My Passion's Pen

Helping to polish what your passion pens.

The Implied Author: What it is, and why it matters

Creative Writing with the Crimson League

1219898_old_books____2Today, I’d love to start a discussion about a topic I only learned about/ really considered when I started grad school: the “implied author.”

The term was coined by Wayne Booth in his book “The Rhetoric of Fiction.”

Even though I only heard the phrase after undergrad, the concept isn’t difficult to understand.

  • Every piece of fiction that we read–whether written in first or third person–gives us a certain impression or image of the person who wrote it.
  • This impression is called “the implied author” and may coincide more or less loosely with the personality or views of the actual person who wrote the text.
  • Ideally, the author is in control of this “implied author,” because he crafts the image/persona of the implied author by his textual choices: what he says, how he says it, and what he chooses to leave out. To some degree, then, the implied author is…

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