Here it is, a new month, and I am taking two more courses. The first is Blogging 201: Branding and Growth. That course is the reason I am writing this post. Our first assignment is to set three goals for the blog. Before setting those goals, we are to think about the purpose of the blog and what a successful blog would be in our wildest dreams.
Purpose of the blog
I’m writing a family saga, and I set up this blog to generate interest in the books before, after, and in-between publication. The first book, Cordelia’s Journey, is set in 1855 in Kansas Territory. It was published in October, 2015. I completed a rough draft of the second book, For Want of a Father, set in 1859, during this year’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). As I begin the revision of that book, I am wondering what part of the process readers might find interesting. What topics would appeal to readers, and just who are those readers?
I see my readers as people who enjoy stories about family, faith, and friendship in an American frontier setting. The main characters are young, but I see all ages as possible readers. The main character in Cordelia’s Journey is 13. In For Want of a Father, my novel in progress, there are two main characters, one thirteen, and the second seventeen. They are both female, so girls and women will probably find the book more appealing than boys and men, which means girls and women age twelve and up are the most likely readers of the blog. However, the third book, which is in the planning stages, will be set in the Civil War and have three main characters, a girl of fifteen, a boy of sixteen, and a young woman of nineteen. In each new book in the series, the characters will mature, so the audience may broaden in age and gender as new books are added.
What do readers want?
I have published about a dozen posts to this blog already, but I don’t have many readers yet, so I haven’t had much feedback. I’m listing some ideas for posts below and would like your reactions. What topics, if any, would catch your interest and cause you to follow the blog?
Possible blog topics
- Character biographies: What do the characters want and why?
- Family relationships: who gets along and who doesn’t?
- Quotations from actual newspapers of the times about the general events the characters face
- Slang words of the day
- Research and revision methods: the process of writing historical novels
Help! Do you find any of the topics above appealing? Can you suggest some I haven’t listed? Please leave a comment and let me know.
As for my wildest dreams, let the Pierce family become as popular as Harry Potter.
5 thoughts on “What Do Readers Want?”
Your storyline seems promising. Can you expand on the plot? I´m very interested in the field of literary structure.
Thank you for the comment. Cordelia’s Journey involves thirteen-year-old Cordelia running away from home because she fears her mother, who is once again in the family way, may die in childbirth. She hopes her Aunt Hannah in Westport can help her. She has a number of adventures as she travels 150 miles down the Kansas River on her own. Book 2 involves Cordelia, now seventeen, seeking her real father. It is 1859, and she has been told he is in the gold fields near Denver. Also, her sister Lucy, now thirteen, is returning to her father’s house with the thought that he will love her and care for her. When she learns he has plans to marry her off as soon as possible to someone influential, she looks for a way out. The third book will continue with family troubles during the Civil War. Brother Ambrose, will join the Union Army, Cordelia will be an iterant photographer, photographing battles, and Lucy will work with nurses. The plot for this book is still in the air.
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I like #3: Quotations from the past about general events the characters might face, also the research and revision process would be interesting. I also like the character biography idea. Come to think of it, I’d be interested in the slang words used from that time period, too. In my day, guys called women ‘tomatoes’ and to court, the word ‘spooning’ was used. Another is the phrase, ‘Much obliged.” which I used with a couple of teenagers, and they asked, “What’s that mean?” That’s when I knew I was ‘over the hill.’
Thanks for the content votes. I remember those sayings you mentioned.
Oh, here’s another I thought of. My grandmother used the slang phrase, “By crackey,” to add emphasis to her statements.