Ain’t Nobody Coming to See You, Otis!

Tumblr Post #12 (January 2017)

A while back, I had a conversation with a dear friend of mine regarding the main character of this novel. In the midst of discussing her in relation to the twists and turns of various plot points, other characters and back stories, I began to question who this book is really about. Yes, this story is told in first-person and true, the reader will only know the internal thoughts and feelings of the narrator. However, the deeper I go into the development of this story and other characters within it, I’m starting to question if this novel is really about my main girl.

I’m reminded of the movie, Soul Food, and how its narrator, Ahmad, is commonly viewed as the movie’s main character. For those of you who haven’t seen this movie (by the way, how dare you?), it is about a family’s struggle to stay together in the wake of the matriarch’s sickness and eventual death. The story is told through the eyes of Ahmad, the grandson of the matriarch, though convincing arguments uphold the idea that Ahmad was merely a bystander while the stories of other, more important, characters unfolded.

When I first heard this argument, I though it a stretch, especially given that Ahmad ends up saving the day at the end. However, as the story of my fictitious family unfolds, I’m starting to see the similarities. In the whimsically descriptive way that I describe accessory characters through the eyes of my main one; how I get excited whenever I think about their back stories as opposed to her’s. And who knows, maybe I’m just getting to a point that’s apparently common among writers of fiction in which I am getting fed up with my main character and would rather talk about someone else. It has been roughly 14 months after all. And now that I’m finally getting steady exposure to someone other than my main character, it’s refreshing!

It’s new!

And it’s exciting to say the least!

But whatever the case, maybe it all just depends on how the reader decides to dissect this novel. Just because the narrator is part of the story, that does not mean that the narrator is the center of the story. It may all very well depend on which back-story resonates with which reader. Or maybe which character seemed to be more central to the overall plot.

Or, simply put, who the reader came to see.

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