Those of you who have Facebook pages know what I’m talking about. Somebody “tags” you and you’re supposed to write a number of random facts about you, post them and tag other people.
My first thought about this was negative. That was reinforced when the number jumped from sixteen to twenty-five. Who needs to know however many random things about me? Why would I want to spend the time doing it? I’m a mystery writer. Let there be mystery!
Then there’s the “Mommy List”, and the “48 Questions List”, and who knows how many others. Some of them are harmless, but I caution those of you who answer the questions on the “Mommy List”. By the time you’re done, you’ve given your firstborn’s full name, date of birth and place of birth–prime fodder for identity theft. Remember, even if you use the privacy screens Facebook provides, there are people who can get in and trawl for information if that’s what they want to do.
Ok. Enough negative. When I was writing material for my week-long visit on the On Wings of Murder blog, it suddenly came to me that I could use the “Sixteen Random Things” as one of the posts. Yes, I was getting desperate for material.
That thought led to another. What if we writers use those lists to get better acquainted with our characters? The secrets or backgrounds of your characters might inspire new plot ideas. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m going to very soon. I have a couple of characters who need to tell me more about themselves. 🙂 Maybe some of you are already doing that, but if it sounds like a good idea to you, give it a try and let me know if it helps.