Hypothetical for Authors… and Readers

This one is a simple question that was inspired by the trend of authors letting characters take over their blog for a post, or just interviews with characters. Also inspired by the way many of us authors have felt urged to change a story based on what we feel a character wants.

So, authors or readers… Let’s say YOU were the character and found out that your reality was indeed part of a book or series. Which would be worse for you? Finding out that the author was essentially “god” and had control of your entire reality, OR that they were effectively a cosmic level peeping tom that watched your every moment and then reported it to everyone who wanted to “watch”?

On the surface, lack of free will would seem the absolute worst. Remember the movie “The Truman Show” though? Imagine being in the middle of that, knowing about it and not being able to do anything about it. Your good moments, your bad ones, maybe even graphic details of your sex life, all on display.

My Witchfire serial actually took this idea as a plot device; she’s in a reality that used to only be an erotica website to her and it was explained with the premise that imagination truly is partially a subconscious window into other worlds.

As a side note, thank you to the authors I’ve read who have done the takeover / interview idea before me. It inspired a pretty good Interview with Witchfire post. 🙂

6 thoughts on “Hypothetical for Authors… and Readers

  1. Infidel753

    Fascinating question. In theory I suppose finding out I don’t have free will would be bad, but to me the existence of free will seems so self-evident that I could never really believe it was an illusion, no matter what I was told.

    As for the peeping-tom issue, well, I’ve never done anything all that bad, and if I were just a character in a story, everything I did would be the author’s responsibility, not mine. I’d think anyone reading that story would be kind of bored, though.

    Logically, religious people who believe in an all-knowing God have to throw out free will anyway. If God is all knowing, then he already knows everything you;re going to do, and you have no power to do otherwise, since that would mean that God’s foreknowledge was wrong, which is impossible if he’s all-knowing. So technically they’re already in something like the position you describe.

    There are people who claim to not believe in free will for various reasons, but nobody actually behaves the way they would if they truly didn’t believe in free will.

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  2. AuthorSarahKrewis

    I’m actually in the middle of a character takeover month, haha! This is a tough choice. I’d be upset if the author were playing God and gave me this shitty life, but appreciative that they didn’t make it worse than it is. I have some good moments. I do however often wondering the purpose for some of the things I go through. Like, “what was the point of that suffering?”

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