Asking me to pick a favorite character is like…okay I’ve got no analogy for that. Let’s just say it’s impossible. So to help myself out, I’ll focus on my favorite character that I’ve read so far this year and then a few character traits that I think are cliché.
Darrow from Red Rising by Pierce Brown – Darrow goes through A LOT in this book. He starts out as a guy who just wants to do his job, do it well, and provide for his family. But he’s forced into a situation where he loses what he wants most and his eyes are opened to the lies the government has told. So he has to decide whether to be a part of bringing down the government and exposing their lies or ignoring it all and letting the sacrifices of those around him be for nothing. In the process, Darrow completely changes who he is. He goes undercover, and we know how hard maintaining a cover identity while not losing your true self can be. Throughout the book, Darrow makes bad choices as well as good ones. He struggles. He battles. He strategizes. He mourns. He has so much going on around him and so much going on inside him. He is multilayered and alive.
Now some character clichés:
I know there are more character clichés out there, but I’m drawing a blank right now. These are the ones that have caused me the most frustration lately.
Blogging Q & A
I guess these aren't really questions I have so much as advice I'd give to someone just starting out.
- Spend some time thinking about why you wanted to blog in the first place. Write those reasons down. This is so that when a blogging slump happens you’ll remember what you wanted to do this in the first place. Often times, I’ve realized that I end up in a slump because I’m not staying true to the original reason I started blogging.
- Don’t get caught up in the numbers. Number of posts, number of books read per year, number of reviews, number of page views, number of comments, number of followers, number of ARCs…it can get very overwhelming very quickly. I know that’s so easier said than done, but it’s true. All the numbers did was stress me out. They’re used as benchmarks and not rigid determinations of your value as a blogger.
- Try not to get caught up in comparing yourself to other bloggers. Instead of being the one jealous and seething when another blogger reaches a milestone or gets an ARC that you really wanted and didn’t get approved for, don’t be that girl (or boy). Just be happy for their success. Your turn will come.
- I do suggest posting regularly. And by regularly, I don’t mean every day. I just mean consistently. Like 3 days a week. Or 2 days a week. Or whatever you decide to do. Just try to be consistent about it.
- Try to get ahead on posts. I realize that this is more of a personality thing than anything else, but I can’t tell you how much relief I feel being scheduled ahead. I don’t have to blog by the seat of my pants. I don’t have to rush to finish my books. I don’t have to rush through my book review. I don’t have to scramble to prep my posts. And the beauty is that I can rearrange my schedule at any point that I want.
- Try to write your reviews within 48 hours of finishing your book. The more time that goes by, the less you remember the details. I’ve found that if I start another book before I’ve typed my review of the one I just finished, I’m more likely to forget important details.
- Be the change you wish to see. If you feel like people aren’t visiting your blog, then you need to spend some time visiting other blogs. If you think people don’t comment enough on your posts, make sure you’re commenting on others posts. If you want to get more followers, follow a bunch of other bloggers. Basically, do to others as you would have them do to you.
- Use a commenting system. Do a little bit of research about this. Personally as you can see, I use Disqus. It not only notifies me when someone leaves a comment, but it also notifies them when I reply. I want to have a conversation with my readers as much as possible, and that’s not going to happen if they have no idea that I replied to their comment and what I said.
- Use Google Calendar. I love being able to move my posts around and see what’s scheduled. You can color coordinate. I use this calendar for EVERYTHING!
- Turn off Captcha/Word Verification. Trust me...anyone who visits your blog and tries to comment will be thanking you for this.
- Turn your mobile setting on. This allows your blog to be viewed from a smartphone, tablet, etc in a format that works better for a mobile device.
I could keep going with advice, but I feel like I might have done too much already. I wouldn’t worry too much about blog design or getting too fancy up front. You’ve got time to learn about that along the way. Plus I don’t feel like I’m an expert in that area. I totally want to do a blog redesign, but I want to do it myself (instead of paying someone to do it) and I just haven’t felt like taking that on yet.
Which character has been your favorite this year? What about blogging advice? Got some to add to my list? Got any questions for me? Feel free to ask. Let me know!