Some level of suspension of disbelief is necessary for any fiction. Larger or lesser, but always necessary.
“Unbelievable” is hardly criteria for failure. In fact, it’s entirely immaterial, as long as the writer observes the only rule that matters about making sense: never pull the reader out of the vicarious experience.
Internal logic and consistency is important in helping readers stay in the vicarious experience.
I lean strongly toward the belief that readers want to believe, or at least suspend disbelief, and most will gloss over even glaring issues. I remember Michael Crichton’s translating earbuds in Timeline and after a moment of “Really?” I moved on and enjoyed the book immensely. (The movie, not so much.)
… more … “Suspension of Disbelief”
In another of my newsletter signup welcome email conversations, Michael asked,
As an old guy, my only real question about publishing in general is: am I considered to be a writer, for real, if I’m not published by a traditional publisher?
By you, or by traditional publishers, or by your readers, or by your family, or by other self-published authors?
You might guess that some folks will look down on you, and some won’t.
I think the answer that matters is what it feels like to you.
I’ve self-published 10 books. Anyone who thinks I’m not an author, a real writer, can take a flying leap. I know what I am.
You probably do, too.
You don’t need anyone’s permission to be who you are and do what you do.
Listening to David Gray while we made pancakes together I found myself wondering about some of the things he believes.
Which makes no sense because I know writers of all kinds have their characters or the voice of their song saying or doing things that aren’t necessarily aligned with their core beliefs. While Web Martin and Jake Calcutta are more like me than they ought to be, I know I’ve written things in my songs that aren’t beliefs I put into practice every day. In fact, the more I allow myself to put words in my character’s mouths or express opinions in my songs which aren’t my own, the more depth and breadth my writing will take on and possibly the more I will understand people who think and feel and say those things.
… more … “It’s Just a Song (Not an Autobiography)”