Character Entrance 3: Addressing The Reader

This method of character introduction is pretty simple – the character is the narrator of the story. So, your readers can only see the story (or that portion of the story) unfold from the narrating character’s viewpoint. In other words, you’re choosing to write your story from the first-person point of view.

Meanwhile, this creative writing key is about introducing the character (narrator) and not about story writing in general. In trying to explore this method of character introduction, the first thing you will notice is that from the very first word you will ever write in the story, you have relinquished your right to tell the story to this character. By extension, the character introduces themself into the story with the first-person narrative pronoun, I.

The common challenge most writers face with this character introduction method, especially amateur writers, is giving the character a distinctive voice. Your character should have his own words and his manner about them. He should speak like someone possessing his level of intelligence.

One major letdown you would give your readers by choosing to introduce a character through this method is to have the character speak like you (except you’re writing a memoir or autobiography. In which case, it wouldn’t be fiction anymore). To pull this method off involves a lot of unbecoming of yourself, and more of the assumption of the voice, quirks and mannerisms of the phantom you want your readers to see as reality with flesh and blood.

In this method, you don’t get to enjoy telling the story from a detached distance. You will find the dominant pronouns would be I, My, Our. If the character’s wife just died, it would be your wife who died. If he’s getting married, it’d be you at the altar. And pray he hasn’t found himself at gunpoint. Or at a divorce court, about to lose 50% of his assets. In all these cases, it would be you, and you must represent the character the way he would react in such situations for your readers to appreciate your storytelling.

We would love to hear your views on this creative writing key in the comments. See you next Monday for the creative writing key on Character Entrance 4.

Can Your Readers Relate With You?

The number one reason readers buy books is because they know the author.

This doesn’t always mean the reader is a friend of the author. Sometimes, the reader may have read other books by the author, heard them speak or interviewed on a podcast, radio or television. They might have visited the author’s blog or followed them on social media. A connection is made, and this drives readers to the author’s books. 

This is the reason for the “about the author” section in books. Readers want to know who the book came from. They want to know the author is an actual person, just like them. That automatically makes the author relatable. They’re human. And once a reader can connect to an author on that level, it becomes easy to persuade them to buy your book. 

Who the author is plays a big part in the success of their book. If a specialist gynecologist were to write a book on menopause, it’s more likely to be bought by people experiencing said ailment than if a baker who experienced menopause wrote the book. This is simply because the specialist is just that. A specialist! 

Who you are affects how people receive your book. 

Growing up, I never truly belonged anywhere because of my mixed heritage (and the discrimination I faced due to it). For many years, I struggled to fit in because I was too light to be black. Then I moved to the U.K. where I was too dark to be white. And this was part of what formed the basis for Age of The Anathema. I’m a mixed-race author writing about people being persecuted for being mixed race. And one comment I got back when Tainted came out, was by a mixed-race woman who said: “… finally, we have someone who will speak up for us.”  

She bought and read the book because the author was relatable. 

So, as an author, stop and ask yourself:

“Can my readers relate with me? Or am I just another author to them?” 

Glasses: Also a writing tool

 "...And one sunny spring morning, I awoke to find my glasses missing a screw."
***

To all those who wear glasses… you know what it’s like when your glasses just don’t sit right.

For those fortunate enough to never experience such discomfort, wearing glasses that don’t sit right can be really frustrating, especially when you’re writing.

Besides typing, I like to write, draw, and doodle in my notebooks. And recently, my glasses keep sliding off my face. But I get ahead of myself. It all started when…

I travelled for a few months, and got locked down abroad without my spare glasses. One sunny spring morning, I awoke to find my glasses missing a screw. (#crying)

It relieved me to find the screw about an hour later. I fitted it back, thinking that was over and done with.

Until my glasses started zooming in.

I’d be reading, and after a couple of minutes, my glasses would creep down my nose, toward the page. It got steadily worse, and by the time I returned after the travel restrictions were lifted, I was literally having to hold my glasses in place.

Clearly an inconvenience.

And for those wondering, I don’t wear contacts because my eyes water a lot.

Anyway, many reading and writing blogs touch on tools, apps, and equipment creatives need. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen any which touch on glasses. And I know I’m not the only creative who wears glasses (or has had an interesting experience with them).

Glasses are a tool to aid your sight. They’re meant to make your visual experience better, not worse. And I know there are a lot more issues that occur with glasses than them just not sitting right. Things like getting the right prescriptions, and the right shape of frames to fit your face, and the right size so the lenses cover at least 70% of your field of vision. And let’s not even go into tinting and glares.

So, there are many, many things to deal with when talking about glasses. This is just to remind you that glasses are also a writing tool, and as a reader, writer, or just a basic human being, remember to get your glasses sorted.

Indulgence, by Chiedozie Omeje is out now!

With his stellar 3 chapter story, Autumn, Chiedozie won the 2020 C. I. T. Writers Award, receiving a publishing contract with us.

Claiming his victory, he has used that stepping stone as a podium to launch his writing career with his first book, Indulgence.

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