Protagonist blog idea

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Mike Dickson
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Protagonist blog idea

Post by Mike Dickson » January 24th, 2012, 12:30 pm

I've been thinking of different ways to get my protagonist out to the world in an effort to build a readership for my upcoming novel.

The idea is to have my protagonist author a blog on my website.

My novel is a thriller and the protagonist is a mafia turncoat now hiding in witness protection. His father is the Don of his former family.

The blog would be about the things he's done in the past, and how he tried to avoid much of it. The posts would be in first person, and short story form starting near the climax of each event. I would hope they would be an exciting read but also helped the reader care about him.

Good idea? Bad idea?

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Mira
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Re: Protagonist blog idea

Post by Mira » January 26th, 2012, 5:30 pm

IMHO - Great idea.

I love the creativity, and I'm surprised there isn't more of that type of thing developing. What an opportunity to engage readers with your character.

The only thing to think about is how to do this without spoiling the story, and where in his/her development you'd like to represent them on the blog.

It's also a great way for you to get to know the character.

I say, go for it! :)

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Re: Protagonist blog idea

Post by MAP » January 26th, 2012, 10:04 pm

My only caution is that it needs to be very clear that this is not a real person. People don't like to feel duped. Other than that, go for it. Could be fun.

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CharleeVale
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Re: Protagonist blog idea

Post by CharleeVale » January 26th, 2012, 11:47 pm

I personally don't like it. At all. I've seen it done, and it just didn't work for me.

I don't know why, I guess it just blurs the line too much for me.

CV

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AMSchilling
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Re: Protagonist blog idea

Post by AMSchilling » January 27th, 2012, 1:16 am

I like the idea. I think it's an interesting way to add to a character and their backstory without clogging up a novel. Readers who enjoy the character and want to know more could read it, and readers who were "meh" on the idea could choose not to.

I really don't see it as much different from authors who publish short stories told from their supporting characters POVs. I'm thinking of Jim Butcher in particular, who has written a number of shorts told by supporting characters from his Dresden Files series. You don't lose anything at all in the main series if you don't read them, but if you're really into one of the characters it gives you a little more insight into what makes them tick.
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Re: Protagonist blog idea

Post by Sommer Leigh » January 27th, 2012, 8:07 am

I am not usually a fan of this type of thing, though I have read one or two really good ones over the years. I don't know - I've read a lot of short stories posted on blogs that tie into books and I liked that a lot, but I'm not sure I'd read a blog written by a character.

But, and here's a big but, if you can do it in a very unique, highly entertaining way, it could work. Especially if you include other types of media than just writing, like pictures and videos. But that would be extremely time consuming - time that might better be used writing another book. I feel like something extra like this needs to be more than just the written word - people can get that from your book. If you're going to utilize the web to promote and expand your universe, you should really utilize all that it can do, all the cool media options people love right now. You should develop a whole experience, not just an extension of your novel.

And keep in mind that you're still going to have to figure out a way to promote it, just like your book. So not only are you having to promote your book but also promote the blog. It'll take a long time and a lot of dedicated storytelling to build up the blog enough to be a promotional tool for your novel. You could do it, it's completely possible AND it can be very cool, but I'd spend a good chunk of time researching everything you want to do and can do and what will work and what won't work. Make a very specific, day to day plan for the next year. (Remember - it takes at least 6 months for a blog to get any real attention at all unless you are very lucky.) I would research cool media sites that TV shows and movies put together. They're geniuses at it.
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Gypson
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Re: Protagonist blog idea

Post by Gypson » January 30th, 2012, 4:02 am

CharleeVale wrote:I personally don't like it. At all. I've seen it done, and it just didn't work for me.

I don't know why, I guess it just blurs the line too much for me.

CV
Agreed. I'm not sure why, but this rubs me the wrong way.

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Re: Protagonist blog idea

Post by MattLarkin » January 30th, 2012, 8:13 am

To be honest, I probably wouldn't follow this kind of thing even for one of my favorite authors. I think your time is probably better spent writing more stories for the character.
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Ryan
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Re: Protagonist blog idea

Post by Ryan » January 30th, 2012, 5:57 pm

If you're feeling it then do it. I think it will make you delve into the character more thus giving him more life on the page and in your actual novel. There are worst ways to use your time. That's for sure. :)
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GingerWrite
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Re: Protagonist blog idea

Post by GingerWrite » January 31st, 2012, 12:08 pm

I agree with Matt and Sommer, even if it were my favorite author I probably wouldn't read it - mainly because part of the fun of reading a book is getting to know the character. If the character is already out there though, some of the magic of the book is gone.
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