Why You Should Be Part of a Character Chat

    I have a new love: Character Chats (otherwise known as CCs). I'd seen the phrase thrown around a few times online, but wasn't sure what it was. After chatting for a few weeks with a friend on Facebook, she asked if I wanted to start a Character Chat. I was hesitant at first, because I'd never been part of one, but I thought it was as good a time as ever to try.

    I jumped in. And I've never regretted it since!




    So what exactly is a Character Chat, you ask? Essentially, two writers have their characters interact, go on adventures, and get in trouble together. I'll give a quick example of how it's structured with two of my own characters, from different stories:

Bakari: *seventeen, tan skin, and cropped black hair. sits under a date tree in a worn kilt, cane lying beside him. rubs his thumb over the head of the cane, staring into the distance* 

Sefika: *sixteen, dark gold hair and blue eyes. fair in face, and timid in stature. looks around, confused. spots Bakari, and after a minute of hesitation, goes over to him, footsteps soft* Excuse me? Could you please tell me where I am?

Bakari: *looks up, startled* Oh, uh, y--you're in the palace. *takes in her foreign appearance, furrows his brow* Are you a visitor?

Sefika: ...No. *pauses* I'm sorry, but I meant...what country am I in?
    Not a very good example, but that's the format! Character chats can last as long or as short as you like, you can do it on a messaging platform or by e-mail, and you can switch between characters whenever you like. They're such fun! Apart from having a great time, here are five more reasons you might want to give it a try:

1) Flesh Out Your Characters


   When I started my first Character Chat, I decided to go with the idea of a character/story that was beginning to grow in my mind. Though at times I struggled to figure out what a character would say when I first introduced him or her, as I grew more comfortable with their personalities and actions, I found I was developing them through their discussions and actions!

   Think of it as similar to people-watching. (What no, I don't people-watch, what are you talking about.) You're observing a new or old character react to unusual situations, or interact with people that could potentially become friends, or cause them to butt heads. Through CCing, my character ideas for a new story have been fully fleshed out, and have become old friends!



2) Deepen Your World-building, and Expand Your Cultures

   
   As the two characters (or more!), one yours and one your writer friend's, will have come from different story worlds, possibly even different time periods, there's bound to be some confusion! Exposing your characters to new cultures, will reveal parts of them you might not see at first in your story. In addition, your character having to explain why they wear a certain thing, or practice a certain custom, is a good opportunity to dig into the 'why' of your world.

3) Friendship (and Fangirling)

   Of course, you can also have sub-chats while CCing (usually done in parentheses). Whether discussing what trouble to put them in what to do next with the characters, or shipping two of them, there's nothing like creating a story together with another writer, to become close friends. And who doesn't like a good fangirl over each other's cinnamon roll characters?



4) Refine Your Dialogue

   It's very rare in CCs that you worry about prose, except briefly introducing what the characters and surroundings look like. The focus is on action, and dialogue. So if you're looking to hone in on how a specific character speaks, or the kinds of dialogue tags or actions you could include, this is the perfect opportunity for that! 

5) You Write...Even When You're Not Writing


    On days when I feel like I can't write in my WIPs, or when I'm lacking inspiration, CCing makes me feel like I'm still writing. Which, to be fair, I am. It's fun, relaxing, and stress-free, all while building up your world and exploring your characters. I can't recommend it enough!


Have you ever been part of a Character Chat? If you have, what do you like about CCing? If you haven't, do you think you'll try one someday?
Have a wonderful day, and good luck with your writing!

Comments

  1. Huh! I've never been part of a Character Chat...this looks like a lot of fun!

    Catherine
    catherinesrebellingmuse.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's tons of a fun! I hope you get to try it someday. :) Thanks for commenting Catherine!

      Delete
  2. I've done something similar to this, but not with my WIP characters. It was writing practice more than anything. But I might try to wrangle up a few of my writing buddies and do some of this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you can do one (or more!) with a couple writing buddies! They're also great writing practice, and lots of fun! :D Thanks for commenting Sarah!

      Delete
  3. I've done these before! But I've always called them Roleplays, not Character Chats, and I've only ever written them in third person, not such as how you've formatted here. But it's still the same basic concept, and my friends and I used to do them for hours when I was younger. I literally have hundreds of pages saved from those old Roleplays and I was SOOO addicted. Honestly, I probably still would be if my friends and I hadn't drifted apart. Definitely so much fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's great! Roleplays are pretty much the same (they probably differ in format, mostly) as CCs. Haha, yep, they are soooo addictive! I'm glad you enjoyed them, and have fond memories of them! :D Thanks for commenting, Rebeccah!

      Delete
  4. I am in a few character rp groups on Pinterest, it's a lot of fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's great! Yep, they're so much fun! I'm glad you enjoy them, and thanks for commenting, Gray! <3

      Delete
  5. Cool concept! I'll have to try this someday soon! Thanks for the idea, Melissa! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you get the chance to try it someday, D.G.! You're very welcome, and thanks for dropping by the blog! :D

      Delete
  6. This sounds like so much fun! I definitely have to try this out sometimes :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a looootttt of fun! :D I hope you can! Thanks for commenting, Anna! <3

      Delete
  7. I have conversations with my characters. Never did it with some else's though, sounds like fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Personal conversations with your characters can be fun too. :) It is! I hope you get to try it sometime. Thank you for commenting, Skye!

      Delete
  8. I'd never heard of CC-ing!! It sounds like SO much fun, though, so I'll have to try it out! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is SO much fun; I hope you get to try it!!! Thanks for commenting Lila! <3

      Delete
  9. Oh man, this sounds so neat. I need to give this a try. It reminds me of old role-play forums from when I was younger. There was one that I ended up shaping into an actual novel, and it was the first I ever finished!
    jeniquablog.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's definitely similar! (And yay for role-playing! It's neat too. :D ) Oooh that's really cool; a unique backstory to a novel, for sure! Thank you for commenting Jeneca!

      Delete
  10. I think you probably know this, but I've been CCing for about 10 years now and I can vouch for all of these things! My characters and worlds have been so fleshed out because of them.

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, I didn't know you've been doing it for that long! That's really amazing. :) Thanks for commenting Victoria!

      Delete
  11. I'd never actually heard of character chats, but it's definitely an interesting idea, and I can see how it would help develop characters (and be fun!). Great post! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's great for developing characters, and tons of fun! I'd recommend it, if you ever get the opportunity. :) Thanks Laura, and thank you for commenting!

      Delete
  12. I've done a CC before, and I had so much fun! It lasted a couple of days, and I had a great time figuring out what the character I was using (from a novel I'm plotting but haven't written out yet) would do in certain situations, and getting into their head. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It put a smile on my face each time I got a reply from the other writer :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're so much fun! I'm glad you enjoyed yours too, and that you were able to flesh out your character because of it. Yay for smiles! :D <3

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular Posts