Blog-posting Novel Excerpts – A Good Idea Or Not?

Lego Figure Writing a Blog Novel

Recently I’ve been toying with the idea of throwing chunks of my work-in-progress novel on to this blog, possibly in 500 word segments or even a chapter at a time. It’s a crime fiction novel set in modern day London, following a corrupt undercover detective as his double-dealings unravel around him. This is my first attempt at writing something that will have elements of a police procedural, so no doubt it’s full of inaccuracies, but I can iron those out later.

Each week I’d post a piece of it, with a brief disclaimer about typos and it being a WiP etc, just to see what it looked like ‘out there’. So far I’m almost 20,000 words in, possibly a quarter of the total projected novel length. So I have enough to post to get me started, and as long as I keep working on it I’ll have more to add as I build it up. I might even pick up some tips and useful critique.

But I’m not convinced it’s necessarily a good idea. While it will give me guaranteed blog content for a few weeks, it will basically be me showing the world (or the couple of lost internet travelers who stumble across it) my first draft. And first drafts are always a bit stinky. Combine this factor with the possibility of receiving some harsh criticism from readers and it could be pretty off-putting. Plus, I’m not entirely sure what direction the narrative should take, so without a strict outline I’d be writing blind and asking people to read it.

Do people actually read what is in effect serialized novels by unknown, unpublished writers? Have you ever done it, and what did you get out of the experience?

16 thoughts on “Blog-posting Novel Excerpts – A Good Idea Or Not?

  1. I have actually thought of doing something along those lines. Write a chapter here and share; rinse and repeat. Good question though is if people really read it. No clue but I think I have to tell myself that I’m doing it for me ( yes I did just lie to myself). :)

    Just found out that you exsist from Wendig’s blog, so now, as soon as I figure out how to follow you on this website from my new-dangled phone, you’ll have another reader!

    Huzzah! *does a small happy dance in the middle of her office*

  2. Let me know if you do decide to do it. The people that follow the blog will get to read it regularly (in theory) as well as anyone that randomly stumbles across your site. So theoretically you’d get some people reading your work. But it comes down to whether you want people reading your first draft work, written on the hoof etc…

    What did your colleagues make of your dancing in the office? ;)

    • Yeah, I’d figure hat ever story I decided to share on the blog would be just that…a free shared story. Though serially if the entire thing went well with readers it could be pulled for more editing and them into something more. Just depends on how you want to go with it.

      For me, that means I need to actually produce the stuff then just talk about it (shhhh….don’t tell anyone I’m procrastinating!).

      As for office dancing…I’m already known for conversing with myself so it’s just another thing I do. Apparently they are all use to my quirkiness.

  3. Yeah, get writing and post it up.

    I try to run this blog as a writing tool/ranting site despite my general lack of blog content, but it’s pretty hard to write about writing unless you’re actually doing some. It comes naturally to people like Chuck Wendig as he’s a prolific spewer of words, but it doesn’t work so well for us procrastinators ;)

    • Yeah I’m trying to increase just my word output in general. I think I’m doin better at that between my WordPress blog and my Blogger (yay phone app). Ill start writing and then another idea will spark up and so ill source then another…rinse and repeat. It makes me laugh cause Chuck tells me that means I’m cheating in my original works! Lol

  4. I think it’s all a matter of discipline (of which I have none). I generally stick to one idea, but then actually getting it written is the issue. If I decide to chuck chapters or passages of my work in progress up here I’ll have quite a few blogs in the can if i do them once a week or something. Ideally that will spur me to continue to write the damn story….

    • Completely understand, I regurgitate my thoughts/stories to the Internet gods and hope someday someone will read it. Until then they will as many sacrifices of my thoughts as I can spew out!

      Ill be watching for your stuff and things from all the way across the pond. (I really hope that’s a lights mate British phrase or I sound like a Yankee)

    • Truthfully I do more on my Blogger cause I have an app for it and I can easily copy the links to my FB page. I try to copy things to my WP blog but I’m not very consistant.

      Do you have another blog you use or are you bring good and not koing all over the place like your truly?

  5. Cool, I’ll check out your blogger site, and add it to my RSS feed if I can work it out ;)

    This is the only blog I have, and even then I don’t blog that much. I tend to try and keep away from the ‘what I had for breakfast’ type content that some people seem to produce. Ideally it would be a niche blog that covers a single topic regularly, but I’m not focused enough for that!

      • I already found it ;) Scarily, the internet makes it reasonably easy to find stuff like that. But then again I suppose that’s what you want for a blog…

        I can’t get the RSS feed thing to work, so I’ll use the ‘Follow by Email’ thing instead.

      • *squee* Thank you so much! *looks around the office for a “First Follower” prize* I’m sorry all I have are office supplies.

        I’m still figuring the ring out to so ill see what this RSS feed thing is and how to make it work *still kid of a newb at these things*

  6. The RSS issue is at my end, as I have the blog delivery thing set up in my (work) Outlook email, but by the looks of it it might not work with blogger blogs, the ones I have set up successfully are all WP blogs. Usually you just take the blog url and add it to the feed, but it doesn’t work. Anyway, I’ll get an email of anything you post from now on ;)

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