Tweeting as your character: Yay or Nay?

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Twitter screen shot

The other day, in my Twitter feed appeared a post from Gideon Cross (see left).  It immediately struck me as odd, because (1) I don’t follow Cross, and (2) Gideon Cross is a fictional character in Sylvia Day’s Bared to You series.

I recently followed Day, so I suspect the post came through because of that. However, the post did make me immediately consider the idea of character tweeting. I realize the idea of a character with his own Twitter life is both terrifying and fascinating. The part of  my brain in charge of the To Do list flees in terror, periodically grunting things like, “You’re insane if you think I’m adding that to the list; certifiably insane!”

However, the other part of my brain is truly intrigued. The idea of tweeting as a character from your novel sounds like a totally fun thing to do. Talk about getting into character. If you’re in the mood, you could really get into it and tweet out fun things.

Of course, when I think things like this, the To Do list  part of my brain tells me, in its best Sweet Brown voice, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

But, if someone wants to make time for that, I wonder if it’s a good idea. Would it sap your creativity for writing? Or would it fuel it? Would you tweet lines from the book, or have to come up with new things? And what happens when you, as a writer, move on to another character or another book? Does your character’s Twitter feed die on the vine? And probably the most important question is, do enough of your fans care about the character to sign on for tweets? Certainly, there were plenty of Gideon Cross fans. But for your average book character?  I don’t know.

I’m not setting up any Twitter feeds for characters in the near future, but I certainly would never rule it out because it does sound like fun.  So what are your thoughts? Yay or nay on character tweets?

About RJ Crayton

RJ Crayton is a former journalist who now writes fiction. She's reported for the Kansas City Star and Wichita Eagle, as well as the smaller publications Education Technology News and Campus Crime. She has two published novels, Life First and Second Life and blogs for Indies Unlimited and the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. For exclusive content and first looks at her new work, sign up for the newsletter at http://rjcrayton.com/subscribe.
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6 Responses to Tweeting as your character: Yay or Nay?

  1. JK Mikals says:

    An intriguing idea. However, I can’t viz myself doing it, as I have trouble twitting at all. And as a reader, I’m not so sure I would want to read tweets from Tarzan, say. But it remains intriguing.

    • RJ Crayton says:

      JK, good thoughts on the subject. Maybe tweeting in character is like learning to ride a unicycle. Lots of people go, that could be kinda cool, but only a select few do it.

  2. Mel Parish says:

    While you should never say never, I can’t imagine myself tweeting in character – as you say there is only so much time and it’s hard enough limiting the amount of online socialising that I do, without having to limit a character’s too! Also, I do think that it presumes that you have a series – while two of my next books are sequels to two earlier novels, I don’t necessarily see them becoming a series so I’m not sure there would be much to be gained from tweeting in character.
    Even from a reader point of view, while my favorite series character is Harry Bosch (Michael Connelly) and I eagerly look forward to each new book, I would not want to follow him (Bosch) on Twitter. I think it would diminish the enjoyment of the next book – certainly take away that wonderful sense of anticipation of finally having the next installment in your hands.

    • RJ Crayton says:

      Good perspective, Mel. I think it’s a fine line between enticing readers to want more and oversaturating them. I’m not sure how one pulls it off well.

  3. Andy McKell says:

    Someone tried this in a LinkedIn group some months ago, but we didn’t “get it” at the time. I think it’s a splendid idea, especially for someone close to their first publication, to provide some insight into the upcoming story.

    But to tweet consistently and often, in character, is a serious commitment. I chose an alternative. I am already preparing a few “diary entries” for the key characters, written in the days just before the novel begins, and which I intend to blog nearer publication date.

    The danger, of course, is of giving too much information, too much premature insight into the characters; this could reduce the readers’ enjoyment of travelling with the characters as events affect, change or reveal their true motivations and of the readers’ personal “discoveries”, especially if someone is not what they seem to be. It is a narrow path to tread.

    • RJ Crayton says:

      I agree with you about tweeting in character being a serious commitment. It’s why I can’t do it right now.

      The idea of diary entries as a pre-publication blog is really a great idea. It gives more content, but has an end in sight.

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