Not all blogs are real.
That is, they don’t cover real events happening to real people in the real world. They are actual blogs. They’re just fictional. They cover the events in lives of fictional characters in imaginary worlds that can (but often don’t) resemble the real world.
Since today, June 15, 2013, is Free Role Play Game Day, we thought we’d take a closer look at fictional blogging (disclaimer, the author maintains multiple fiction/character blogs and has written the ebook on TBRP).
There are two types of fiction blogs. The first and probably the most common type, belongs to a specific character. The second type follows a particular story or plot. Both a character or a story line blog can have a single author or be a collection of works from a variety of authors. In some cases, each character might have a sub-blog with the master, top level, blog being the collected stories of all the characters (this is a great way to write a novel for NaNoWriMo, by the way).
Many fictional blog posts are based on writing prompts and their format reflects that. Typically such posts stem from a prompt table of some kind, although this isn’t always true. Some just use the format which consists of some basic “front matter” including:
- Author (if the blog has multiple contributors or follows more than one character, otherwise the author is assumed to be the character who’s blog it is posted on)
- Prompt (if a prompt table or other source of inspiration like music or tarot cards is being used)
- Word Count
- Characters (characters depicted/involved in the post, directly or indirectly)
- Summary (a summary of the post, what storyline it belongs to, setting or time period, where it falls in character’s timeline, etc.)
- Warnings/Announcements (NSFW, adult themes and which ones, contains spoilers, etc.)
- Disclaimers (if the author does not own the rights to the characters or universe, who does?)
Once that business is taken care of, a fictional post is very similar to an excerpt from a novel or a short story. Some are parts of a larger work while others, sometimes referred to as one-offs, stand alone on their own. Some authors include photos or other images with their posts or may provide additional information to help readers understand the context of the post.
Fictional blogs can be some of the most creative and extensive blogs you’ll ever see. They can also be very bare bones and text-heavy. It depends on the blogger and the platform.
Tumblr hosts a number of fictional character blogs. The nature of Tumblr means these blogs are highly visual (lots of images) and the entries are relatively short and quick to read. Tumblr blogs can also include tweets, music and video which allows readers to get a more complete and complex sense of the characters. Some of our favorite Tumblogs are:
- Tales of Murhder – An Alternate Universe (AU) blog based on the characters from the Black Dagger Brotherhood novel series.
- Bubblegum Vamp – An Original Character (OC) blog set in an alternate True Blood universe.
- The Werewolf Within – An AU blog based on the character from the Southern Vampire Mysteries.
- Love Cannot Die – Some of the best paranormal steampunk fiction around.
If Tumblr offers a better sense of character because of it’s social network flavor, WordPress boasts some truly remarkable and complex fiction that often reads like a novel or even a series of novels. Among the truly remarkable fiction you’ll find on WordPress.com are:
- Musings of a Madman – Is a frighteningly fascinating alternate Hannibal universe that is home to some intriguing original characters.
- Diaries of a Dead Girl – An AU blog based on the True Blood/Southern Vampire Mysteries universe.
- Remaije – A Neverwinter blog
- The Haunted World of Shades – Some hauntingly good ghost stories!
It’s worth noting that none of these are my characters or blogs although my characters have made appearances or been reblogged on some them. Also, you’ve no doubt noticed the True Blood/Southern Vampire Mysteries trend. This is because that is the fanfiction world I am most familiar with. If you’re really curious, you can find fiction that has flowed from my pen at: Reflections of the Night on WordPress as well as several places around Tumblr like Pam’s Place and Dark Attitude, which are all Southern Vampire Mystery blogs. (I do blog other original fiction, however, I’m hoping to turn them into books/novels so I’m not going public with them.)
The practice of fiction blogging is not too different from nonfiction blogging. The art of it is a different matter.