March 20, 2012

Using Google Search Terms for Fun and Education

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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?

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Heather Day Gilbert

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.


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…  — Read More »


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

Haley Whitehall

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! 🙂


[…] Writing Stuff In my last post about Google search terms, I mentioned that we sometimes have lots of content around a search’s keywords and yet […]

Julia Tomiak

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!

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