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!