Lyn Gala

One writer's journal through one version of reality

Narrator… Author. Author… Narrator

2 Comments


220px-Geoffrey_Chaucer_(17th_century)The narrator tells the story.  The author writes the story. And those two would seem to be the same, only they aren’t.

The idea that an author “owns” every attitude espoused by a narrator is assuming that an author is incapable presenting another point of view.

It is assuming that Sherwood Anderson is clearly in need of psychiatric attention for his multiple personality disorder as each narrator steps forward and takes center stage for his or her own story in Winesburg, Ohio.

If the narrator and the author were the same person, then the slam poetry I once watched shouldn’t have existed.  A black woman wrote poems from the point of view of a white racist. She then rapped words as if she were that asshole.

A-MAZ-ING

That is the only word for her art.

However, she is not her narrator.  I am not my narrators.  You cannot assume any author is the narrator of that author’s books.

In “Claimings, Tales, and Other Alien Artifacts,” Liam wants bondage, but not pain.  In Fettered, Dylan wants bondage and pain.  In Desert World, neither Temar nor Shan would even understand the concept of power exchange.

More importantly, none of those tell you anything about my sexuality or sexual orientation.  Because I am not those various narrators.  Those characters have lives of their own, and true, those lives exist only in my head.  Still. They have lives.  Beliefs. Preferences based on previous experiences. And none of those are mine. Believe it or not, I’ve never traveled to an alien world or… wait… I have gone to BDSM bars.  Okay, I’ve never gone to male-oriented leather bars like the Stonewall. See?  I’m not them.

Let me illustrate with Chaucer.  Geoffrey Chaucer was a white man, a bureaucrat, a writer, a father, and a some-time scientist.  He was not a widow, yet he wrote a story from a widow’s point of view… a lusty, manipulative woman who wanted power over her husbands.

He also wrote from the point of view of a knight clinging to his outdated beliefs, a drunkard, a rich official who was always trying to find a way to rob one more person out of a dollar and a bad-tempered estate manager.  He is none of those things.  When the Pardoner butchers the Bible for fallacious arguments and tries to con people out of money, this is a reflection of the character, of society, of the world. It is not Chaucer owning those positions.

And this would seem to be obvious.

Stories reflect the world, or a world anyway, but they don’t exist as simplistic avatars of the authors’. At least I hope they don’t.  Stories should be exploring other points of view, not regurgitating the author’s beliefs over and over and over.

Is Fettered about the conflict between SSC, RACK, and old-school flagging?  Sure.  Does it represent my point of view?  Nope.  It represents a point of view in the conflict.  It represents an interesting point of view that often does get overlooked as other assume that the gay community or the BDSM community speaks with one voice. They don’t.  Categorically they don’t.

That’s the point of view I find interesting, and that’s where I chose to park my story.

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Author: lyngala

Lyn Gala started writing in the back of her science notebook in third grade and hasn't stopped since. Westerns starring men with shady pasts gave way to science fiction with questionable protagonists which eventually gave in to any story with a morally ambiguous character. Even the purest heroes have pain and loss and darkness in their hearts, and that's where she likes to find her stories. Her characters seek to better themselves and find the happy ending (or happier anyway), but it's writing the struggle that inspires her muse. When she isn't writing, Lyn Gala teaches history part time in New Mexico and constantly prays for that one big breakout novel that will let her leave the classroom behind forever. She loves teaching, but she loves writing more.

2 thoughts on “Narrator… Author. Author… Narrator

  1. Similarly, I do not read only what represents my POV. How narrow our world would be if we did. It’s sad that you need to state this, though… it should be obvious. *sigh*

    Thanks for sharing!

    • I thought so, but obviously not. In Fettered, I think that Guard would be an awesome partner for someone else. Dylan is used to having bigger personalities around, pushier people, and that softer approach didn’t “click” with him. That doesn’t make Guard less of a good guy, but it does mean that Dylan’s perception of him is different.

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