I consider myself lucky to have found the name Lee K. Abbott while reading a writer’s magazine. It mentioned his being a master of the short story. The fact mentioned later in the article, that he sets most of his stories or his characters’ backgrounds in the Southwest, sent me searching. The collection I chose first is All Things All at Once.
With the first story, I was immersed in the setting and taken with the character. As I continued I felt I knew the characters or someone like them. And his narrator immediately calls to mind That Guy, no matter what name he has in a particular story.
I wondered exactly how he accomplished the feat of making his character(s) so vivid. Rereading, I learned that it’s the combination of speech (the character speaks like a person from the Southwest), the setting (his stories take place in towns that seem familiar because of the landscape and the typical businesses and acivities), and most importantly, it’s the choices the character makes based on his perspective on life that made this reader care about the man, whatever his name in that story.
I wondered if other readers find themselves caring about characters in that way, hoping That Guy makes better choices the next time, laughing at his cockeyed view of the world.
Has some author that you enjoy written fiction that affects you that way? I’d love to hear about it. Just click on the comment icon and let me know.