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audience surrogate

Audience Surrogate Perspective Technique Explained

Ever felt like you were right in the thick of the action while reading a book or watching a movie? Well, you might have encountered the Audience Surrogate perspective without even realizing it!

In this article, I will delve into what this narrative perspective is, how it enhances storytelling, and provide some notable examples.

Audience Surrogate meaning

Audience Surrogate refers to a character or a narrative device that allows the audience to experience the story through their eyes. It serves as a bridge between the fictional world and the audience, enabling them to emotionally connect with the narrative. The Audience Surrogate can be a main character, a secondary character, or even an inanimate object that the audience can relate to.

The purpose of this technique is to provide a perspective that mirrors that of the audience, allowing them to explore the story’s universe alongside the characters. It helps the audience understand the rules, dynamics, and emotions of the story in a more immersive and relatable way.


What is Audience Surrogate?

An Audience Surrogate is a narrative device often found in storytelling, where a character or entity serves as a representative of the audience or viewers. This character typically experiences the events of the story from a perspective that mirrors the audience’s viewpoint, allowing the audience to better connect with and understand the narrative. The Audience Surrogate can be the main protagonist or a secondary character who reacts to the story’s events in ways that the audience might. This narrative technique is employed to enhance audience engagement and empathy, enabling the audience to immerse themselves more deeply in the story.

How Audience Surrogate perspective enhances storytelling

One of the key advantages of using this perspective is that it creates a strong emotional bond between the audience and the story. By experiencing the narrative through the eyes of a relatable character, the audience becomes more invested in the plot and the outcome. It allows them to vicariously live through the character’s journey, evoking empathy and a deeper emotional connection.

Moreover, Audience Surrogate perspective serves as a powerful storytelling tool by providing a natural way to introduce exposition and complex concepts. Through the eyes of the surrogate, the audience can gradually learn about the story’s world and its intricacies without feeling overwhelmed. This technique also helps maintain a sense of mystery and suspense, as the audience discovers new information alongside the surrogate.

Furthermore, Audience Surrogate perspective enables storytellers to tap into the universal human experience. By presenting the story through the eyes of a relatable character, the narrative becomes more accessible to a wider audience. This technique transcends barriers of culture, language, and background. It makes the story resonate with readers or viewers from different way of life.

Tips for effectively using Audience Surrogate perspective

To effectively utilize this perspective, writers should consider a few key tips.

  • Establish a strong connection between the audience surrogate and the audience. The surrogate should possess qualities and experiences that the audience can relate to, creating an instant emotional bond.
  • Strike a balance between the Audience Surrogate’s perspective and the larger narrative. While the surrogate provides the lens through which the story is experienced, it is essential to ensure that their journey is intertwined with the overall plot. This integration ensures that the surrogate’s perspective contributes to the story’s development and resolution.
  • Be mindful of the audience’s knowledge and expectations. The surrogate character is a guide to introduce unfamiliar concepts, but it is important not to underestimate the audience’s intelligence. Balancing exposition with mystery and discovery keeps the audience engaged and eager to uncover the story’s secrets.

Criticisms and limitations

While this perspective can be a powerful tool, it is not without its criticisms and limitations. One criticism is that relying too heavily on the surrogate character may overshadow the development of other characters. It is important to ensure that the narrative provides opportunities for other characters to shine and grow, creating a well-rounded and dynamic cast.

Furthermore, some audiences may find the use of audience surrogate perspective predictable or cliché. To overcome this limitation, writers can experiment with unconventional surrogates or subvert audience expectations. By presenting the story from unexpected perspectives, writers can keep the audience engaged and create a fresh and unique storytelling experience.

Audience Surrogate vs Author Surrogate

It is important to distinguish between Audience Surrogate and Author Surrogate. Both techniques feature a character as a conduit for the audience’s experience of the story. However, their roles differ significantly.

An Audience Surrogate serves as a vessel for the audience to connect with the story, experiencing it alongside the character. On the other hand, an Author Surrogate is a character that represents the author’s beliefs, values, or experiences. The Author Surrogate often acts as a mouthpiece for the author’s perspective, providing commentary or insight into the story’s themes.

Audience Surrogate examples

One of the most evident examples of Audience surrogacy is Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle. In all the adventures of the world’s most famous detective, Watson is always by his side, asking questions to understand how Holmes arrived at a particular conclusion. Arthur Conan Doyle could have explained the solution of the case differently, perhaps by narrating the events as they unfolded. Instead, he chose to use the Audience Surrogate, with Watson serving as the reader’s proxy.

In Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis,” the main character Gregor Samsa transforms into a giant insect. While the readers may not directly relate to Gregor’s physical transformation, they can empathize with his feelings of isolation and alienation, allowing them to connect with the story on a deeper level.

In Harry Potter, Harry himself is a surrogate for the audience. As the reader, Harry knows nothing about Hogwarts’s magical world. He learns its dynamics and peculiarities, marveling and explaining them as if the reader himself were seeing them directly.

Your bird, there was nothing I could do. He just caught fire!

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling

Employing Audience Surrogate perspective with bibisco

Incorporating the Audience Surrogate perspective technique into your narrative allows readers to engage more deeply with the story by experiencing events through the eyes of a relatable character.

With bibisco novel writing software, writers can implement this technique. They can do so by developing well-rounded surrogate characters. Additionally, they can craft immersive scenes that resonate with readers.

bibisco scene-building features - audience surrogate
bibisco scene-building features

Through bibisco’s character development tools and scene-building features, writers can effectively evoke empathy and connection, ensuring readers feel personally invested in the narrative journey.


In conclusion, the Audience Surrogate perspective is a powerful technique that enhances storytelling by providing a relatable lens through which the audience can experience the narrative. From movies to literature, this technique has been successfully employed to create memorable and engaging stories.

By understanding its meaning, utilizing it effectively, and being mindful of its limitations, writers can harness its power to captivate and immerse their audience.

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