Do you Show or No Show?

You get a call from the Jerry Springer show. Some woman wants you to come on, accusing you of dating her boyfriend. You have dated the guy they name but he was single, he said. Anyway, you are no longer dating that guy. Having seen the Jerry Springer show once you could really pass on that kind of drama. But, it would be a free trip and hotel stay and you would be on TV. You’ve only got a minute to decide to go or be a no show. What do you tell the show’s production assistant waiting for your answer on the phone?

Does the Fish Live?

A friend thought it would be funny to give you a goldfish. She brings it over in a plastic bag. She doesn’t plan ahead and bring something to put the fish into so it’s up to you. You have a few things to consider: a Mason jar you had been keeping for canning peaches this summer, one of a set of wine glasses you inherited from your Grandmother, the toilet bowl or your favourite flower vase which currently has the last of the cut flowers from your Valentine. How do you decide?

Germinating Stages for Topical Blogs

I’ve had it in my mind to write about a another topic in a new blog, or a column for another site, something like that. Yesterday I thought of a really great title. But… it isn’t practical to start another project right now.

Getting ideas and wanting to start them is great, but you have to know you can back it up and have time, energy and resources to stick with it. Right now I don’t.

One thing which is overlooked is coming up with a list of possible topics to write about. Can you make a list of 50? If not, reconsider your topic/ niche. Yes, fifty sounds like a lot but consider making a post each week for 52 weeks (one year) does it still sound like a lot? If you can’t create enough content ideas (not full posts just the idea for them) for a year wait until you can.

Also, for a topical blog you will need to put a lot of time into finding readers before you can try to keep them. That means promoting the blog and that takes  a LOT of time. Most of it on little things. You need to build your molehill into a mountain. Having several posts ready to go ahead helps a lot as you will be low on time for the writing while you are putting it into promoting.

If I write a column for someone else I won’t need to plan how the site will look or navigate really. The site I write for will already have it’s own design in use. However, writing for another site means I have to research the site and decide if it is a site I want to be part of. Does it get traffic and readers? Does it run a ton of ads and do they overshadow the content? If so, that’s not a site where you will really be able to shine. If they claim to pay, do they? Really?

Starting a project online is pretty easy. Maintaining it is where the real work comes in. If you can’t maintain your great idea put it off awhile.

No One Knows Where you Are

Assuming you are writing a personal blog/ journal/ diary why don’t you show your location to readers?

I know there are security, privacy and paranoid reasons to not give your home address but surely you can say which country you live in, maybe even your province/ state?

One of the things I like best about reading a new blog is knowing where the person I am reading about is from. It’s interesting to read about daily life in another country. It is also a warm feeling of coming home to be reading the blog of someone in your own country. Mine is Canada, Ontario to hit a bit closer to home.

Why not post your location. Stick up a little flag in your sidebar. Be proud of where you are.

Don’t Reply to Every Comment

I know this goes against what you have been told from “Better Bloggers”. But, take a moment and think about this…

How many times have you come to a blog, read a post or three and left a comment on one of them. How many times have you gone back to that blog to read any reply to your comment?

If you are like myself the answer is almost never. I do have blogs which I visit regularly (more like drop in on irregulary) but most blogs which I leave comments on are one time trips. Either I forget the blog, didn’t keep the link anywhere or just found it as I wandered around and liked one post but didn’t have enough interest in the blog in general.

So, a reply to my comment is nice but I won’t see it. Is it still worth doing? Maybe. Your regular readers will see you making the effort that is true. Also, you keep the discussion ongoing if my comment added anything to it and it wasn’t already stalled out. But, my feelings won’t be hurt if I don’t get a reply. Meanwhile, you are spending time replying that you could spend on writing a fresh post, promoting your blog or commenting on/ reading other blogs.

Make the best use of your time and energy. If you reply to every comment reconsider.

High Brow and Low Brow

Have you heard the terms “high brow” and “low brow” before?

High brow being something elitist and cultured and low brow (a negative term for popular culture)  being something very casual and possibly tacky.

Make a list of things you like yourself or things (events, hobbies, etc) which a character likes. Choose which are high brow and which are low brow. A character with a lot of high brow activities isn’t likely to have a low brow personality. Also, making a list like this gives your character a chance to evolve and be more than words on a page. Introduce some new pop culture or unique event to your readers. Make your story memorable by showing them a whole new world.

A Problem with Hair

You’re allergic to your own hair. This has come up suddenly and it’s a royal pain. Your own hair makes your skin itch, and become irritated with hives every time it touches your skin.  So your face is a mess since hair is all around it.

Do you go for a very short haircut, buzz cut? Or do you try to come up wtih some other solution?

Cyberpunk Megacorporation Diva

Cyberpunk is high tech and low life stuff. Lots of technology and a break down or radical change in the social order. Likely due in some part to the high technology. It is always post industrial and in the near future Earth. Think hackers, artificial intelligence and mega corporations.

Create a character, the woman running the megacorporation. She is likely ruthless and somewhat aggressive. Or would you create her in a different way? What is her background and how did she get to be at the head of the megacorporation owning and running a big part of the world?

Steampunk

Steampunk – A term for a world created to run on Victorian mechanical type technology. Where things are built of brass, clockwork and fussy mechanical bits proudly shown off rather than made mini to fit behind small plastic casings. (As we do in the modern world of today).  I first heard the word steampunk used for this on Katie MacAlister‘s blog.

Read more about steampunk on either of the liks above and then write about a contraption, gadget or device which you could have  a character use in a steampunk setting. Like making a better mousetrap only fancier.