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  1. Stuart B

    Stuart B Member

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    Turning a blog into a book

    Discussion in 'Novels' started by Stuart B, Nov 10, 2016.

    Hello

    Does anyone have any advice or experience about turning a blog into a book? I've been writing my blog for just over ten years now and I'm in the process of turning it into a book. It's about my adventures in Holland as an accident prone Englishman. I've been living in the country for 15 years now and have had a lot of crazy adventures. The blog has been doing quite well and I have a lot to pull from. I just run into a few issues.

    I've arranged the blog posts in order for the book but it still feels quite random in someways. I'm filling in the gaps and trying to make things feel more like a unified story but then I run into the issue of writing a first draft vs. editing. I'm trying to write the first draft of the book but then I find myself falling into the trap of editing the pre-existing posts and getting to critical of how things are going. This is probably because of the bigger problem that I have; I don't feel like the real structure of the story as a whole is there yet (even though it is based on my life). I don't have a clear end the story is building to yet (again because it is based on my life and that is luckily still on going). The vague theme is an accident prone Englishman (me) unintentionally moving to Holland and trying to fit in and survive all the strange things that happen to him.

    So if anyone has any tips or advice I'd be very grateful. I guess I am also putting this here to give myself a kick up the butt, create some accountability and get serous about it :)

    If you'd like to check out the blog it's called Invading Holland and I'd be happy to share links to some of the posts that will form the main story.
     
  2. Siena

    Siena Senior Member

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    I like the blog. I can see it's amusing. I used to live in Holland too.

    Perhaps you could do the classic thing, which would be to thread change through it - who were you when you arrived, who are you as you go along and who are you at the end; it'd bring some coherence to the through line. It'd mean tampering with the included posts a little bit.

    I also think some sort of step-change journey element would help. There are a ton of story mechanism principles we can go into, but I'm not sure they'd help here, they could even be damaging.

    If I were you, I'd start putting the strongest posts in some sort of story-logic order and start incrementally making the whole thing better. Definitely a follow-your-gut approach, as you've already got lots of great content.

    But perhaps you don't have to do anything - you could make it into an anthology of posts.
     
    Stuart B likes this.
  3. Stuart B

    Stuart B Member

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    Thanks Siena. This is great advice.

    I defiantly want the changes I went through to be a big part of the story. I thought about making it an anthology at first but the first part (that I have written) already works very well as a traditional story. I like the idea of going back to my strongest posts. I think I probably have too many bits that are a distraction from the main story. Maybe that's why they feel like they don't all fit. I can always add them back when I have a clearer view of the main story. My rough plan is to cover the first eight years of my time in Holland (I'm now at 15) from arriving in the country and having no idea what I'm doing to meeting my Dutch wife and settling down. I just need to work out how to get from the start to the finish in a way that feel right and not random.
     

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