Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Editing Sucks. So Let Blogfests Do Your Editing FOR You!

The infamous Blogfest is a major component of the online writing blog-o-sphere. But how about using Blogfests to help you edit your WIP?

When we enter a Blogfest we have to stay within the host bloggers rules, but also within the unwritten rules. The rules on how to get readers genuinely interested in our entry (beyond just scrolling down to leave a generic comment in the hopes that you'll follow them in return! Shame!)

These are going to be pretty familiar:

1. Hook 'em!

  • You have just a sentence, maybe less, to get a reader to read your piece. So do whatever you need to do, but make us do a double take.
2. Long story short. 
  • Make it not only within the hosts word limit, but within the average persons attention span. Even a phenomenal premise can be dragged out to the point that they'll just sigh and give up. We have posts to write people! General rule of thumb, 400 is in good shape. 1000 words is pushing your luck. A 2000+ word entry needs to sign up for Jenny Craig. 
3. Make 'em want More, More, More! 
  • Sorry, couldn't help it. But that's what you need to do. To get them to follow you, they have to be interested in what you'll write next. (Cliffhanger anyone??)
So, what the hell does this have to do with editing you WIP? 

Everything. 

Try going through, one scene at a time, and think of each one as a blogfest entry. 

What would the theme of the blogfest be? Did I capture that, or go off on a tangent? Did I make the point I was supposed to make?
Do I honestly think this would be a good contender in a Blogfest?
And of course, following the three unwritten rules of blogfesting will put your MS on a crash diet and your plot will end up as tight as Mike "The Situation"s glowing orange abs. 

Plus the inherent benefit of blogfest ready scenes.... they make for insta-entries! Haha! I often use scenes from my WIP when the 'fest is relevant. And that means I get plenty of encouragement and feedback on my WIP! Yay!

So, tell me- Do you use your MS in Blogfests? Do you think you can take on the challenge?? 
And who has Upcoming Blogfests!?? Let me know!

9 comments:

  1. Erica, I can't thank you enough for the holiday fest you hosted. I've now got an editor for the expanded story, will self-publish it early summer, have several boutiques that want to carry it. Learned today if I can show reasonable sales a regional publisher wants to talk to me.

    I haven't said anything on my blog because I thought you should be the first to know (after my hub.) Thank you, thank you, Erica! Hugs!

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  2. Oh WOW Kittie! That's incredible!! Congratulations! And a big fat awwwww : ) I feel so special!!

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  3. "Try going through, one scene at a time, and think of each one as a blogfest entry."

    I'm definitely going to keep this advice in mind when I'm editing.

    You have some bright and biting songs in your playlist - I've made note of some to go an check out on Yutube ;)

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  4. I'm a Crusader and joined the A-Z challenge.

    I have used my MS in blogfests, but generally, I keep most of the heady stuff off my blog. After all... I want people to want to read my book one day.

    ;-)

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  5. Great ideas! Wonderful writing advice in general. The pictures are hilarious :)

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

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  6. Thank you, Your writing has helped me,,
    i like this blog,,
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  7. Such a great post! Love visiting your blog!

    Lola x
    http://lola-x.blogspot.com

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    ReplyDelete

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