Chasing the Muse: Fiction by Melvyn Chase

Yes, that's me, reading passages from my new book at the local library and enjoying every minute of it.

The ham actor in  me  loved the challenge of playing a broad variety of roles--the mother, the ingenue, the banker, the farmer. And as I performed, I was reminded of my public relations career as a corporate speechwriter. Sound far-fetched? Let me explain. The ability to create believable characters--young, old, male, female--with different points of view and motivation--is a basic requirement of good fiction. An author must be able to identify with--empathize with--all of his major characters. The key to corporate speechwriting is the ability to become the speaker, adopting his or her point of view, vocabulary and style. A speech is a dramatic monologue--a businessman's soliloquy. And these elements are different for each speaker. A successful speechwriter must be able to temporarily suppress his or her own personal point of view and style--or at least adapt it--to fit each client. Not every writer is willing--or able--to do that. I always enjoyed the challenge. In a sense, I was providing the speaker with a dramatic reading, a brief insight into his ideas, ideals, opinions, motivation. Let's call it "corporate fiction." I'd also call it good training for another kind of fiction--the literary kind.