Friday, August 04, 2006

Are writers same as their characters?

When I read my story “Flirting in Short Messages” at the second anniversary meet of Caferati, a listener identified me with the character of my story.

“I thought you were that character in the story,” she says.

“But no, I am not that character. There may be a resemblance but I am not that character, in fact, the character is my creation, no, not me. The resemblance is, I think, because every writer writes what he knows, and therefore he/she can’t avoid the resemblance.”

She seems a bit puzzled, “But you used the first person singular, didn’t you? So naturally you are the character.”

I say, “No, a writer creates a character, enters his/her mind and describes the character’s experience using the first person singular “I.” This is a well-known literary practice.”

She looks at me, again a bit uncertainly. And, sadly, I feel, a little disappointed. But as a writer I can’t expose intimate details about myself can I? That’s why I, and writers like me, create characters.
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