In the introduction to his Nebula-award winning novelette "Two Hearts," Peter S. Beagle states that he was unsure of his ability to effectively enter the world of the story - that is, until the main character entered his head. In his own words:
I locked onto her voice, the voice of this nine-and-a-half-year-old girl
who was telling the story from the first sentence, and I just followed her. It
was one of the very rare occasions where I felt from beginning to end that I
knew what I was doing. (Quote from Nebula Awards Showcase 2008)
The reminds me of Patrick's post from earlier this week where he talked about method writing and "being the character." I think this is the same thing that Beagle was describing. In fact, it sounds as though the writer is chanelling the character.
I believe that this kind of close identification between a p.o.v. character and a writer is necessary for a good story. First-person narrations, of course, but not only these.
So, writers, do you feel it is necessary to establish identification with your characters - first person narrators or otherwise? And how do you do it?