Fiction written in blog form

Jim McClellan of the Guardian says that blogs have the “potential to be a new fictional form”:

Writers have always used the net to distribute novels and poems that could appear in print. But there’s a tradition of experimenting with online forms such as email and chatrooms to tell stories that could only work online. Writers are taking this further by working with blogs. Indeed, with their short daily entries, reader feedback and links to the net, blogs seem purpose-built for creating episodic stories.

He points to Belle de Jour, Diego Doval’s Plan B., Rob Wittig’s blogfiction, and Paul Ford’s Ftrain. He also mentions Jim Munroe’s new novel, which will explore the form:

An Opening Act of Unspeakable Evil, the fourth novel by Canadian author Jim Munroe takes the form of a blog roommatefromhell.net written by a woman worried that her Goth flatmate is genuinely demonic. Munroe was tempted to make fun of blogging’s stylistic tics. “But I tried to stay away from broader humour to look at how the character, a woman in her early 30s, uses the blog to explore her need to be public and private at the same time.”

Appropriately enough, when the novel comes out in the US and Canada in September, Munroe will post the 100 entries that make up the story, one a day, on a real blog. He’s also planning to add photos and links to fake sites connected to the story. “There’ll also be an Is She or Isn’t She? feature, where readers can vote on whether the roommate is, in fact, a demon. Depending on how the vote goes, I’ll be writing and posting a bonus story that won’t be in the print version.”

There’s no word yet on whether the trend will be dubbed “bliction” or “flogging.”


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