Bradley Stoke: Blog


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It may be counter-intuitive, but if authors really want to attract readers to read their work perhaps they would do better than write the same kind of promotional blogs that everyone else writes and nobody actually reads.

FineStories is a good idea for a website, but is in danger of extinction if authors don't do a little more with their blogs than merely realise the idle readers' worst fears by using the site to publicise their fiction rather than provide something they may actually want to read.

When someone by accident stumbles on this site wouldn't it be good for them to say: "Hey! There's a lot of interesting things to read here. I'll browse a few stories and find something I'll enjoy reading."

Instead of saying (as I suspect); "Bloody hell! Why should I give a monkeys about this author or that author's offering? I'll go and fantasise to pictures of women or men on YouTube instead."

Blogs and Story Updates

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FineStories is still a very young site, but already the blog facility is choked up with blogs that are mostly just plugs for the next chapter or latest short story that the authors have written.

There's nothing wrong with self-promotion.

An author struggles hard with a story. He or she is blessed with inspiration, translates that with the sweat of his or her brow into prose, painstakingly edits and re-edits it, and then, many months or even years after the initial inspiration, the polished work is ready for the public having been thoroughly proof-read and every syntax and spelling error excised.

Is it any wonder, after such hard work, that the author then wants to announce to the world that at long last his or her gem of modern fiction is now available on-line.

However, one or two such blogs scattered amongst a lively blog page of challenging, interesting, amusing and discursive contributions will stand out and maybe make the idle reader think: hey! here's a story worth investigating.

On the other hand, if every single blog is nothing more than one or maybe two sentences alerting the world that the author has submitted, may submit, intends to submit or has neglected to submit such a piece of work then very soon this blog page will attract only either the very very bored lurker or that species of enthusiast (who, for all I know, might actually exist) whose idea of fun is to hunt high and low for the updates of certain authors' stories.

I wonder how this blog page will shape out...

In Praise of Fine Stories

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There are many things to admire about Stories OnLine.

Amongst these are the ease by which you can submit stories, the clean presentation of the text, the rapid turnaround for any amendments or changes an author wants to make, and the general voting and blogging facilities.

I'm pleased to see these features are also featured in Fine Stories.

However, one of the issues of Stories OnLine which I hope Fine Stories will address is the niche nature of the fiction.

There's a huge variety of fiction in the world and it is not really such a great thing to have to change the story just to get it featured on a niche story site.

One can envisage writers whose stories are both well-written and profound, but have to be amended to get on a niche story website. A bit of space travel nonsense is appended to a story of gritty urban angst to get on a science fiction site. A hot and sweaty sex scene is sneaked into a thoughtful appraisal of the modern media to squeeze into a sex story site. A few famous names from Star Trek or X Files or Harry Potter are peppered in randomly in a story of faith and bigotry in Bosnia to get on a fanfic site.

Now, at last, there is a site where stories that don't fit into these weird niches can be posted, read and appreciated!