Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday 20

I have to thank author Dawn Thompson, who doesn't know me from Adam but still won a charity bet for me with the title of her new paranormal romance, The Brotherhood. A very nice donation will go out to the Make-A-Wish foundation, courtesy of my opponent, who probably won't scoff at my powers as the Trend Oracle any more.

Today I'd also like to discuss the future of the Friday 20. I started this weekly Q&A feature about a year and a half ago, as an evolved form of the old Friday night Think Tank chat sessions I used to moderate over at Offering ideas on how to tackle writing- and publishing-related problems is fun for me, and I hope has proven helpful to you.

This week, I'd like you to answer some questions:

Should I keep the Friday 20 feature on PBW?

Are there any ways I can make it better?

Would you rather have a new focus topic each week, or keep it open for any?

Would you be interested in having some guest authors stop by to answer your questions?

There's one more problem with this feature that I'd like to resolve. Whatever we post here can be read by anyone, and as you've seen some people who come here are not our friends or colleagues. If you have a sensitive question that can in any way be used as ammunition against you, don't post it. Send it to me at with a subject line of Private Comment, and I'll answer it via e-mail.


  1. Anonymous12:55 PM

    I think that you should keep the Friday20; not only does it help your readers out, but it also lets us get to know you a bit better. While you have a very interactive blog overall, the Friday20 just adds that much more.

    I would prefer there be no focus topic and questions just left open (most of the time. Perhaps one focus question a month, say the first Friday of the month?). That way any and all questions can be asked and, since it makes this feature a bit more informal, it gives it a more personal touch.

    I love the idea of guest authors also stopping in. The more the merrier!

    Thanks PBW!
    ~Briana N.

  2. Anonymous1:55 PM

    I suggest keeping the Friday 20 feature as is, with one exception: also post the Q&A into an actual entry (at some cutoff date/time). That way those of us who don't typically venture into the comments, such as if we use an RSS feed reader, can easily see your answers.

  3. Anonymous2:34 PM

    Oh, I love the Friday 20. :o) Even when i don't ask questions, some of your answers to others have proven very helpful.


  4. I'll echo what Briana said. I don't show up in comments much and I rarely catch Friday 20 in time to ask a question (assuming I even have one) but I've learned a lot here. Sometimes people will ask questions I never even thought of. I think having guest authors is a great idea but I'm not sure if that will be too much trouble for you?

  5. I agree, keep it as is.

  6. Anonymous3:47 PM

    Keep as is - and I must say - I always hear about trolls around here but I've never actually seen one. You must catch that stuff really quickly.

  7. I would agree with the other posts, keep it as is, and maybe bring in guest bloggers once in a while (as long as it doesn't make too much work for you).

  8. I agree with everyone else--keep the Friday 20 and I'd love to hear from other authors.

  9. Anonymous5:02 PM

    Guest bloggers are a great idea, as is a themed Friday 20. But since most commenters like the open question format, maybe a themed q/a happens just once a month or something?

  10. Please keep up the Friday 20. Some of my most needed help has come from those posts. I've printed them out and all that good stuff. Post it's on my forehead. Sharpie on my arms.

    Maybe add in a guest blogger on Fridays if ya need?

  11. I value the free form style of the Traditional Friday 20. I learn a lot from the posts and the comments ( your answers as well as other commenters chiming in when they have something to add).

    A themed Friday 20 . . . hmmm. Maybe -- once a month? Rotating that theme through 12 months of the year?

    Guest authors? Would they be publicized in advance? Or would another day of the week be good for them? Tuesday or Thursday, maybe? Maybe once or twice a month, unless you have a long list of guest authors clamoring for appearances on PBW.

  12. I like the Friday 20 as is. But I like your offer to ask questions and get answers privately, because sometimes a writer might want to investigate something and might not want to announce it to the world. You're very generous with your time and experience, thank you.

  13. Lynn--Whatever you decide to do with friday 20 or any of your other blog posts, I'll be here reading it. I think it's incredibly generous of you to give your time and energy in this way. Thank you for all that you do for your readers and for aspiring writers.

  14. Anonymous8:27 AM

    I love the Friday 20, but I agree with another comment...can you post the Q&A in an actual post later so RSS-ers can read them?

  15. I normally read in Bloglines, but I always come directly here for the Friday 20 and most other comments.

    I'm trying to imagine how much work is would take to combine the comments into a post, and it might be a little labor intensive -- especially with Dragon (but maybe that's my inexperience talking).

    I'll run the risk of being a little cranky and suggesting the least we can do is make the trip here to read the comments if we value what's in them. Lynn already gives generously of her time and experiences. (On the other hand, she did ask, so there's nothing wrong with us responding.)

  16. Anonymous10:43 PM

    Hi, I hope I'm not too late to respond -- I was busy donating blood to our local mosquito population this weekend in the name of girl power.
    I love the Friday 20. I like the free form. A topic a month could work OK, but I often learn from the questions of others, since they offer perspectives on writing and business I haven't had yet.
    When you mentioned guest speakers, I thought "eh," but then instantly realized I've really learned a lot from your links to other authors, and from clicking on the posts of the commenters here. So, IMO, it ain't broke, but if it's not a pain in the behind, it could also be fun. As long as you're the main go-to gal.
    Either way, I'll be looking for the Friday 20. This provided I don't become a West Nile statistic...



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