Audience Surrogate: Why you need a Character With All The Answers
The movie ‘Get Out’ is one of the few films that had plenty of unexpected moments for me. Usually, I’m unable to predict every moment– though, that trait probably makes it annoying to watch movies with me because I’m always muttering what’s going to happen next, lol. BUT throughout this film, I was consistently wondering “what next?”.
As a writer, we have to anticipate the “what next?” and “why is this happening?” questions that our readers may have, and one way we can do this is by providing an Audience Surrogate.
In ‘Get Out,’ the audience surrogate would be Lil Rey Howery who played the character, ‘Rod Williams.’ He was consistently questioning Chris’ girlfriend, Rod always made comments on how going to her parent’s house was a bad idea, and in the end, he was the one who saved his friend.
An audience surrogate is a character that expresses all of the questions and concerns the reader may have. The reader and the audience can easily identify with this character.
This character may ask the main character questions about their actions to get them to explain it so the reader can better understand what’s going on. Doing so allows the reader to know the central character’s methods, mindset, etc. This may encourage the main character to give a monologue detailing their actions. The audience surrogate may also ask a simple question to a person who is highly educated.
This tactic is common in detective fiction and science fiction.
Two main things to remember when writing an Audience Surrogate:
- He or She is the viewpoint character.
- This character asks and says all of the things the reader may ask or say.