My Character Came From This Diary Technique By David Canter Essay

My Character Came From This Diary Technique By David Canter Essay

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The majority of the development of my character came from this diary technique. David Canter feels that “a fraudulent diarist would normally have to take the public events as a starting point and build the diary around them.” To have my protagonist feel authentic I began researching convicted serial murderers and used their actual known slayings as the basis for my killer. During this research I was able to adapt factual crimes that have been documented through text or documentaries and fit them to resemble something that my protagonist would do. By utilising actual criminal testimonies it became apparent that the reader would subconsciously connect my characters acts to known events – I capitalised on that notoriety to give a sense of realism to my narrative.
This ‘copycat’ theme also led me to finally name my character, if he gained inspiration for his modus operandi from well-known murderers – surely he would do the same to name himself? I originally wrote that he would simply go by the name of ‘Jack’ this is not only a reference to histories most notorious serial-killer, but also a play on words for jack-of-all-trades. I wanted a name that would resonate with the target audience and possibly create an internet ‘buzz’, with the theme of social media being so strong throughout my text the name could easily become a twitter-handle so I prefixed it with an At-sign.
With the added credence given to my fictional acts I felt comfortable in removing the majority of the autobiographical elements, whilst still being able to hold onto the sense of realism I wanted to portray. I wanted my character to still refer to his life before he began these murders, this would help to give my character depth and show the reader tha...


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...med Jack, but ultimately this took away from the character I had originally set out to portray, and I felt this would work better if I were to use this storyline as a red-herring.

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For future development I would further elaborate on the details of Jack’s killings. I felt I chose the most interesting victims to emphasise that helped to project the narrative of this story, I believe my character has a very ‘real’ voice and is consistent in his actions and reactions. I think it would be interesting to develop his childhood more, and this is an area I will work on further without the restricted word-count. Based on the feedback I received throughout this project my narrative took a different turn on my original proposed project, however I felt the changes I have made – and the suggestions I chose to omit, have improved the over-all narrative of my text.

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