Using Google Search Terms for Fun and Education

by Jami Gold on March 20, 2012

in Random Musings

Magnifying glass

After the last few weeks of “serious issues,” I needed a silly break, so I looked up the search terms that recently brought people to my blog.  Google didn’t disappoint, as several phrases caught my eye.

Every blogger should check the search terms associated with their blog occasionally, and not just for amusement.  If someone comes to our blog looking for information and we don’t have a post for that topic yet, we have an opportunity to capture new readers by giving them what they’re looking for.  We can use the search terms to get ideas for blog posts.

I’ll write a post answering one of my search terms soon, but today I give you one serious interview and one silly interview.  On the serious side, I participated in a roundtable event at the Dear Author blog, where I and three other authors of both fan fiction and original fiction discussed some of the pros and cons of fan fiction.  On the silly side, I decided it was time for another interview with myself through the use of Google search terms.

Google:  what do you call a writter?
Me:  A writer who pads their daily word count by adding fluff words (or letters).

G:  whatever happened to the bodice ripping romance novels of the 1980s?
Me:  They disappeared because there were only so many ways to pose Fabio for the covers.  Either that or women decided they wanted to read about strong heroines.  Take your pick.

G:  how to not be nervous about letting people read your work?
Me:   Imagine your readers naked.  No, wait, that’s for when you’re on stage.  Um, how about eat lots of chocolate?  *sigh*  Okay, a serious answer.  The best way to take your mind off your nervousness is to dive into your next project.  Starting another book will not only distract you, but it will also let you know that you can try again with “plan B,” your next book.

G:  someone insulted me on an internet blog
Me:  Woo hoo!  That means you’ve arrived.  *smile*

G:  i have good ideas for stories but i suck at writing
Me:  The bad news is that an idea by itself is worthless.  I could come up with ten new story ideas a day without trying.  Having a good idea is not “special.”  An idea must be well implemented to be special.  The good news is that I believe writing skills can be learned.  Those willing to work hard can learn the grammar rules, increase their vocabulary, figure out plotting, character development, and point-of-view, and they can develop a writing voice.  The question is, are you passionate enough about your idea to do the work?

G:  not crazy, just like talking to imaginary friends
Me:  Me too!  *fist bump*  One of the reasons I love being a writer is because it gives me an excuse for having so many imaginary friends.

G:  i ve found my male muse now what do i do?
Me:  Be afraid.  *my muse arches a brow*  Er, be grateful.  Yeah, that’s it.  Actually, that’s true.  My muse is less fickle and emotional than many other muses I hear about.  On the other hand, he’s very arrogant and full of himself, but since he’s usually right, he’s earned that attitude.  *his brow lifts higher*  Yes, yes, he’s always been right.  *sigh*  Happy now, muse?

G:  insanity makes me look better naked
Me:  *cringes*  No, it doesn’t.  Trust me.  Now go put some clothes on.

G:  why do you choose love as a topic ?
Me:  All my stories have romantic elements and themes of love because as Miracle Max pointed out in The Princess Bride, “True love is the greatest thing in the world.”  Love—the desire for it, the lack of it, the pursuit of it, the pain of it, the withholding of it, the attainment of it—drives more conflict than anything else.  Love is at the root of most emotional needs.  Love is powerful enough to motivate villains and heroes alike.  Love is the human condition.

And now a reminder:  If you’re not sure what fan fiction is, why even published authors take the time to write it, or why all authors should develop a policy regarding fan fiction, don’t forget to check out the fan fiction author roundtable at the Dear Author blog.

How do you control your nervousness when others read your work?  Do you enjoy talking to those voices in your head?  How would you describe your muse?  Do you agree that love makes the world go ’round?  Now that you’ve seen what people can do with fan fiction, will you have a fan fiction policy?

Pin It
15 Comments below - Time to Add your own.

Heather Day Gilbert March 20, 2012 at 7:46 am

Ah, yes, the search terms CRACK ME UP! I get the weirdest stuff, which I think is often related more to the photos I post than to actual content. Just checked my old blog, and “mean school teacher” was one…but there have been some other doozies. Oh, well, at least Google is finding us somehow, right? Grin.

Reply

Jami Gold March 20, 2012 at 8:18 am

Hi Heather,

Exactly. Although I do wonder how the “insanity naked” one points here. Insane? Sure. Naked? Not a chance. LOL! Thanks for the comment!

Reply

Carradee March 20, 2012 at 9:54 am

Haven’t you said that your muse tends to show up when you’re naked?

Reply

Jami Gold March 20, 2012 at 10:09 am

Hi Carradee,

LOL! Well, I actually said that my muse visits me in the shower, but yes, I do tend to not wear clothes in the shower. :) Good point!

Reply

Carradee March 20, 2012 at 7:59 am

When I’m nervous about someone reading my work, I take a deep breath, remind myself of the best and worst case scenarios, and go work on or read something else that I find engrossing. Lately, I’ve been re-reading all the Sicarius scenes in Lindsay Buroker’s steampunk fantasy series.

