In a previous post, 4 Ways to Make Your Author Blog More Entertaining for Your Readers, we looked at four things you can do to make your author website more interesting. I likened your blog or website to the special features on a movie DVD. The special features we explored were deleted scenes, author commentary, short stories, and “the making of” the series (if you’re writing a series).
This week, I’d like to share a few more ideas for special features.
- Fan Art
- Character Journals
- Character Interviews
- Alternate Endings
Fan Art: How Do Your Readers See Your Characters?
Fans are creative. Some of them love to draw and some of them love to draw their favorite characters. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at all the fan drawings of movie characters! Star Trek, anyone?
Some fans who love to draw also love sharing their drawings. If you receive fan drawings, create a gallery. Any fan whose drawing is posted is not only likely to visit that page, but spread the news far and wide. After all, what artist doesn’t like people admiring his or her artwork? Make sure to get permission, first. I’m guessing most fans will agree, but you want to make sure before posting fan art.
This is just what it sounds like. Your character’s personal thoughts on paper (or cyberspace, as the case may be).
Characters can journal about events that happened in the novel or events from their past. Fears, hopes, and dreams are also fair game. Think of the sorts of things you journal about. Chances are, some of your characters will be thinking about those things, too.
Just make sure the journal entries are well written, interesting, and are in the character’s voice.
These character interviews are not the ones you may have conducted while you were developing characters.
These character interviews are interviews in which fans ask a question about a character or an event in the story and the character answers the question. Not only does this type of interview give your readers insight into the way a character thinks and an opportunity to dialogue with that character; it gives you the opportunity to get a little further into that character’s skin and speak in his or her voice. This can be especially useful if you’re writing series novels.
Alternate endings and deleted scenes go hand in hand. In the previous post, I suggested cleaning up deleted scenes and posting them on your story’s blog. Why not do the same thing with alternate endings, if you have them?
What’s the value of deleted scenes or alternate endings? Readers are often more curious about what was cut from a novel than by what was included. I know I am. Curiosity is what brings people to your blog.
All of these tips and more can be found in Thomas Umstattd’s original post, 10 Ways Proven to Draw Readers to Your Novel’s Website. Thomas offers other ideas, as well, so take a look.
What are your favorite special features on movie DVDs? How can you translate them to your novel?