Wednesday, May 20, 2009

It is YOU.

In the short time I've been blogging, the literary device I've written about the most is character development. The interesting stories throughout history have been about people. Whether fiction or not, the character has to have attributes that cause, as we say in social work, transference.

In film, a great actor can relate to their audience through facial expressions, gestures, interaction with their environment (throwing things works!), interaction with others, etc. To a certain extent all that is true of the stage actor too, only limited by the set and props. Well, and there's no CGI effects.

In novels, the character relies on the writer to use WORDS that triggers a UNIVERSAL RESPONSE. The setting, other characters, internal dialogue, and conversations all come into play in the building of a character. The key is the reader. If they are willing to be taken into the story so that story telling becomes story experiencing, characters become alive in a Velveteen Rabbit way.

I admit to deriving a great deal of satisfaction from being told that Kathryn is me. Actually, I'm probably more like Maggie, if you want to know the truth. Someone who grew up in Seal Beach accidentally called it Kathryn's Beach -- "We had the annual Kathryn's Beach parade last weekend." I smiled.

When my boss was reading KB, she kept calling me Kathryn. That was kind of funny. People do that all the time, if they really get into the story. Someone I've known for four months is certain, Kathryn is me. My sister-in-law thinks so too, but she has known me twenty-three years. I assure you, no one would want me to mix them a drink. OMG! They'd want their money back PDQ.

And so it goes, I've been successful with developing Kathryn into a 'real' person. I'm glad she is believable. I think the first person present tense is what gives people the sense that the story is real. I call it a faux memoir.

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