WHAT'S THE APPEAL OF BEING SOMEONE ELSE IN A STORY?
I don't know about most authors and readers, but when I write and read, I transform. I shapeshift. That's right, I really do . . . in my mind!
When I'm immersed in a book, I'm the main character. I'm the lovelorn vampire torn by his desire for a mortal woman. I'm the sleuth tasked with solving the mystery of the gruesome murders at Rue Morgue. This happens especially when I write . . . I become my main character.
When Abby Watson, my main character, acquires strange new powers that allow her to hop into other bodies, she does so. And heck, what would YOU do? Hop into that 36DD bod you've been eyeing at the beach and wishing you had that tan? What about hopping into the body of the cheerleader who made your life hell in high school?
Or what about hopping into the body of your male colleague....who happens to be gay? And why not go for the ultimate . . . that handsome movie star you've always had a crush on? With your newfound powers, can you do it? And is there a penalty for snatching someone else's life?
Wish fulfilment aside, this is a story about being not comfortable in your own skin, and therefore wishing you were prettier, stronger, thinner, smarter, luckier . . . anyone but yourself. If you've ever been in that situation, then you might understand. But that's exactly why we read stories and go to the movies. We want escapism from our daily lives. And if we can be someone else for a few hours, or however long it takes you to read a book, then we can ourselves transformed just like those main characters whose lives we want to emulate. The ones who can be better, more confident, more goal-orientated, more courageous, and who can actually reach for the stars in addition to that handsome bodice-ripping hunk with a six-pack to die for.
Yes, there's plenty of appeal in being someone else in a story indeed!