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Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Creating the Unseen Character
Creating an unseen character is a clever writer’s trick. The off-stage character comes to life through the reactions of other characters. With this device, the writer can slip in a variety of material without developing another full-blown character. For short stories or 30-minute sit-coms, the unseen character is a Godsend.
Serving as a funhouse mirror, the unseen character reflects distorted but telling images of the other characters. If the absent character is extremely messy, the story’s obsessively tidy character is spotlighted. If your absent character is tight-fisted, your main character’s generosity stands out.
In the Frasier television series, Niles Crane is married to Maris but lusts for Daphne. Although you’ve never seen Maris, but I’ll bet your image of her is as clear as your image of Daphne. And Maris doesn’t draw an actor’s salary.
My first love was reading, and my second love was writing. Deciding how to string words together fascinates me.
My interests and pursuits are wide ranging. I'm a self-employed educational entrepreneur and book packager. During my career I have worked as a consultant, professor, business owner, author and ghostwriter.