My characters aren’t invisible friends. I watch them like it’s a movie, not like I’m there. On a rare occasion, I’ll be somewhere and I’ll “see” what some of my characters would do if there. (The most memorable one’s when I visited the Biltmore Estate and “heard” two characters bickering over what it looked like, which was interesting, since each one liked different details about the house than I do, but even that was me-as-observer.) My dreams are the same way. Movies.

I don’t have a muse. I have a subconscious. The lack of a separate “personality” there is probably a good thing, considering I have a hormonal disorder and I frequently write from the perspective of lunatics.

I don’t think love makes the world go ’round, but I do like playing with relationships, particularly exploring relationship types that have a historical precedent of being workable but are… out of line with Western sensibilities. (For example: arranged marriage, loveless marriage, concubinage, etc.)

I’ve always planned to have a fan fiction policy, but I want to have a specific type of policy for which I’ll need to have an IP attorney look over. Which I don’t have the money for, right now, so I’m currently just one of those “Don’t ask; don’t tell” folks. (Short version: I’d like to retain the ability to authorize fanfics for fanfic author profit without leaving myself open to lawsuit if somebody is good at picking up my foreshadowing.)

Reply

Jami Gold March 20, 2012 at 8:29 am

Hi Carradee,

That best case/worst case scenario reminder often works for me too. Usually, the worst case is we find out that our writing isn’t as ready as we thought it was, and it will take more work to get there. That’s not the end of the world, just disappointing.

I know that in reality, my muse is my subconscious, but having a separate personality to brainstorm with and yell at is convenient. ;)

Yes, those are great examples of how to use the different facets of love/relationships to explore the human condition.

And your thoughts about a fanfic policy sound similar to mine (as I mentioned at the end of roundtable post). I don’t want to say “no fanfic,” but I do want my interests protected. Marion Zimmer Bradley had to scuttle a whole book because a fanfic writer threatened to sue her for “stealing” her ideas. That’s not cool. Thanks for the comment!

Reply

Carradee March 20, 2012 at 9:54 am

From what I’ve read on that, Marion Zimmer Bradley actually did steal from the fanfic author. The fanfic author had created another planet in that “universe,” and MZB had tried to buy the right to use it (for very little money), and the fanfic author refused—and only after MZB used the planet anyway did the fanfic author sue. And both MZB and folks involved on the publisher’s end give conflicting accounts about what exactly happened with that “scuttled” book.

Reply

Jami Gold March 20, 2012 at 10:07 am

Hi Carradee,

Yes, there’s definitely a “he said, she said” aspect to the case, as MZB says the fanfic author approached her first, threatening to sue. But my point is that with fanfic being posted online now, authors can’t prove they never saw a fanfic author’s ideas, and that’s a real problem.

One of my beta readers and I just discovered a mirrored idea in our stories, almost the same exact imagery and everything. Coincidences like that happen. But once something is online, someone can claim that we–as the original author–must have seen it and stole the idea. There’s no way to prove we didn’t. Honestly, the authors who have the policies saying, “If you post it as fanfic of my stories, I own it,” might have the right idea. That prevents the opportunists from making money off the original author’s characters or world, and prevents the “stealing of ideas” issue. It would be interesting to get an IP attorney’s take on that approach. Thanks for the comment!

Reply

KylieQ March 20, 2012 at 7:37 pm

I control my nervousness by assuming that everyone will LOVE every word I write. Of course, that leads to other issues… *grin*

Reply

Jami Gold March 20, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Hi KylieQ,

Ah, the old denial trick, eh? LOL! Yeah, I’ve yet to get any feedback even close to that. Good luck with that approach and thanks for the comment! :)

Reply

Haley Whitehall March 20, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Jami, I was desperately in need of a smile and then I read your blog post and not only got a smile but a laugh. Thank you! :)

Reply

Jami Gold March 20, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Hi Haley,

Yay! I hope you’re doing okay, my friend. *hugs* Thanks for the comment!

Reply

Julia Tomiak March 26, 2012 at 7:28 am

Hi Jami, technical question- how do I know which Google search terms have led people to my blog – do I find in the stats Blogger gives me? Thanks!

Reply

Jami Gold March 26, 2012 at 8:38 am

Hi Julia,

I’m not familiar with the stats options for Blogger, but in WordPress, I’m able to see summaries of incoming visitors. The stats are broken down by those who came by a link (clicking in from a Twitter link or something) and those who came in from a search engine. The stats of incoming visitors via search engine tell me what search terms they’d used.

I know Blogger has a stats ability. The only thing I don’t know is if it’s automatically turned on for bloggers or if you have to activate it. WordPress users have the choice to use a Google Analytics plugin, a WordPress plugin (like JetPack), and/or an independent plugin. I hope that helps! :) Thanks for the comment!

Reply

What do you think?

15 Comments below - Time to Add your own.

Previous post:

Next post: