Every Monday, MYSTERY OF CHARACTER FEATURING SHANNON MUIR focuses on the art and craft of writing, from Shannon’s perspective or that of guest authors. To catch up on all posts, check out the MYSTERY OF CHARACTER FEATURING SHANNON MUIR portion of the website! This week features Shannon’s thoughts on how characters pretending to be other people can pose special challenges.
It’s challenging enough sometimes to develop characters that an audience will believe in. When things can become even more challenging is when that character needs to pretend to be another identity altogether to accomplish a goal. Not only does the added persona need to be believable to the readers, but the readers also need to be convinced that those the disguise is meant to mislead are sufficiently fooled.
This challenge I struggled with in one of my short stories, “Tragic Like a Torch Song,” in the anthology THE DAME DID IT, available in e-book and print. To explain the dual identity setup would be too much of a spoiler, but let me say that it required a lot of effort on my part. Not only did my female character need to be someone else, she needed to pretend to be another person in a time where women would have limitations on what they would normally socially be allowed to do. As a writer, I loved the challenges it presented, and I hope the readers enjoy the results.
Until next time!