Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Guest Author KD Benji: About Blogging

First, a thank you to Patrick (who helps with a lot of my motivation for continuing to write) for inviting me to post about my writing techniques.  Currently I have two different writing techniques.  The one I’ll talk about first and with most detail is my Verin’s Little Book – the blog where each post takes time and energy; the posts are a lot of work.  My Second Chance or Second blog is a mostly off the cuff blog. 

Verin’s Little Book:

Reading and writing are two of my first loves and I’d be hard pressed to say which comes first.  This past summer I decided to combine both loves into one project.  The Wheel of Time fantasy book series by Robert Jordan is coming to a conclusion – the 14th and final book is being written right now, and close to being edited.  In preparation for this amazing event, I decided to re-read the series (for probably my fourth time) but also take copious notes on the entire series, notes about the characters, about the magic system and about the prophesies, etc. 

 During the first reading of the chapter I keep a notebook and pen handy, so I can jot down what’s  happening in the book as well as any quotes or other details that stand out at me, including my impressions of a scene.  Later, I input the notes into OneNote (a program I love). 

The first thing I do when inputting my notes into OneNote is the “What Happened” part.  That way I can go over the chapter in my mind again and remember all of my impressions.  The book, I keep handy so I can grab if for clarifying quotes or remember some small part.

Finally, when I’m done with my notes I do the part that I call “My Thoughts.”  When I’m writing about the chapters there’s a couple things I’m trying to do – I’m trying to give my impression of the chapter – while also trying to not go over material or thoughts that have been gone over countless times before.  The Wheel of Time is an intensely popular series that’s been around since 1991 and has many followers so this is not an easy feat.  Also, I’m trying to have a blog that doesn’t have spoilers and just goes on what is happening, not what might happen in the future.  Because of this, most of my posts are short and sometimes I don’t write about what happened in the book, but of Jordan’s technique instead. 

Second Chance or Second:

For a long time I wanted to start a blog about missing my European home, but I wondered how to do that without making myself homesick every time I wrote.   What I did instead is start a blog of being 31+ years old and going back to school (going back to school to alleviate my homesickness).  These posts don’t take a lot of forethought and in my opinion, as long as I have some continuity to them – i.e. I tell my readers about a test I’m going to take, I should also tell them the grade I got, or at least how it went – then within that subject I can basically talk about anything that comes up.  I can complain, I can be excited, I can vent about my classmates or defend my teacher or be upset about anything –it’s free writing.  Whatever I’m in the mood to write about…at least about school. 

The two writing styles are vastly different but also fun.  Some writers have to use one style more than the other, I’m lucky in that I can use both.  The first style is a lot more work; the second might be more honest.  I’m sure as a writer I’ll continue to use both.  What do you think is the better writing style or do you think (as I do) it’s a situational thing?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks again for talking about your writing process. I'm getting "Eye of the World" so I can follow along with your re-reading. Plus I want to find out more about how you use OneNote.