I grew up in a mostly Christian community and didn’t learn much about other religions. When I did start learning about other religions I found out many things that fascinated me. One of the things that fascinated me about Islamic theology when it comes to translations of their holy book, the Qur’an. You see, the Muslims believe that the Qur’an was divinely inspired and is the literal word of God. Therefore, any published version of the Qur’an in a language other than the original arabic is considered only an “interpretation” of the Qur’an. It is not considered to be as good as the original. Blog fiction (minus the divine inspiration part) is the same way. A published version of a blog fiction is not going to be the same as experiencing the original online.
Let’s pretend that you write a blog fiction site that becomes insanely popular. You have tens of thousands of readers. One day a publisher contacts you and wants to take your blog and make it into a book. Great! All you have to do is take all of your posts, paste them together, and send it in as a manuscript. Or do you? Should you fix all of your misspellings? Probably, well, except for that one that lead to a really long conversation in the comments section. Oh wait, the comments! What about them? Do you put those in the book too? Maybe only some of them? Will it be the same without any or some of the comments?
Let’s say you do finally get the manuscript assembled and published. There are a lot of things that make Blog Fiction unique. The interaction, the performance, and the instantness, to name just a few. Now let’s think about what would happen to all those things if you were to read a dead tree published version of it.
There is no interaction in a book. Not with the character, author, or other readers. The best you can do is join a book club and talk about it with a few people that may or may not be at the same point as you. There is no performance interaction with the characters either. You can no longer ask them a question when you think of it.
What about the instantness of it? If your blog was taking place in real time you may have been talking about or mentioning current events. Reading it on paper months or even years later is not going to give it the same fresh feel as reading the first time it was published.
I’m not trying to squash anyone’s dream of selling print copies of their works. I just want to give a reality check. Fiction created with one medium in mind is going to translate perfectly to another. You may not have to go as far as calling the print version an “interpretation” of the original, but it would be accurate to call it an adaptation, or just a partial reprint.
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Original Site: Blog Fiction