena and have to push myself to make sure I write something every day with the blogging. When I was writing in an unpublished form, it was easier to write (no audience) but harder to write (no expectation). With a blog I know I have to be more disciplined…some nights I get to bed rather late as a consequence!

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  5. I use poetry in my blog enjoyingthebible.wordpress.com to lay the basis of what I want to talk about. I use a few lines of my poetry as reference and then I write ideas to think about.

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  6. I write fiction in partnership with anime series reviews, so my inspiration usually comes from a series (or my dreams). It’s best that when writing chapter-long fiction stories that the writer has made a map noting the sequence of KEY events. :)

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  7. Q: “What tips do you have for how best to feature creative writing on a blog?”

    I go for the heart of a piece, 500-800 words cut from the middle. Jump right into the most dramatic or comic scene. Blog readers won’t sit still for long narratives or description.

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  8. Be spontaneous, let the story or poem flow without minding the spelling and such, the’ll be time for editing later.
    Make the story/poem relatable to your audience; let it resonate with your readers.
    Use your audience’s language, obviously :-)

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    1. Dive in! The blogosphere is a great place to showcase your work. On my blog I place snippets from my poetry and fiction that I think will resonate with my audience.

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  9. Thank you so much for featuring Creative Writing Blogs in The Daily Post. I write poetry and short fiction and also teach writing in schools and community settings. I blog about the writing process; what inspired me to write a poem or story and I share details of my writing workshops so that others can use my materials and ideas in their writing work. I do struggle with presenting my work effectively, especially poems, and, after reading this article I’m thinking of starting a second, purely poetry blog using Manifest. I wonder if I’d be able to put a permanent link to it, for instance in a drop-down menu?

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    1. Absolutely! You can create a menu navigation tab for a custom link with the custom menu feature.

      I think maintaining a separate blog featuring some of your creative work that you can then reference in your primary blog on writing techniques is a terrific idea! :)

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      1. Thank you for your reply Elizabeth! I’ve already started a new poetry blog (www.andotherpoems.wordpress.com) so I’ll have a go at linking it to my primary blog. Very best wishes to you. :-)

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  10. I am really excited to get involved with this site. My main focus is to have to opprotunity to express myself through spoken word and I hope to encourage others as well. These tips are very helpful to me and I strive to establish quality content and build strong relationships with like-minded people

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  11. The best thing a fiction writer can do on a site like WordPress is to use the accessibility of poetry and other forms of fiction to discover other writers’ works. You grow from writing a lot, but you also grow from reading and discovering other people’s works; critiquing and interpreting them. Establish connections and communicate frequently with other writers. Collaborate. Don’t just tell and don’t just show — “involve” your readers. :)

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  12. The visual aspect, weaving in photos, drawings, etc., is something we’re still working on for our site, The Haberdasher, but it’s definitely an important element to mix in. Plus, some of the most interesting new works are inspired by the interplay of text and image.

    For those interested in creative writing and conversing with other writers, please drop by and visit The Haberdasher (http://lehab.org) — built on WordPress, of course. It’s a site by writers for writers that features author interviews, critical reviews, writing tips, and literary conversations. Feel free to drop by from time to time and comment on our recent posts, or contact us to contribute a review or commentary of your own.

    We’re also accepting work for our companion literary journal, Floodplane: http://lehab.org/submissions/creative-journal/.

    Happy Writing!

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  13. Writing a series of stories or chapters (like posting a new chapter of a novel you’re writing each week or such) can be a great way to get critique and motivation! When I posted chapters up, I felt a need to update every other day to satisfy fans.

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  14. While I post information about my books – and often jump in on blogfests, where I post an excerpt from one of my novels, usually targeted to a different theme, my blog is primarily for me to connect with other writers and with readers, and to show the whole me, not just the writer-me. Occasionally, I discuss my writing process, but I like to show people a more well-rounded version of me than just the writer aspect.

    I also have a private blog for my beta-readers, where I post chapters as I get them done and they can leave their feedback. This works very well.

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    1. Great idea, the beta-reading! If only I could force myself to writing consistently beyond the short story or “chaptered tale” as I call some of the stuff I write.

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    2. This is also a great idea for anyone hesitant about putting their work out there: create a private blog and share your work only with your trusted readers first.

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      1. Ha! I’ve had more feedback from total strangers than from most of the people I know…maybe I just don’t know the right people?

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    1. My poetry focuses on inspirations from my spiritual background but totally relatable to anyone. My fiction, however is more urban fantasy with a focus on everyday people between the ages of 18-30…so far.

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  15. i’m new to blogging and i love writing my “mostly” true stories but i feel like my real genre is in short stories and essays, do you think blogging is the right medium for me? i’m struggling to keep my posts under 1,000 words. i have a few that are well over.

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