The Experiment: Building a Buffer

This entry is a little less about blogger vs word press and a little more about using blogs for web serials 

making myself slow down sometimes

using blogs for web serials.

I’ve spent the morning breaking up chunks of my NaNo, scheduling posts for the matching days of this month. I have to say, I find it very comforting to know that I’m suddenly stricken laptopless, my blog will not suffer immediately. Scheduling all these posts isn’t yielding the same satisfaction as generating all new content, like this one, but in the back of my mind its nice to know that even if I don’t feel like I’m blogging every day, my readers will at least get the same experience as if I was.

A minor note here, just because I need to hear it, and so I think it might be helpful for others as well.

Don’t jump the gun.

I know it’s exciting to “finish” a story, and sometimes you want to just go out and show everybody right away. Your SO, your roommates, the lady on the sidewalk with her dog.

Don’t do it.

Posting it to your blog is exactly the same. I’m throwing myself a bone by working with my NaNo, mostly because I’m not horribly invested in it. I already know going in that there’s glaring inconsistencies, and barely anything cobbled together that can even be called a story. Here in about a week, the timeline falls completely apart and I just start writing what was coming, regardless of order. I even wrote a few scenes from the middle first, out to either end – this isn’t even counting the one off scenes that aren’t relevant and likely not even cannon. My NaNo is throw away writing, as far as I’m concerned, just giving me something to play with for content.

If you’re serious about a piece, don’t do this.

Give yourself a month away from the work, to let it gel in your subconscious. Come back to it later, when all the unwritten things you know that your readers don’t aren’t fresh in your mind, and see what still makes sense and what needs a little help. Go back over it for flow, continuity, readability, and just plain for the sake of going over it. It’s much easier to fix something you’re not happy with before you commit it to the Internet.

I know this was common sense, but we writer types are pretty good at suspending reality, and sometimes we need a few gentle reminders. So again, this was mostly because I needed to hear it myself, but I hope it helps you too. Let it stew. Let your work marinate in its own awesomeness. Show your close friends and beta-readers, if you like, but give yourself some time away from your work so you can properly enjoy it again.

When you’re ready, and you come back to it, sipping on its fine vintage will be a sweet, sweet thing. When it’s ready, and you share it with the world, knowing you’ve got a whole story’s worth of buffer posts is even sweeter.

Happy Writing,

-R

[edited to add] I couldn’t do an 11 post without giving proper love to David Tennant, so if you’re still having a hard time walking away from your work, go watch Dr. Who and this lovely man instead.

David_Tennant

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2 thoughts on “The Experiment: Building a Buffer

  1. I agree wholeheartedly. I actually posted some excerpts from my novel. They’re still up and out there and with minimal/no grammar or spelling errors, but it’s just so far from finished that I don’t really understand why I put it out there to begin with. I’m not sweating it too much, because it totals like 500 words but I’m not putting more out there. I guess I just got excited!

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    • Hey, nothing wrong with that in my book.

      Excerpts are funny things. On the one hand, you might post exactly the wrong thing you can never take back, but on the other hand, sometimes we just gotta share something-I for one love it when I bang out that perfect scene and someone else actually agrees with me! Magical moment there.

      The real trouble comes when you start a massive project before it’s ready. It’s a lot harder to take back an entire chapter, or try to tweak a major concept throughout 20 chapters of posts. Did you catch it all? Will anyone be mad? Does anyone care? Not care? Is it even worth it?

      Down that path lies madness, methinks.

      Like

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