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You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near ') ORDER BY comment_date ASC' at line 3 How To Maintain Suspension Of Disbelief In Fiction How To Maintain Suspension Of Disbelief In Fiction - Article Marketing

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How To Maintain Suspension Of Disbelief In Fiction

By: donnayoung | Total views: 73 | Word Count: 647 | Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2012 - 12:12 AM

In order for a reader to truly engage in a narrative, he or she must feel convinced that the events of the story could really be happening. This is not to say that a reader must really believe in alien abductions, or the efficacy of voodoo rituals. What is important here is suspension of disbelief, and a writer's skill in evoking this can be refined. In this article, we will discuss some ways in which you can improve your ability to suspend disbelief for the readers of your fiction.
A fantastical or otherwise extraordinary tale may be unconvincing to a reader simply because they have no ordinary conception of things such as unicorns, elves, or the colonisation of other planets. This is a special challenge for writers of the weird and fantastical. Suspension of disbelief in an explicitly "real world" tale such as a crime or thriller novel is rarely problematic. However, in order to suggest the apparent solidity of creatures and events that the reader would not ordinarily consider to be possible, the writer of the fantastic must be careful to take special precautions.
Almost paradoxically, one of the single most important features of a fantastical narrative is realism. Whether your story involves a streetwise cop, or sentient fungi from Pluto, it will all come to nothing if you fail to engage the reader and convince him or her that all this could be happening right now. How do you perform such a marvellous feat? The answer is that it mostly depends on the way you implement your descriptive skills.
A good working rule for fiction involving fantastic events, originating from the writer H.P. Lovecraft, is to make everything which is non-fantastic in your story as realistic as possible. When coupled with careful pacing, you can gradually earn the reader's conviction that the narrative is indeed anchored in the world they are familiar with, building up to the extraordinary events without straining credulity. This can be achieved in many subtle ways. For example, instead of casually mentioning that a character travelled in a car, mention the make and model of the car, what condition it was in, or the kind of music that was playing on the radio. You can also inject an element of realism by alluding to real-world people, products, organisations and events that the majority of readers will be familiar with.
The second critical element to suspension of disbelief in a fantastical story is psychological realism. Understandably, only so much of a fantastical tale can be genuinely realistic. For the extraordinary features of the story to fit into the narrative, the characters need to respond to the severity of the event appropriately. This means that a regular, emotionally balanced character needs to experience at least some degree of realistic psychological conflict in the face of a fantastical or supernatural event. The way a character thinks and reacts is vital to the reader's sense of realism. This is how novels of pure fantasy and forays into the far future manage to remain anchored in reality. There is enough realism evident in the minds of the characters to successfully engage the reader. If this were not so, such fiction would fall flat and would not be worth reading.
We have seen how important these aspects of realism are in stories with extraordinary events. These are considerations that it is helpful to keep in mind constantly while writing, whatever fiction you happen to be writing. Practice will keep you aware as a writer of the measures necessary to ensure that your readers will be convinced by your settings and characters, no matter how extraordinary things may turn out in the end. Remember that in the end, the proof is in the mind of the reader, so never be afraid to ask for feedback from friends and fellow writers.

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