[I couldn’t come up with an actual title for this post, so you’ll have to be content with the working title/label I used originally.]

…So there was a blog post a while back, and although it contained some stuff certainly useful and worth considering if one is a writer of fiction, it also contained some nonsense: something along the lines of, ‘No fiction author has ever written a story about a main character who has amnesia, and certainly not in first person.’

*Weaver laughs out loud*

Anyway, this was the comment I typed and then deleted (because it’s apparently Very Bad Behavior to disagree with anything someone says on their own blog… unless they’re blogging about the mechanics of writing, of course, and then it’s not only acceptable but necessary, lest that pretentious bastard think using standard/correct grammar and punctuation is okay or something).

Weaver’s typed-and-then-deleted comment:

“This might be why amnesia happens so often to supporting characters.  They aren’t in the spotlight, so the audience won’t pay attention to them as much.  Disbelief is there because their amnesia and second life are nothing more than tools for the main characters.  It could even be that they get to keep their second life because their importance to the plot is over as soon as the one piece of information or an object is gained.”

Maybe I’ve just been reading the wrong books all my life, but for me, the first two stories that come to mind involving a character with amnesia both feature a main character having amnesia, and one of these is even written in first person. (So much for, ‘It’s basically impossible to write about amnesia from the perspective of the amnesiac,’ eh? Or maybe it’s just more difficult for any author whose initials aren’t RJZ. *shrug*) Neither of those characters returns to their original life/identity unchanged by the experience, either. It’s not a mere plot device, not just an obstacle for the “real” protagonist to overcome by randomly triggering a return of memory in the character who can’t recall what they witnessed the bad guys doing…



About Thomas Weaver

For several years, I’ve been putting my uncanny knack for grammar and punctuation, along with an eclectic mental collection of facts, to good use as a Wielder of the Red Pen of Doom (editor). I'm physically disabled, and I currently live with my smugly good-looking twin Paul, who writes military science fiction and refuses to talk about his military service because he can’t. Sometimes Paul and I collaborate on stories, and sometimes I just edit whatever he writes. It's worked out rather well so far. My list of non-writing-related jobs from the past includes librarian, art model, high school teacher, science lab gofer… Although I have no spouse or offspring to tell you about, I do have eight cats. I currently spend my time blogging, reading, editing, and fending off cats who like my desk better than my twin’s.
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