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 General advice for bloggers?

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elevator_child
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PostSubject: General advice for bloggers?   Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:02 pm

This is pretty similar to the "What do you NOT want to see Slendy do" thread elsewhere in the forum, but blog specific. What do you like to see in blogs, and what do you hate?

I'm not a fan of bloggers who travel too easily. It's kind of nitpicky, but when you're flying around the world with seemingly no money problems whatsoever, it's really hard to keep the suspension of disbelief...also, it just feels wrong for the style of storytelling. It makes the blog into more of a thriller/adventure story than a horror story, where (usually) options for escape and fighting back are a lot more limited.

On the other hand, I love it when a blogger writes well. I'll sacrifice realism (most people don't blog like they're writing a story) for language any day. Seeking Truth doesn't sound much like an actual blog- it's far too linear, and the information Zeke reveals would NEVER be posted by a real policeman- but the storytelling is so well done that I just don't care. Similarly, Vivere Disce has some really excellent writing and, even though Kim's post from South America was sort of unrealistic as a blog post, it was chilling. Writing counts, even when you think it doesn't.


Last edited by Zander on Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:12 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : It is now a Sticky topic.)
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altiumvidetur
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PostSubject: Re: General advice for bloggers?   Sun Feb 13, 2011 6:36 pm

Character consistency. Please, please, bloggers, remember what your character is going through when you write.

If your main character's family is killed, don't have them write a sad post, then a week later be back to their usual "Lol herp derp" character. Losing someone is terrible. And while you can get on with your life, it still hurts, and it still affects your character, and effects their actions. You don't get over it quickly-- such pain stays with you forever.

Really take the time to figure out what your characters reaction would be. What made the classic "big three" blogs (DiD, JAF and SK) effective was that all three made great use of character. DiD had Damien be incredibly affected by the deaths of those around him, which contributed to his worsening mental problems and "unreliable narrator" qualities. You could tell, right up into the end, that he was seriously upset about everything. JAF was similar, even though the reactions were a bit more muted. You could still tell what the narrator was feeling.

I think this is what made Seeking Truth for me. Zeke Strahm was affected by Lizzie's death, and it effected everything he did right up until the end. Sure he was vengeful and sarcastic, but those traits were still tempered by how he felt about Lizzie. And while Strahm was a badass, you could still tell his reactions were at least partially bravado.

TL;DR? Your characters are people. They have emotions.
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zero
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PostSubject: Re: General advice for bloggers?   Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:27 pm

I dislike people gaining equipment very easily. Handguns and such, though proven to be ineffective, are not easily attainable. In my blog, I sacrificed a bit of my savings for a decent stun gun. In a related note, I hate people being armed to the teeth. Wasn't it Sandra, who heard a noise and instantly had body armor, a taser, and a submachine gun or something?

Who the hell are you, Cable?

Armor is a no, unless your Basroil squad, lightning guns are a no, unless you've well established yourself as mechanically inclined, and specifically mention how you're powering it.

Mace however is acceptable and encouraged.

I also hate when people send items to each other often, most of the bloggers intentionally keep themselves anonymous, it just seems to rely too much on other people to help them out of a jam if you can just say, "I sent you a gun."

You can't send people guns! We have airport security for that!

(this is not directed at anyone in particular, please take no offense if you've done this)
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Bard
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PostSubject: Re: General advice for bloggers?   Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:43 pm

Try to develop your character a little bit (or preferably, a lot) before you get to your main plot. If you can make us, the readers, care about them before they get into whatever you're going to put them through, the entire story will mean a lot more to us. This doesn't necessarily have to mean normal blog posts before the character has anything to do with Slendy (The Tutorial and Walking the Hallowed Halls both have a character immediately involved with him, and both handle characterization incredibly well), but that's a good way to do it. An "omg gaiz, teh slenderman is stalking meh!" post is really not the way to go with an opening (I have yet to see that really work, and if a blog starts like that I'm a lot less likely to read the rest of it). An easy way to develop character: Backstory. Have them tell us how they got where they are, why they're fighting/running/whatever else. This doesn't have to be in the beginning, in fact, it's usually more effective a few posts in, or in retrospect after the character's done something that would be unexplainable otherwise.

