Tuesday, October 25, 2016

When Blog Writing Style Turns Off Readers

I've been wondering about something off and on.  You see, there's this blog I visit that has sort of an ensemble cast.  A group of writers post writerly stuff - each on a specific day.  Some stuff I agree with, some I don't.  Some of it's insightful and some is helpful, and some is not.  But there's one contributor I can't read.  Not because of their ideas.  They seem like a rational sort with the possibility of being both helpful and insightful.  The problem is that every time I start reading one of their posts, I get bored, frustrated, irritated... something.  Something about their writing makes me want to poke my eyes out.  Or their eyes out. 

Because of this, I have never tried to read one of their books.   I mean, OMG, if they can't get a blog post out without turning it into some kind of weird syntactical nightmare*, what must their books read like?

I know, I probably shouldn't think like that.  This person is a popular (in their genre) author.  There must be some merit to their writing.  But I can't make myself slap down money or use valuable reading time to take the chance that their fiction reads better than their blog posts.

Anyway, it got me to wondering.  I certainly hope I don't do anything like that here.  Not much I can do about it - any more than my telling this other person my opinions would change how they write those blog posts.  What I say here is what it is. 

Hell, I don't even edit these posts for the most part.  Which I like to think I've made clear at some point, but a new visitor might not have been around when I said that. 

Still, I like to think the general flavor and voice of my blogs are about the same as the flavor and voice of my novels. 

So, I guess what I'm saying is that if you like what you've read here, give my novels a whirl.  And if you don't, I totally understand - because it happens to me, too.

Have you ever avoided reading an author because of what they've written online**? 

*"The hope and aim of a word-handler is that he may communicate a thought or an impression to his reader without the reader’s realizing that he has been dragged through a series of hazardous or grotesque syntactical situations." - E.B. White

**Not talking about their opinions or their philosophies, just their writing styles.  Lord knows, I have a whole list of authors I won't read because of their opinions and their philosophies, but that's a whole other topic.


  1. **Ditto

    Love the EB White quote. :)

    Now I'm curious. There are a few authors that I've tried to read and just couldn't do it. I liked the plot and the characters but I just couldn't plow through the wordage. So no, you aren't the only one. I'm curious...and you can email me your answer: Is my blog voice the same as my book voice?

  2. **Ditto.

    Also ditto to "There are a few authors that I've tried to read and just couldn't do it. I liked the plot and the characters but I just couldn't plow through the wordage."

    In answer to your question, you! I found your blog through Lynn Viehl's PBW blog and enjoyed reading the posts - and the comments left by others. I liked your normal, down to earth, not preachy or superior, style. And I thought I'd enjoy reading your books, although at the time I couldn't find you on Amazon! I've since read all your books and enjoyed them, some more than others but that's also normal. I also read Silver after reading her comments to your posts. I must get some more of hers when funds allow.

    I did think about starting a blog but haven't got around to it yet. I might think on it again.