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Push the envelope

Welcome to another week of Tough Love advice to those who dared to submit their blogs for critique, says Meenakshi R Madhavan.

india Updated: Nov 12, 2008 16:29 IST
Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan

Welcome to another week of Tough Love advice to those of you who were daring enough to submit your blogs for critique. I do have a few basic rules. First, have more than one post. Second, update often. And third, use paragraphs!


Now that that’s done, on to Neha, who sends us this email:



Q. I’ve started a new blog at

http://onelittleprayer.blogspot.com

. It’s a new concept, where I post prayers for my near and dear ones, and people can send me prayer-requests too. Please have a look, and let me know what I can do to improve my site.

The theme of the blog is clear and stated already, which is a big plus point. I went over to the blog and I was pleasantly surprised. This is a really sweet blog—each post is a petition for a prayer, such as “One little prayer for a girl who first lost her job, and then her new expensive spectacles. I pray she starts ‘finding’ things for a change.”

I’m not a religious person at all, but I thought the entire concept of collective prayer, which is what this blog is working on, seemed to be an original idea for a site, and according to reports on the blog, it seemed to be working.

Now for the tough love. Update more often. The last post is on October 21, surely more people have needed prayer since then? Also, the paragraphs look a little shaky and unaligned, play around with Blogger’s layout page for a bit till you get a nice looking, nice feeling blog.

And one from Yogesh:

Q. I am an MBA Finance student. I write stories out of my wacky imagination and try to be humourous as far as possible. My friends enjoy reading my blog. Though very few people write comments there, I receive enough praise from others. I write my blog on www.yogeshbelekar. blogspot.com. I don’t intend to be a full-time blogger, but I want to keep at it, as writing is the only extra-curricular activity in my life. I don’t experiment with templates as I prefer one which makes for easy viewing. Please give me your expert advice with regard to content, style of writing, layout, design and other required things that I might have missed out.

Again, my main grouse is that it’s not updated frequently. I know you said you didn’t want to play with templates, and I agree that there’s nothing so jarring as a too-bright background, but what you need is something unique, not this standard Blogger thing, that, to be fair, is so three years ago.

I read some of your stories with interest. If you want to keep writing fiction, here are some suggestions. First, make a list of all your favourite writers, and then why they are your favourites.

Secondly, try and push the envelope a little. ‘I died and went to heaven’ is all very well when you’re about 16, but I’m assuming you’re older than that, and ready for more challenging subjects. And lastly, if you can make your daily life sound fascinating and fun, then you’re ready to write fiction.

There you go, lovelies. Next week, away from my inbox and back into the www!

Meenakshi writes a blog at www.thecompulsiveconfessor.blogspot.com. You can send her your queries at meenakshimadhavan@gmail.com