Also, try to keep your character's reactions realistic. I doubt that anyone here (or really, anyone that had heard of Slendy beforehand) wouldn't be scared shitless after seeing him. Fearlessness is not realistic. Even if you're writing a brave character, there should still be fear (It's that whole "courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to overcome it" thing). If we can tell that your character's honestly afraid, we'll have more reason to be afraid for them. Keep in mind that not everyone should have the guts to pull near-suicidal stunts. I know writing badass characters is fun, but badasses are unfortunately scarce in today's society. If you must write a badass, justify it. In Seeking Truth, Zeke's badassery is justified because he's been a cop for a couple of years. In The London Librarian, Ava's badassery is justified because she's going to die young anyway and has come to terms with that, and had a rough childhood (got into a lot of fights, etc.). An average high school/college student probably wouldn't be inclined to be a badass without having a good reason for it.

Another thing completely unrelated to character: please, please, PLEASE use good grammar. It doesn't have to be perfect, but at least capitalize the first letter of every sentence and the letter "I". Spell things correctly. Don't use 1337 sp34k or txt language. It's impossible to take a blog that does these kinds of things seriously.


Last edited by Bard on Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mr. Jeebles
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PostSubject: Re: General advice for bloggers?   Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:54 pm

Bard wrote:
Another thing completely unrelated to character: please, please, PLEASE use good grammar. It doesn't have to be perfect, but at least capitalize the first letter of every sentence and the letter "I". Spell things correctly. Don't use 1337 sp34k or txt language. It's impossible to take a blog that does these kinds of things seriously.

invalidlaughter what?

On a serious note, I'd rather not see anyone be able to stand up to Slendy in any miraculous way. When Maudin did it, it was just amazing that's one of the few excuses. But if your a 17 year old girl and you get away BY FUCKING TACKLING SLENDER MAN, your blog deserves to be rewritten by 2080twentyeighty.
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Kay
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PostSubject: Re: General advice for bloggers?   Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:16 am

I'm tired of things being so convenient for the bloggers. Everyone seems to have connections for everything. Guns, drugs, you name it and people have the ability to get it. I understand that when telling a story there needs to be some plot convenience, but your character should not be able to make a phone call and get everything they want. Part of the draw for me is seeing how normal people react in the Slender sitaution. Normal people don't have constant access to shady contacts that can get them semi automatic weapons.
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DaLadybugMan
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PostSubject: Re: General advice for bloggers?   Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:18 pm

Well, I'm not an expert, but I pretend to be one on the internet sometimes! So I may as well throw my two cents into the pot.

First of all, and this is the best advice you're going to get for anything, keep it simple, stupid. You don't need huge complex plots and interconnectedness. If it's too confusing, you'll drive people off. That, and with horror, less is often more. You don't want to evoke horrific things; you want to evoke the feeling of horror. Often times, not knowing what's going on is scarier than the most gruesome of images.

Secondly, learn to write. Proofread. It's important, and people aren't going to take you seriously if you can't write. This doesn't mean you have to be perfect. But you do have to be legible.

Don't try making up new things. People aren't going to react well to it by this point. For example, the idea that magic can help has been on the rise. You scoff, don't you? Everyone does. Don't try to add in stupid things.

Erm...more to come later, when I'm thinking again.

Andy
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PostSubject: Blog Question   Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:56 pm

Hello.

I recently created a blog on blogger, and after messing around a bit, I discovered one thing.

Blogs are confusing.

Are there any tips one more experienced at this kind of thing could share with me? I have only one real question...are the labels important?

Any other tips, or discussion about them is fine.

*I deeply apologize if this is in the wrong section.

EDIT: Since apparently people are being pointed here for questions about blogs...okay just one so far. I'll add a link to mine.

