Saturday, September 16, 2006


An ordinary man can... surround himself with two thousand books... and thenceforward have at least one place in the world in which it is possible to be happy. ~ Augustine Birrell

While working on an exercise in "Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook" last night, I got to wondering about the premise of my story.

Is it really believable?

It's a little strange. My heroine does some odd things and meets some even odder people. Will a reader be willing to suspend their belief in reality enough to read through to the end?

With some books, you know from the beginning that your sense of reality needs to be suspended immediately: vampires or time travel or whatever. But with a mainstream contemporary romance without any paranormal elements...?

Would you, could you in a box? Could you, would you with a fox?

I was discouraged and disheartened enough to be ready to chuck the whole thing. No one other than my poor writing group would want to read this story -- and they have to.

Then... I settled down to watch Eureka (because TiVo didn't record it on Tuesday... grr...) and WOW! Talk about a silly, unbelievable premise that's supported entirely by characters that I love. It's, by far, my favorite show of the season.

So, maybe there is hope after all.

Or maybe I'm just weird (always a distinct possibility).


Ceri said...

I think it depends on the story and the characters. There are some that are quite worthy of suspension of belief and others that I'll just roll my eyes and turn away. As far as tv shows go, I'm far more likely to suspend my beliefs for a show like 3 Moons Over Milford than 24. Somehow I just find it hard to believe that they can stop the evil plots in just 24 hours. Yah right. 24 months maybe.

Eureka is just plain fun.

So if you like the story, keep on writing. Who knows, maybe you'll discover a whole new genre!

sprzyp-super parrots rarely zap yucky pizzas

Tori Lennox said...

Or maybe I'm just weird (always a distinct possibility).

You say that like being weird is a BAD thing. *g*

Yeah, Eureka is just plain fun. I'd love to write something like that.

laxqaz - lazy assistants xerox quails and zebras

Allie Boniface said...

I think the characters have to be really likable and well-drawn. In that case, your readers will be willing to suspend disbelief. Having said that, I do think it's harder in mainstream contemporary.

And by the way, I know that feeling of I-should-just-toss-the-whole-idea. Don't let it hang around too long. You conceived the story and the characters because at some point, you thought you had a cool story to tell. Chances are, you still do.