A #FollowFriday musing: Persuasion

Morning reflection... I find representing Persuasion – in the sense of urging rather than that of belief – one of the most difficult challenges when it comes to describe characters’s behaviour. Could it be a reflection of my own frequent real life failures in that domain? In my novel to be, the central character doubts the humanity of a woman once loved who comes back to his life, ghost-like, years after her disparition. He has good reasons to question the plausibility of her being who she claims to be: she first contacts him through her facebook page (how romantic is that?), she looks far too young to be the one he knew, there are gaps in her recollections… There are so many other explanations, interpretations, that eliminate most of the mystery (most, but not quite all of it) and would make her – pace Jane Austen – a fraud.

And we all know that charlatans are in abundance, trying constantly to persuade us: to believe, to buy, to vote, to stay at home, to kill… So Melissa, that’s the “ghost’s” name, has a tough job. She goes to extremes to be believable, loveable, accepted, in order to persuade him that she’s is herself. She attempts to seduce his wife, his sister, and partly succeed to reach them, and even get them on her side. But not him. In truth she may even frighten him, more than a little. Her efforts are painful. His resistance obtuse. But of course she maybe a machine, a replicant, as Blade Runner would say, a puppet of sinister powers…

I wish I could get Melissa to convince him. How could I help her persuasive powers?

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