Happy Friday and happy August, everyone! Summer is flying by, and I’ve barely had a chance to enjoy the warm weather. I think I’ve only been in my pool twice this season. Between working on Book One revisions and juggling multiple WIPs, I just haven’t had much free time these past few months. But I’ve hit my latest deadline and I am taking a much-needed vacation, to my own backyard. I can’t wait to relax in my pool and do nothing for the next week.
As much as I’d love to ramble on about my staycation plans, it’s time to switch gears and ramble on about something else, my character blogs. Today, I’m going to talk about the inspiration behind the blogs, some challenges I faced, and what it’s like working with the fictional people who “write” them.
Most of my character blogs are based on short side stories I’ve written in the past. Short side stories, aka side shorts, are an awesome remedy for writer’s block. They also help with character development, character voice, and they’re a lot of fun to write.
Most of my side shorts average around 4,000 words. Converting these short stories into 1,200-plus-word blogs without revealing spoilers and keeping them clear and cohesive is no easy feat. Not to mention, I am not a fan of writing in first person POV. I write all my stories in third person limited. Switching POVs, especially while working on revisions, is not only jarring but quite challenging.
The most important thing about these character blogs is staying true to the character that is “writing” their blog. Their blogs are like journal entries. They’re telling you their stories and sharing their experiences. I need to ensure I write my characters’ blogs in their own words.
In order to accomplish that, I need to connect with my fictional people. I need to see them and I need to hear them. I need to be with them not only as they write, but I also need to experience the story through their perspective, which means I need to get inside their head. I have to become them and that can be difficult at times.
Now, some characters are easy to connect with. Nick and Karina’s voices are prominent in my head; channeling them is almost effortless. Although, Nick is not the most cooperative when it comes to blogging. He hates it. If he had his way, his latest blog would’ve read: Attended the Solstice Ball. Shit went down. The End. Obviously, that wouldn’t have worked. I needed him to elaborate on the events that played out that night. Luckily for me, I was familiar with his side short, so I could see the story from his perspective. Unfortunately for me, getting him to write about it was a task and a fucking half. But I got it done and then treated myself to some wine after.
Karina, on the other hand, was much easier to work with. I had no issues when it came to channeling her. I was right there with her as she sat in her silver ballgown, typing up her blog while Nick was next to her, typing his. I saw everything, I saw her experiences and I was able to write that blog from her perspective without any problems. But then, out of all my characters, Karina is the most cooperative and easiest to channel. I love working on her scenes as much as I love working on Nick’s. Those two will always be my favorites.
To be honest, I love most of my fictional people, even some of the baddies. If they remain cooperative, character blogs can continue. I have no shortage of ideas. In fact, I have entire notebooks filled with them. I don’t need side shorts to write a character blog. I’m one of those writers who can find inspiration in anything and everything, from song lyrics to colors, pictures, and more.
Marissa’s blog was inspired by my trip to Aruba. I was browsing through pictures from our vacation one night, and her story just started playing out in my head like a movie. I pulled up a Word doc and just started typing. I had no plan, no outline. It was just me following her while trying to get all the pertinent details down. I had trouble keeping up with Riss as the scenes flashed before me. The rough draft was nothing but bare bones with little description. I had to go back through and fill in some details, as Marissa would describe them. But that wasn’t an issue. Her voice was distinct, and I was familiar with the setting. Writing the kissing scene was the only hiccup I had. Marissa was a bit anxious talking about it, mainly because she didn’t want to upset Nick, or cause tension between him and Luke. But Nick wasn’t mad. He trusts Luke, and he just wanted his sister to have a good birthday for a change. That’s all I’m going to say on the topic, because of spoilers.
And spoilers are becoming an issue with some of these blogs. Raichel’s latest blog was filled with them. Trying to navigate through that spoiler-heavy minefield of a draft without giving anything away and having it make sense was tricky. Not to mention, she was combative as fuck. Raichel was furious about landing in magical jail and refused to cooperate. Each time I tried to connect with her, she’d shut down and go radio silent. Her blog was an absolute nightmare to write. Thankfully, I had my husband and friends help me through it.
Ash’s blog also contained a few spoilers, but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t manage. Ash is a dream to work with and she’s a pro at dodging the spoiler bullet. She’s blunt and unfiltered and unafraid to speak her mind. She’ll just straight up say that something isn’t your business and move on without a care.
Ryan is another one of those people who’s easy to work with. He’s pretty easygoing and friendly for the most part, but with his latest blog, he was all bad mood. His sole focus was on his baby sister, and he did not want to write shit. He kept shutting me out. It took some time to get into his head and get the draft finished and published. Ryan’s blog was the second most challenging blog I’ve written this year.
I just wish I had more time to work on character blogs. If I had a few extra hours in a day or an extra day a week, I would probably edit and polish them up more than I already do. But time isn’t a luxury I have these days and that will affect character blogs going forward. Next year, I won’t be able to post them monthly like I have. I’m not sure what the schedule will look like yet, but I’m bouncing some ideas around. I will let you all know about the new character blog schedule closer to the end of the year.
Ash, Raichel, and Marissa’s blogs have all been posted. The next character blog will be at the end of September or October. The date and the character will be announced on the next writing life blog, which will be posted on Friday, September 10th. All writing life blogs will now be posted on the second Friday of each month. Character blogs will remain on the last Friday of each month, unless otherwise specified.
I’ve also posted two new playlists, which you can find under the Songs tab. As always, the playlists are up on Spotify. If you want to give them a listen, just click on the Spotify icon and click on the playlist of your choosing.
Courtni’s interview snippet is up, you can find that under the Character Interviews tab. I’ve also posted a new aesthetic, featuring my main characters, Nick and Karina, which you’ll find under the Photos tab. Character art is courtesy of artbreeder.com.
That is all I have for you today. Hope you all are enjoying your summer so far. Stay safe and stay healthy. Until next time.
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