Monday, April 26, 2010

Character Blogging

The Intern posted today about stuff authors do to promote books that they haven't sold yet, like book trailers and so forth. She also mentioned blogs written from the POV of main characters.

As it happens, I've also recently heard mentions from other writers about character blogs. I thought about it today and tried to imagine how to handle one. Yes, no problem about writing blog posts from a character's POV, but what about content? Blogs give glimpses into the poster's life, so it would be great for worldbuilding, but what about story? If you try and keep the blog to events happening during the book, you risk spoilers (not to mention that you'd run out of blog fodder pretty quick).

A character blog might be a good thing for a writer to keep in between books, to sort of keep readers apprised of what the character's doing. But I can see problems with that too. Your book has to be set in a world that has blogs or you risk treating the character like an actor (which might be interesting, actually) reporting on his/her life in between gigs. And if your next book takes, say, a year to come out after the previous one and the main character's blogged all through that year, but your next book only takes place a few months (or weeks, or days) after the events in the previous book, that's not going to work very well. And how do you keep the interest factor high in the blog in between books? Basically you have to give the interstitial blog a story arc of its own that will resolve (or mostly resolve) just before the new book comes out, and you can't include anything that would mess up your book plots, and any pending story arcs from the previous book (like a romance or a mystery) have to hang fire for an unreasonably long time without being blogged about when that's precisely the kind of thing people blog about.

So anyway, it would be a lot of work. It might be rewarding, but it might not be. Your content would have to be stellar to keep reader interest--basically, you'd have to be writing another book in between books. You'd have to plan it carefully ahead of time or it just wouldn't work.

What do you think? Ever been tempted?


Danielle Birch said...

I'm not tempted. I have enough trouble keeping my blog going sometimes, let alone a character blog. Although it has given me an idea how I can overcome not getting deep enough into my main character's head. You may very well have made my day :)

Fox Lee said...

Not only that, but is the character even the type to blog? I think Dok-Muht would rather punch himself in the dick. And I know for a fact that my SOUL JERKY MC wouldn't go for it.

K.C. Shaw said...

Danielle--Glad to help. :) I don't think I need another blog to have to keep up myself, but a character blog would be a great way to avoid actually writing.

Natalie--Yeah, that's another issue I hadn't thought of. Cam wouldn't see the point in blogging, Ana would find it way too much pressure and probably a trick to get her to admit something she shouldn't. The only one of my characters who might enjoy it would be Kristof, and he lives in a pre-industrial society.

Cate Gardner said...

Not for me. Daniel Waters (I think I have his name correct) who wrote Generation Dead has a blog for his MC (the blog is also featured in the books)and as much as I loved both books, the blog doesn't interest me.

Jamie Eyberg said...

I would be interested in reading a blog from Bilbo Baggins about life after his adventures and what he is doing now. Just for fun.

Carrie Harris said...

Not tempted. I'm crazy, but not that crazy. :)

Maybe a post or two, but a whole blog? CRAZY.

Aaron Polson said...

Tempted? Not really. I haven't written a character who would blog (like Natalie mentioned). If I did, maybe.

It might make for a good piece of a nontraditional narrative...

K.C. Shaw said...

Cate--Yeah, a blog from a character's viewpoint is still not the same interest level as a book. It would depend on the character, of course.

Jamie--Hehe, I bet someone out there has done that.

Carrie--Seems like someone a while back (like over a year ago, and I don't remember who was doing it) was talking about putting together a general blog where people could post as their characters. That might be fun, but I don't think it would work for a longterm project.

Aaron--The more I think about it, the more I think some clever writer will make it work. Not me, though. Too much effort. :)