I like being a cheap bastard. Razz

http://hallowtruth.blogspot.com/


Last edited by Hallow Sleeper on Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:57 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Mr. Jeebles
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PostSubject: Re: General advice for bloggers?   Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:25 pm

Try not to connect fucking everything and you'll be ok, don't have shit grammar, avoid using the operator symbol, and don't be a fuckwhistle and pull out "superpowers" from eating Slender Man's arms.
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PostSubject: Re: General advice for bloggers?   Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:28 pm

Mr. Jeebles wrote:
Try not to connect fucking everything and you'll be ok, don't have shit grammar, avoid using the operator symbol, and don't be a fuckwhistle and pull out "superpowers" from eating Slender Man's arms.

EDIT: It definitely is going to be a Slender Man one.
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zero
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PostSubject: Re: General advice for bloggers?   Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:40 pm

let me field some of this

first, remember you have your own story to tell.

second, have a story to tell. This is actually silly to say, but hell, I didn't have a story. My blog was reactionary for the most part.

Third, others will tell you not to be part of a community, I enjoyed having a community of people, but do not let them distract you from your own story. If your info conflicts with another, shrug and move on.

Fourth, don't forget the terror. You might not have a full horror blog, but don't forget that this bastard is scary. He's inhuman, he makes your skin crawl, and his sheer presence is mindnumbing. He stopped Zero's heart just by being that close, TWICE.

Fifth, Proxies, If you use them, don't go overboard. Make them antagonists, not mooks. However a lot of blogs have been using them as antagonists, so if you want to break way from this, do something unusual with one, if you are inclined to have one.

Sixth, Superpowers. Don't.

Seventh, Define your character before you see the monster. Show us who you are, and how you change. I loved using different typing styles. If I was depressed, I used short clipped sentences. If I was scared as hell, I typed with my eyes closed, which gave me a lot of typos.

Eight, Make mistakes. You're not perfect damn it. Err is human.

Ninth, Explore the Mythos as you want, but stay grounded. We have to relate to you. For this I refer you to Smiting the Gods, Arkady shoved his roommate off a balcony to the slender man, just to see what would happen. He didn't care until two posts or so later, when he started to realize what sort of monster he was. That was epic.

Tenth....come on you know this one. Have fun with it people! Take pride in your blog, it's a new form of communication, Chaotic Fiction. Just smooth over the bumps in the road, and learn as you go.

Enjoy.
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PostSubject: Re: General advice for bloggers?   Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:46 pm

Thank you.

I will consider what you have told me...I was planning on establishing my character before anything actually happens.

I did allude to what is to come just a bit...though nothing major. Nothing that would seem like something that couldn't happen to anyone.

I also planned on posting shorter amounts when my character got scared.

I have one question...Is this a good idea? Should I reveal my character's name at the start? Or should I try and make it to where he doesn't want to reveal it, but as he gets more and more frightened, he slips up and reveals it accidentally?
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Omega
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PostSubject: Re: General advice for bloggers?   Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:06 pm

Some more advice, from my IC blog.

1. Plan ahead. It helps out immensely to know where you're going with a story; plus it means you can do foreshadowing! Errbody loves foreshadowing!

2. Don't just post things for the sake of posting them. I had a big problem with this early on in my blog; I'd just say, "Huh, it's been a while since my character did anything, I guess I should go make creepy shit happen to him." No. Bad idea. Whenever you make a post, ask yourself what you want to do with the post. Think about theme, emotion, and connection to the rest of the plot. The point where I started doing that was the part where I believe my blog began to improve immensely.

3. Get others to edit your writing before you post it. And make sure to not just hand them the paper and ask what they think; after they've read it, tell them what you were trying to do with the post, so they can let you know how well you did at reaching that goal.

4. Try stuff out. There are a lot of Slenderblogs out there, and most of them are annoyingly similar. Over half of the Slenderblogs I've read can fall under the category "Generic Spunky Teen Blog". Try to strike out in a new direction; make a character unlike any existing ones, add an aspect that hasn't been introduced, look on the story with a different perspective. Just remember that your attempt to be different shouldn't just be a sticker you attach to the front of your blog so you can claim to be unique; if you say the reason your blog is unique is because your character is the only one in the Mythos to have a crippling fear of the color yellow, make sure that his fear is a feature in the story.
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PostSubject: Re: General advice for bloggers?   Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:20 pm

Thirding the suggestion to plan. Reacting and making up stuff on a whim don't get you very far and can mess you up a lot in the long run - I say this due to having written myself into a corner due to that, and just now getting out.

