My blogging story arc – a field of dreams

Available from Amazon or www.virtualbookworm.com

Available from Amazon or http://www.virtualbookworm.com

In my mystery novels, I do my best to build tension, to keep the reader engaged for over 300 pages. More than one successful author has said there should be conflict on every page. And ideally, every chapter ends with a cliff hanger – an unresolved situation that keeps the reader turning the pages.

Readers have told me I’m pretty good at this – once they start one of my novels, they have a hard time putting it down. I’m delighted to hear this, of course. But blogging is a whole different ball game. For me, each post has been a mini-essay, complete in itself. But what keeps readers coming back and wanting more? That’s something I’m still figuring out.

Once again I’m giving a shout-out to one of my colleagues on Blog Book Tours, Alexis Grant. Whereas most of us in this online course are published authors, she has yet to finish her first book-length manuscript. Although an experienced journalist, she calls herself an “aspiring author” and invites readers to follow her along on her journey to publication. At first I thought this was presumptuous – why should anyone care? But her posts are engaging and full of information, and she’s getting tons of followers.

So I’ve decided I’m going to share my journey as well. Not to publication – I’ve already published two mysteries I’m proud of – but to getting a first-rate agent and a well established publisher. I’ve tried the traditional query-letter-SASE-sample-chapters routine, and I hate it. Baseball diamondSo I’m trying the Kevin Costner “Field of Dreams” approach instead – “If you build it, they will come.” I’ll just put myself out here online, build the best blog site and internet presence I can manage, and have faith – when the time is right, with a little nudging, that agent will appear.

I’ll post my journey online – not daily, but maybe once a week. I’ll devote the other four weekdays to other topics. But my quest for fame and fortune, however modest, will be my story arc, the tale that keeps people coming back – and I have every intention of hitting the ball out of the park.

This is a weird metaphor for me, since I absolutely loathe baseball – or playing softball at least. When I worked as an art therapist at Hudson River Psychiatric Center, we used to have picnics at the boathouse by the river. Occasionally I was forced to play softball, and I’d scream and run away every time the ball came near me. The patients thought it was hilarious. 

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Destineers
    Jun 23, 2009 @ 03:15:59

    Hi Julie!

    What a great idea – can’t wait to read of your progress. I think there is definitely something to that way of thinking. I was told to start building an internet presence to get interest before my novel is published and started getting calls/emails about my website for my characters (http://destineers.com and the interactive forum at http://cybrarie.com) – it was seen by someone at a private school. The kids were interested, the teachers grew interested and we got invited to the school to talk to the kids about writing, fantasy and sell our book…and from that The Destineers’ Journal of Fantasy Nations was born. (The Destineers and the Legend of the Netherscape is still being written). I think the whole “if you build it they will come idea is a great idea!

    Nancy, from Just a Thought…

    Reply

  2. Alexis Grant
    Jun 23, 2009 @ 10:35:55

    Cool! I still think you might have to do a little prodding to make that agent appear, but if you’ve built a platform for yourself online it’s probably more likely to happen! As always, I’m here if you need help.

    Reply

  3. Karen Walker
    Jun 23, 2009 @ 10:41:12

    Looking forward to tagging along on your journey, Julie.
    karen walker

    Reply

  4. Therese L. Broderick
    Jun 23, 2009 @ 11:19:01

    Julie, might I suggest one other strategy? Read the blogs of the literary agents themselves, and perhaps leave comments with links to your own blog. If you Google the exact phrase “blogs by literary agents,” you will find several blogs to start with.

    Reply

  5. Jane Kennedy Sutton
    Jun 23, 2009 @ 13:35:27

    I had a bad agent experience so I haven’t been anxious to look for another. Following your experiences may inspire me to try again.

    JaneKennedySutton </a

    Reply

  6. Stephen Tremp
    Jun 23, 2009 @ 14:21:54

    Looking forward to reading your journey. This will help keep viewers and followers coming back to your blog. Leave them hanging so they want to come back and see what happens next. Good luck to you.

    – Steve Tremp
    http://www.stephentremp.blogspot.com/

    Reply

  7. Helen Ginger
    Jun 23, 2009 @ 17:02:29

    Sorry for laughing, but that is funny – running and screaming each time the ball comes near you. Dont’ do that to any agents who stop by! Good luck on your journey.

    Helen
    Straight From Hel

    Reply

  8. Patricia Stoltey
    Jun 24, 2009 @ 15:08:03

    Good luck on your agent search, Julie. You never know what a little optimism, networking, and maybe even a bit of visualization might accomplish. Or a headlock in the elevator at a writer’s conference. Just kidding, just kidding.

    Reply

  9. theoldsilly
    Jun 24, 2009 @ 18:05:10

    Good for you. Go YARD!

    The Old Silly

    Reply

  10. julielomoe
    Jun 24, 2009 @ 23:37:59

    Thanks to all of you for your wonderful comments. I don’t have time to answer individually, because it’s almost midnight and I still haven’t packed for my flight to Milwaukee for my 50th high school reunion. Talk to you soon!

    Reply

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