Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Suspension of Disbelief in Writing: Guest Post by Madeleine McLaughlin

Today I'm pleased to have fellow Muse It Up author Madeleine McLaughlin return to my blog for a guest post on the logic (and importance) behind establishing a sound suspension of disbelief in writing. She is the author of the dark fiction novel THE MOUNTAIN CITY OF BRONZES. Welcome back, Madeleine!

One of the first lessons for any writer is to make the reader suspend disbelief. This is especially important if you're writing science fiction or fantasy fiction because in all cases there will be a lot of things happening that just aren't possible.

So you have to use logic and a good knowledge of human behaviour and reactions. If a character is in a house and someone scary is coming for them, the first question is: why don't they call someone? And so it is true in all genres. Why doesn't the man floating in hyper-thermal space call his friends for help?

It's important then to build the fiction world to answer this question. Maybe his hyper-thermal space communicator doesn't work or he lost it; it floated away. You can easily build this because the reader knows that in space there is no gravity. Logic plus the human making a mistake. The man in space will have to take the next logical step, even if there is a make-believe idea behind it. Like the extra hyper-thermal space devise that you've already introduced to the story, just so the reader will know the logic of what your character is doing.

In fantasy, all you need is magic for explanations of why something happens. How, will depend on your human characters, which all your readers will know about. If you have gnomes, for example, you will have to make up their traits so if something humanly illogical happens, they can always say, “It's because he is a gnome.”

Although these are simple, easy words—logic, psychology—It takes a lot of hard work to make an alternate world that will interest and hold the reader with all its twists and turns. Keep writing!

The Mountain City Bronzes continues to be enjoyed by 100% of those who read it. It is consistently given four or five star reviews by readers and the sales continue. Get in on the fun of horror.

Available from Amazon and Muse It Up Publishing.

Madeleine, you are absolutely correct--even in fantasy writing, everything that's done must be done for a logical reason. As long as authors understand the "rules" of the world they've created, then it makes it easier for their readers to follow along and believe those rules, too! Thanks for the great advice!

--KSR Writer

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