Your reader is reading your fiction because you provide him or her with a powerful emotional experience. If you’re writing a romance, you must create in your reader the illusion that she is falling in love herself. If you’re writing a thriller, you must create in your reader the illusion that he is in mortal danger and has only the tiniest chance of saving his life (and all of humanity). If you’re writing a fantasy, you must create in your reader the illusion that she is actually in another world where all is different and wonderful and magical. And so on for all the other genres.
This isn’t the first time I’ve come across the theory that you become the main character when you read a story. Perhaps it's just me, but I never think of myself in that way. I may be right there alongside the main character, perhaps sitting in a comfy armchair inside his/her head, but I never feel as though I’m them. I may be able to relate to what they're going through. I might be able to imagine how I would feel if I were in the same situation, but I never feel like I’m falling in love, or I'm about to die. My job is to root for the character and hope everything turns out okay by the end.
For me, reading is like going to a movie. I live vicariously through the actors. Heck, I might even wish I were them for a little while, but I never think I am them. Since movie actors/story characters rarely do what I would have done in the same situation, there's little chance I could convince myself that we're the same person.
Admittedly, most of the articles I’ve read on the subject seem to match with the way I think, but I’m wondering about the rest of you.
Do you become the character, or are you just along for the ride? Let me know.
But that's not all!
As a bonus feature, today I'm excited to reveal the cover for The Undead Road, an upcoming book by David Powers King scheduled for release in January.
And there's also a contest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Title: The Undead Road: My Zombie Summer: Part 1
Publisher: CreateSpace / Dashboard Books
Ebook Release: January 1st, 2016
Paperback: January 26th, 2016
Cover by Steven Novak
Nothing brings the family together like a zombie apocalypse …
Fifteen-year-old Jeremy Barnes would rather watch a zombie movie than shoot a real one, but he has no choice if his family wants to survive the end of the world. Their plan? Drive across the infected United States to a cabin in the Colorado Rockies without a scratch, but their trip takes a complicated detour in the middle of Nebraska when they find Kaylynn, a girl who can handle a baseball bat better than Jeremy can hold a .45 Berretta. And when they stumble into a sanctuary, Jeremy soon learns that Kaylynn is stronger than she looks—a deadly secret lies inside her.
After the radio picks up a distress call from Kansas City about a possible cure, Jeremy’s parents go with a team to investigate. They never return. The only way to find their parents is for Jeremy and his sister Jewel to rely on a dangerous girl who might just turn on them at any moment.
A while ago, David invited the blogosphere to let him turn one
unfortunate lucky contestant into a zombie for The Undead Road. The winner was Ilima
Todd, who is now the awesome author of Remake.
The next installment of My Zombie Summer is underway, and David wants to do
this contest again. Want to be in a zombie book? Not only is this your chance,
but it is your choice!
Between now and next Wednesday, send an email to dpowersking [at] gmail [dot] com, with the subject line: Zombify Me! Contest. In your email, David wants you to tell him three things:
1: The name you will be identified as (example: your first name).
2: A description of yourself—the more detailed you are, the better.
3: How would you like the survivors to put you out of your misery?
casualties contestants will be chosen on
Wednesday, November 25th. The most inventive or interesting entry will be
zombified! The other three who are unlucky fortunate enough to survive
will be given special honors. Winners will be announced on December 2nd
on David’s blog.
Prizes? The winner will be zombified in the pages of My Zombie Summer: Part Two, receive a signed proof of the novel (when it’s ready), and a $20 Barnes and Noble gift card. The runner ups will receive a free ebook of The Undead Road for their Kindle (other platforms TBA).
Thank you for participating, and good luck!
About the Author:
David Powers King was born in beautiful downtown Burbank, California where his love for film inspired him to be a writer. He is the co-author of the YA fantasy novel WOVEN, published by Scholastic. An avid fan of science fiction and fantasy, David also has a soft spot for zombies and the paranormal. He currently lives deep in the mountain West with his wife and three children.