Home > World-Building > Day Two Hundred and Four: The Imposter

Day Two Hundred and Four: The Imposter

For the month of December, I’ll be world-building. This means taking a look at the people, places, and institutions that I have created over the last six months and trying to figure out more about them. This will involve a look at the stories in which they’ve appeared, and then some speculation, stream-of-consciousness writing, and with any luck a few revelations. In addition, I may come back and add new material as the Elves in my unconscious ship out new ideas, so I’ll be sure to link them up.

Your feedback as readers is, of course, more than welcome. There are probably questions that I’m forgetting to ask and holes that I need to fill.

Wish me luck!



Just had to get that out. Tonight’s character sketch, randomly chosen, is that of Katrina Lansberg, from day 191: Finders Keepers. Let’s see what the story says about her:

  • She is a telepath, and has been for the last fifteen years.
  • She regularly goes to conventions – literary, sci-fi/fantasy.
  • She uses her ability to take story ideas from authors. “The grain of sand that would make a pearl, given time and effort.”
  • Her first novel was titled Groundling Child.
  • She uses the pseudonym Paula Grant.
  • She likes to sign her own books in bookstores.
  • She went to ZeffCon 2011 to meet Roger Tillman, a very successful author.
  • She found out that he was a telepath as well.
  • They had a psychic confrontation wherein he learned what she had been doing.
  • He assured her that it was her work that made her successful, not her ideas.

Katrina is really a stand-in for the beginning writer – which may or may not be me, depending on the day – who doesn’t have faith in her own abilities. As the story alludes, a lot of people who don’t write for a living assume that the hard part is coming up with the ideas, thus the ever-dreaded “Where do you get your ideas?” question. But the authors I’ve read and talked to say that the ideas really aren’t the whole thing. It’s what you do with them – the fleshing out of the idea, bringing it from the realm of the imagination into a real, living and breathing story. That’s the hard part, and that’s what Katrina is really good at. But because she still thinks that Great Ideas are the key to being a writer, she completely under-appreciates her real skill.

And that’s Katrina in a nutshell: she is someone who is talented, but doesn’t believe in her own talent. She has an amazing gift – telepathy – that she uses for a purpose that is ethically dubious at best, but which she convinces herself is for the best. It’s the kind of little moral compromise we all make from time to time, made easier by the knowledge that she can find her books in nearly any bookstore. And at this point, that is her through-line, her primary motivation: the need to prove herself while at the same time convinced that she’s incapable of proving herself. Until she comes through on her own, she will live in the shadow of her secret…

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