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A gripping tale

The best sort of blog tells a compelling story — a true and simple one, like this one about love across religions. Let your blog be a narrative... let it tell a story.

india Updated: May 18, 2010 15:28 IST
Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan
Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan
Hindustan Times

The last time we spoke, I said I wanted to feature two blogs that for me summed up the concept of blogging in the sense that for me they seemed to be epitomising all that blogging could be used for. Last time, I wrote about the blog of a rickshaw driver in Chennai. This week, it’s a personal blog, one that I stumbled upon from clicking through many links and couldn’t tear myself away from.

‘Complicated’ ( at first glance looks like any other blog. It’s got the boring Blogger black template, there’s no exciting banner or pictures to pull you in, there’s basically nothing that sets it apart, design-wise, that would make you want to linger. That is, until you start to read the story.

Michelle (I’m assuming that’s her name) had an interesting story and wanted to tell it. So she turned to the wonderful world of blogs as her best medium. She fell in love with a Pakistani man in the US and from then on, her life became, as the blog title suggests: complicated. For one thing, this Pakistani was from a very traditional family. When he told his parents his intention to marry her, they staged an illness and emotionally blackmailed him into returning. Upon his return, he was married off. I’m not going to give away the whole thing (and you must read it, it’s absolutely fascinating) suffice to say, there is a happy ending eventually.

What I liked about this blog, besides the quality of writing that draws you in, is that it was what it was. No bells and whistles. No ads. Just a pure and simple blog born solely out of the desire to tell a story.

Keep the focus
I think we’ve lost touch with that these days. We don’t think of our blogs as just a place to vent anymore. No, it has to be a money making prospect, a way to get our names out there, a way to be cool in the world of social media. Or sometimes, you get meandering blogs that go from one post to another with no purpose.

The reason this blog makes for compelling reason is that it has a story and sticks to it. There aren’t any annoying memes or things she had for lunch that day or anything. Storytelling for the sake of storytelling. I find that beautiful, and I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I did.

If you’re going to take away anything from this blog (and you should, this is a column about improving your blog, after all) let it be this: stick to your story. Make a compelling narrative. That is so much more important that having a jazzy design and all the ads Google can produce.

Meenakshi writes a blog at the Send her your queries at

First Published: May 18, 2010 14:25 IST