Remember that it's supposed to be fun. Don't get too stressed out.

A blog is a learning experience, I've found. You'll find out what works and what doesn't through your own random attempts, so don't be afraid to occasionally strike out in a different direction, as long as you don't go overboard.

Foreshadowing is awesome and useful for cranking up paranoia.

I am only a small fry in the blogosphere, though, so this is just stuff from my limited and short personal experience.
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PostSubject: Re: General advice for bloggers?   Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:54 pm

Thank you Omega and Stormecho. I will think over the advice you two have given me.

...Anyone know anything about blogger? How do I change the timezone I'm in? It's hours off, and I can't figure out how to change it.
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PostSubject: Re: General advice for bloggers?   Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:17 pm

Blogger is a bitch to manage and you will find that out the hard way. It should be in the edit section when your about to make a new post.
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PostSubject: Re: General advice for bloggers?   Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:26 pm

Ah, thanks.

Just changed it. It even changed the time my posts had...now this really cool plan I had is ruined. Fuck.

Ah well, was probably gonna suck anyway.

EDIT: Are subtle things that just seem like mistakes, but make sense if you know what to look for a bad idea?

I tried that, I couldn't seem to get things to post when I wanted them to. I set the time for 6:30 at around 6:20, it didn't post. Not when I tried it or when the time passed.


Last edited by Hallow Sleeper on Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:40 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Omega
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PostSubject: Re: General advice for bloggers?   Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:35 pm

Hallow Sleeper wrote:
Ah, thanks.

Just changed it. It even changed the time my posts had...now this really cool plan I had is ruined. Fuck.

Ah well, was probably gonna suck anyway.

One cool thing I've found you can do with blogger is schedule posts. Under post options, you can put down 2 AM tomorrow as the posting date, and it will be posted then.

Or if you want to be super cool, you can put down 2 AM yesterday, and that's the date and time which will appear on the post.
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PostSubject: Re: General advice for bloggers?   Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:40 pm

I tried that, I couldn't seem to get things to post when I wanted them to. I set the time for 6:30 at around 6:20, it didn't post. Not when I tried it or when the time passed.
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PostSubject: Re: General advice for bloggers?   Fri Mar 25, 2011 6:37 pm

Since I was pointed here to ask questions, here goes.
I am slightly unsure as to what would be preferable: A Murderous psychopath or a Trolling psychopath. Which would make the better Proxy villain.
Also, should I make Star more sympathetic or pure delicious evil. Or a mix?
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PostSubject: Re: General advice for bloggers?   Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:06 pm

That is more up to you. Everyones views differ in what they want in a slenderblag. It's more of a should I stay away from thing here. Although if you would like an opinion I would find a Trolling proxy and star should be pure deliciously evil.
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zero
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PostSubject: Re: General advice for bloggers?   Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:39 pm

Mephiles wrote:
Since I was pointed here to ask questions, here goes.
I am slightly unsure as to what would be preferable: A Murderous psychopath or a Trolling psychopath. Which would make the better Proxy villain.
Also, should I make Star more sympathetic or pure delicious evil. Or a mix?

It really should be both. If you insist on having an antagonist other than our main man, he needs to be a threat. Him having a presence will allow us a look into his mind. But he can't just say crap like 'you're going to die'. He needs to have his own personality. And he needs to do something worthwhile, not just troll you.
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PostSubject: Re: General advice for bloggers?   Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:41 pm

I understand proxies are not well liked around here, but it is too late to turn back now... Thank You you both for the advice.
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PostSubject: Re: General advice for bloggers?   Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:54 pm

oh i enjoy them, if used properly, some of my fondest blog entries involve Reach, Rika or Redlight.
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PostSubject: Re: General advice for bloggers?   Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:57 pm

So I am... Not doing it properly.
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