January 29, 2004

Blog Fiction

by Andrew Stern · , 7:44 pm

trAce‘s Digital Writer-in-Residence and recent commenter on grandtextauto, Tim Wright, has a new article of interest called Blog Fiction.

… it would seem natural for the world of the blog to become a fertile ground for new forms of digital storytelling and the development of new independent authentic fictional voices. Strange then that there are only a handful of writers out there currently experimenting with the idea of the fictional blog. …

15 Responses to “Blog Fiction”


  1. Walter Says:

    I toyed around with the idea of doing a running fiction blog once, but ultimately I couldn’t get past the perception that nobody could really take such a thing seriously. At least, not if you made it clear you were writing fiction.

    Random acts of eloquence, though, I like.

  2. torill Says:

    How would he know? The blogs he mentioned are the blogs that are either disputed or revealed. There may be thousands out there that he has no idea about. And that s partly the beauty of blog fiction.

  3. scott Says:

    I think Torill’s right, there are probably plenty of blogs by fictional characters. I’ve heard musings from Rob Wittig that he’s considering using the blog medium for his next project. It would be interesting to see what Wittig comes up with — he’s done several good projects that center on new communication genres The Fall of the Site of Marsha, which centered on “homepages” as a genre; Friday’s Big Meeting, which took place in a corporate chat room; and Blue Company, the email novel.

    I’m interested in the idea of a cluster of blogs collectively taking the form of an online fiction — the kind of polyvocal nature of blog communities, the kind of cross-referencing referentiality of the blogosphere, would make for a more interesting network novel than a single confessional blog (like the heiress on the run) which really isn’t all that much different from an convential episodic confessional in print.

  4. Walter Says:

    That’s a fantastic idea.

  5. torill Says:

    Oh, that would be fun! Could I be one of the bad guys?

  6. tim wright Says:

    torill write:

    How would he know? The blogs he mentioned are the blogs that are either disputed or revealed. There may be thousands out there that he has no idea about. And that s partly the beauty of blog fiction.

    Good point. But I had to start somewhere ;-)

    As for this great idea of blog cluster, count me in. I’ll be at http://timwright.typepad.com/getstoned/ once I get my act together. Perhaps we can carry out an online heist together. One of us can be the brains, another the muscle, one the wheels, one the safecracker etc etc.

    BTW I’ve been contacted by the author of She’s A Flight Risk to assure me that she’s a real person that that her blog is not fiction at all. Details of my correspondence with her can be found at the trAce forum.

  7. Jeremy Bushnell Says:

    There are loads of role-playing / fanfiction-style LiveJournals, where people blog as fictional characters.

    From “Buffy” alone:

    Buffy:

    http://www.livejournal.com/users/xbuffysummersx/

    Giles:

    http://www.livejournal.com/users/xrupertgilesx/

    Xander:

    http://www.livejournal.com/users/xander__harris/

    Willow:

    http://www.livejournal.com/users/red_witch/

    Dawn:

    http://www.livejournal.com/users/xdawnsummersx/

    Clem:

    http://www.livejournal.com/users/clemtastic/

    Etc etc. Whether these qualify as “fiction” is a whole other semantic question, but it seems like they should at least warrant a mention in any article on the “fictional blog.”

  8. matlock Says:

    I experimented with blog fiction a couple of years ago. When I was working at the Media Centre in Huddersfield, we did a number of experiments in SMS art. One of them invovled creating soap-opera narratives as part of a exam revision site developed by a local authority in the north of england. Aimed at teenagers, we wrote a 10 week long narrative that was delivered primarily over text messages to subsscribers. As an experiment, I had one of the characters discover blogging, and encourage the other two characters to set up their own blog. I then used these blogs to round out the characters, posting fake comments about their passions (liverpool football club, consumer activism, R&B music, etc).

    The best thing about this was the interplay between the scripted SMS messages and the blogs. The blogs allowed me to imagine how the character would respond to breaking news stories in their ‘universe’ – the male character commented on Liverpool’s performance over the weekend, and linked to current ‘memes’ that were permeating over the blogosphere, whilst another female character, who was a bit more serious, linked to adbusters and WTo protests that were happening at the time.

    I hosted all three blogs off blogger.com, but have forgotten the URLs after leaving that job two years ago. The site that archived the SMS narrative is now off-line as well, although there is a reference to it here at the site of the company who facilitated the SMS infrastructure:

    http://www.interactivesolutions.co.uk/sms/sms.htm

  9. andrew Says:

    Klastrup’s Cataclysms links to a couple of new articles about blog fiction.

    It’s interesting, the idea of publishers scouring the blogosphere for potential new print book authors. Along with that, the idea of fashioning online blog text into a printed book.

    Reminded me of the concept of creating a print book out of a particularly good path through a hypertext fiction.

  10. Doyle S.R. Branton » Grand Text Auto - Blog Fiction Says:
    [...] – Blog Fiction Filed under: Latest News — Doyle @ 8:10 pm on 23/1/2005 Grand Text Auto has a great discussion going about blog fiction. [...]

  11. iJames Says:

    Coming in very late… Did anything ever happen with the shared universe blog cluster?

    A year later, it still seems that there’s a very small number of explicit, original blog fiction attempts. I found an attempt at a directory here:
    http://fictionblogs2.blogspot.com/

    And this guy appears to want to be a voice of the movement, though there hasn’t been much movement yet:
    http://www.blogfic.com

    As for concealing the fact that a blog is fiction, I suppose it depends on your premise and your reasons for doing it. While I would never admit on my site that the blog is fiction, it ought to be obvious at a glance. And I make no bones about it when commenting in the outside world. I think it’d be rude at best, drawing other bloggers into an involuntary deception; and if I held fast to my conceit, people would be forced to conclude that I’m clinically insane. Sounds like less fun to me.

  12. William Wend Says:

    Some of those BTVS LJ’s are really good! The one they had for “The First” was hilarious! I’ve even IM’d a few of them and they are really good at staying in character.

  13. The Synthetic Cafe Says:
    Blog Fiction?
    Blog Fiction is often said to be about (web)blogging fiction via fictional characters.

  14. Jay Steele Says:

    I’ve been experimenting with blog fiction with a story called “Entia”. It isn’t really a blog in the traditional sense (I can’t believe there is a “traditional sense” with blogging). For example, we’re not writing in the first person, and its not the diary of a character or set of characters. It really is just fictional narrative using a “blog post” as a discrete chapter separator.

    For Entia, the blog as a publishing medium is great – we can take advantage of the blog buzz, and we can also take advantage of immerging broadcast methods like RSS. We’re not experienced or accomplished writers. We just had an idea we wanted to get “out there”. I’ve heard fictional blogging called a cocoon, and that really is the purpose it serves for us. We get feedback, we get a few dedicated readers and it drives us on.

  15. Khylan Seriphyn Says:

    There isn’t much out there. A handful of us have ongoing blog stories, mine is one of them if you are interested.
    It’s called The Chronicles of Seriphyn Knight and it’s scifi/fantasy or YA audience. About a teenage girl who becomes a slave and has no memory…

    Up to you.

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