Yesterday, I wrote about some strategies I use to go deeper in my fiction. But is fiction all we authors have to worry about? We’re also supposed to blog, aren’t we? Everyone says, “If you want to be an author, you should be a blogger too.”
So, how do we go deeper writing nonfiction? Say, a blog post? Or when we want to repurpose our blog posts?
TIPS I USE
As you know, my blog has some memoir posts (my favorite is about the way my mom affected me as a writer), and a few snippets from my fiction, but it’s mainly a forum in which I connect with fellow writers by writing about writing.
How and why I write.
Explorations of style and grammar.
The things that keep me writing when the going gets tough.
Explorations of the nuts and bolts of writing: the benefits and drawbacks of different approaches.
Such topics, along with my background as a graduate student, just scream at me for depth. Many times my blog posts take the tone of an academically structured mini-argument.
- “I do this, for such and such a reason.”
- “I don’t do this, for such and such a reason.”
- “This strategy works when X,Y, or Z goes wrong, because of this.”
As such, repurposing old posts for my upcoming writer’s handbook, I found various ways to go deeper with my favorite and best-received posts.
- ADD POSITIVE EXAMPLES. That is, show why what you’re suggesting works. And how. Give proof of what you’re saying.
- ADD NEGATIVE EXAMPLES. A great way to support what you’re saying, and get your reader on your side, is to show how doing things a different way might work as well.
- ANTICIPATE QUESTIONS AND “BUTS.” This allows you to go deeper by bulking up your argument’s defenses. How are people going to respond (as far as you can tell) to what you’re arguing? Respond to that response. Put in a rebuttal, or answer likely questions.
- ADD A BRIEF, PERSONAL ANECDOTE. When a post is more technical, I sometimes try to add a personal story from my writing experience or reading experience that relates to the technical issues at hand. This adds a human factor to your account.
- IF YOU’RE WRITING ABOUT THE POSITIVE QUALITIES OF SOMETHING, ADDRESS THE DRAWBACKS. Conversely, if you’re writing about the negative qualities of something that does have some benefits, don’t leave the benefits unexplored. Give everything its due. Go for a full exploration.
- LOOK FOR A DIFFERENT ANGLE OF APPROACH. Approaching a topic as a writer? Why not consider the same topic as a reader? As an editor (if you are also one, or you edit your own work, which we all do at some point before letting others see it?)
That last technique, actually, is responsible for this post. I first approached taking your writing deeper from the perspective of an author. Today, I changed my angle of approach and wrote about the same thing: as a blogger.
I’m curious: what do you guys think about all this? How do you “deepen” your blog posts in order to make them longer, get an idea for a related, second post, or to repurpose?
Please feel free to comment, and to profit from everyone else’s expertise 🙂 Also, if you enjoyed this post, consider following my blog by email. You can sign up at the top of the page, on the right.