Character Blogging as a Book Platform

One of the great joys of reading is getting to know new characters and following along on their journey. We live vicariously through them as they set their sights on their goal or goals, stumble along the way, and eventually – we hope – prevail. Thus we drift with Huck and Jim down the Mississippi, fight beside Katniss in the Arena, and grumble and grow along with Bilbo in Middle Earth.

As readers, we are traditionally limited in our knowledge of our two-dimensional heroes because their adventures take place nestled among the pages of a book (er…ok…ebook as well), which has a beginning, middle, and end. We close the book and we know all there is to know about the protagonist.

Not anymore. Lisette Brodey is one writer who has taken character development to new levels. The character for her upcoming book, Molly Hacker writes the blog, “Too Picky? (I think not!)“ What makes this blog unique is that the reader gets to know Molly before the book even comes out, much like becoming acquainted with a new friend over a period of time. Molly tells us about her cat, Captain Jack, who displays the feline quality of approving or disapproving Molly’s dates, about dating stupid and deceptive men, the indelicacies of public restrooms, and looking on the bright side of things.

I have a few reasons for liking this blog so much. First, as an aspiring writer I can appreciate the time and creativity involved in developing this book platform. Not only has Brodey written a book, but she continues writing in Molly’s voice, thereby adding value to her character and her novel. As a reader, I love having the opportunity to learn more about a character outside of the context of the book. How many of you wouldn’t love to know what’s going on with Katniss Everdeen right now?

Is Brodey the only writer to build her book platform this way? I’m not sure. Admittedly Brodey and I are Twitter friends, so I first became aware of Molly Hacker through her tweets. However, I’d love to know if other protagonists are leading lives outside the covers of their books, electronic or otherwise.

 I encourage you to get to know Molly and her creator Lisette Brodey, and also to comment below about any other character blogs you are aware of. As a community of writers and readers, we can take part in the development of some of our favorite characters and help an author build her platform.

Think about having your current main character write a blog. Whether you actually post it is not as important as actually getting into your character’s mind and “being” that person. You can consider the exercise a more in-depth character biography. Have fun!

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3 Comments

Filed under blogging, Writing

3 responses to “Character Blogging as a Book Platform

  1. lisettebrodey

    Wendy,

    Thank you so very much for this extraordinary and beautifully written blog. I appreciate the spotlight on my efforts and on Molly’s blog. The idea of a character blog is certainly not unique to me, but I have worked hard to make the blog special. Almost all of the artwork & photography on the blog were created/taken specifically for the blog.

    My novel, “Molly Hacker Is Too Picky!” is now in the editing stages and I plan to publish in the fall. What is interesting is that while I have gotten to know Molly quite well by writing the novel, I am getting to know her even better by writing the blog. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that some of the things I’m learning about her by blogging may end up in the book.

    On April 6th, 2011, I will be adding a new feature to Molly’s blog. As she is a reporter for the Swansea Herald, her hometown newspaper, she will be interviewing different people of interest and posting her interviews every Wednesday, while her own blog will continue to post every Monday.

    I am lucky in that this novel lends itself so beautifully to character blogging, much more so than my other novels.

    Thank you again for this wonderful piece.

    With all best wishes,
    Lisette

  2. Hello Wendy.
    I have been following the Molly Hacker Blog since it began and she fascinates me so. Reading your blog just highlights the genius behind the idea and how REAL Molly has become in my life. I need to know more about this fascinating character and cannot wait for her story to be out in the fall.
    I have picked up many a pointer to say the least from this clever woman and look forward to reading more about my new friend Molly.
    Thank you for putting Molly Hacker into the much deserved spotlight.
    A new fan
    Lisa

  3. Thank you to Lisette and Lisa for stopping by! I’m enjoying Molly’s journey, and look forward to reading the new feature. More characters to get to know. It’s like a weekly TV series. LOL!

    Wendy

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