At a reading in Toronto not so long ago, George R.R. Martin, celebrated author of fantasy, said something to the effect that readers didn't really care how or why a book was written, only that the next volume was on the way.
I personally love peeking behind the curtain as long as it doesn't give away an important part of the story or completely dispel the sense of fantasy or emotion behind the work. The only bad experience I've had in looking behind the curtain was with Peter Jackson's Fellowship of the Ring, when I saw the special feature about how he managed to convincingly film his actors as hobbits. Knowing how that was done somehow burst the bubble for me and I didn't watch the movies again for the better part of a year. I still suggest friends avoid watching that special feature on the DVD. Other than that experience, I've always loved special features and Making Of documentaries.
Martin has a point, however. It takes time and energy to blog, though us authors are expected to maintain one. Explaining a bit about the thought process and motivations behind what we're doing provides a fairly deep well to draw on for our posts. On the other hand, if people aren't terribly interested, there's little point in going into detail.
Novels take a while to write and edit, so reporting progress every week can start looking like us writers are dragging our feet when we're really putting a lot of time into story and wordcraft. It can't be helped. Some chapters take a day to write, others take a week while being the same length. Editing can take just as long as writing, especially since they sometimes involve re-writes, extending the whole process. It's difficult to post week after week when all you really have to say other than the how's and why's is that you've gotten a little closer to finishing, but there's a lot left.
Talking about where a story comes from and how parts of it were imagined (for us fiction writers), can populate a blog with tidbits and facts, help keep it alive and give us something to talk about. That's one of the challenges with a blog; having something interesting to say. There are so many with barely a wisp of substance that writers especially don't want to be compared to. We want our posts to have weight, tell the reader something about what's going on while entertaining them.
At the same time, a lot of people don't care how their meal is cooked, they just want to eat it. My flat mate is a great example. He doesn't enjoy Making Of' documentaries simply because he doesn't want any of the illusions dispelled and he wants the work to speak for itself. That holds true with many readers of fiction, perhaps more so than movie audiences.
What I'm concerned with here is what YOU want. Most of you visit because you've read some of my work and are looking forward to more. I'm grateful, so grateful it defies expression. The question I ask you is simple: Would you like to know more about the how's and why's of the projects I've completed and am working on, or would you rather the blog be as it is: more about where the books can be found, the status of upcoming works and occasional reviews.
It's a quiet blog as is because I spend most of my time writing, researching and editing, but if I were to speak a little about where the books come from and how they're done, the blog would be more active.
It's up to you! Do you want to know more? Vote on the poll to the right, please!