Join Free! | Login    
   Popular! Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry
Where Authors and Readers come together!


Featured Authors:  David Seaburn, iKathleen Morris, iAnthony Dalton, iClaudio Herrera, iChynna Laird, iEdie Batstone, iJoAnna Drelleshak, i

  Home > Literary Criticism > Articles Popular: Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry     

Lee Garrett

· + Follow Me
· Contact Me
· Books
· Articles
· Poetry
· News
· Stories
· Messages
· 305 Titles
· 1,113 Reviews
· Save to My Library
· Share with Friends!
Member Since: Before 2003

Lee Garrett, click here to update your pages on AuthorsDen.

Featured Book
5 Minutes 2 Show Time! How to Effectively Promote You
by RonSher Brooks

Marketing your music on a showstring budget is easier than you think. Learn how to have Organizational Skills and Soft Selling skills that will change your life forever!..  
BookAds by Silver
Gold and Platinum Members

Books by Lee Garrett

Suspension of Disbelief
by Lee Garrett   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Monday, May 30, 2005
Posted: Monday, May 30, 2005

  Print   Save    Follow    Share 

Recent articles by
Lee Garrett

Beating the How-Do-I-Begin Curse
When is a short story not a short story?
Recipes For the Desperate
Be Your Own Worst Enemy--The Right Way
Breaking Weird Ground
The Way of Earth (excerpt)
The Lens of Perception
           >> View all

Inside us all is a child that believes in magic lamps and in every dream coming true.

     In a recent story, one insightful reviewer commented on my use of a "convenient occurance" that bordered on the highly unlikely: a guy got mysteriously dropped into an alien dimension--the land of gorgeous barbarian babes.

      I did this on purpose. 

     The "Stranger In A Strange Land" story has a long history, hailing back to the "golden age of sci-fi".  Alan Bert Akers' "Transit to Scorpio", DC comics "Adam Strange", Just about everything ever written by Edgar Rice Burroughs: "John Carter of Mars", "Beyond the Futhers Star", and "Carson of Venus" are just a few.  And it happens in fantasy and other genres as well.   

     These type of stories come close to forming their own sub-genre. The improbable is seen in everybody speaking English wherever Captain Kirk goes in the universe, In the way the batcar burns rubber from the batcave into Gothem in time of emergency but there's never another car on the road to get in their way. It's seen in the way the Lone Ranger manages never to kill anyone, just shooting the gun out of every outlaw's hand without ever missing. The absurd continues in the way Clark Kent musses his hair and takes off his glasses and is never recognized as Superman. 

      Sometimes, this is a focus on synchronicity.  Synchronicity says that literally EVERYTHING has to happen sometime, no matter how fortuitous or incredible. Einstein said, "Given time and eternity, all things are possible." Some Sci-fi and fantasty writers like myself seek out the unlikely to build on, doing so tongue-in-check, knowing probability is being toturously skewed. The skewing is actually parody in disguise. It is dream fulfillment being hocked to an audience that willingly suspends its disbelief because it's fun to do so.
      There is something in all of us that will "Strain at a gnat, but swallow a camel." This is what I delight in playing to.  The key to making a Suspension of Disbelief work for you is simple: If it's fun and exciting, the reader will forgive the unlikeliness of anything, especially if they see that it's a wink at convention, not just bad writing.  People will play along with you IF YOU DELIVER!  That's all the justification a writer needs. 

     No one on a high octane rollercoaster ride stops halfway in the journey to bitch about how unlikely the arrangement of banks, turns, and loops are.  They knew all that getting onto the ride.  It's after the writer gains consent that the gloves can come off!  A good rule is to always let the reader know early what kind of story/genre they're getting into.  That way, you don't outrage their expectations.  If a story is going to be humorous--you don't start off with high, poignant drama.  If a story is going to be a tear-jerker, you don't start off with a light-hearted pie fight.  A reader should be aware that a Suspension of Disbelief is being asked of them.  If you are writing a supernatural story, the supernatural element needs to at least be elluded to early.  You don't want it showing up in chapter three or four without the groundwork being laid. 

     When Ian Flemming wrote James Bond, he did so by imaging all the outragious things he ever wanted to do.  Then he created a character to do them, living out his every fantasy.  It's why little girls watch "Sailor Moon" anime: she is the ordinary girl that winds up transforming into the beautiful princess every girl wants to be.  Our resonation with our own desires--brought to life--makes Suspension of Disbelief work.  You have to know what's in the reader's secret heart and offer it to them. 

    So how do you know what's buried in their heart?    That's the easiest answer of all: look in your own.  

Web Site: Lee Garrett

Reader Reviews for "Suspension of Disbelief"

Want to review or comment on this article?
Click here to login!

Need a FREE Reader Membership?
Click here for your Membership!

Reviewed by m j hollingshead 6/9/2005
enjoyed the read
Reviewed by Gwen Dickerson 6/4/2005
This is very good! Your literary knowledge is illustrated brilliantly here by the writers, characters and examples you reference. Until now, I'd never given much thought to some of these facts. Thank you, professor Garrett!
Reviewed by Mary Quire 5/30/2005
A very well written and entertaining article. Thanks for the lesson.

Reviewed by Robert Montesino 5/30/2005
One of the best damn articles I've read in a long time. You have managed not only to inform your readers but entertain them in the process on an aspect of writing that few understand. If anyone wants to read a flawless piece of professional craftmanship...this has to be it!
Popular Literary Criticism Articles
  1. Analysis of The Mexican Swimmer by Adam Si
  2. Heels and Other Clones
  3. Quest for the Secret Keeper
  4. Gaia's Gift by Fran Orenstein book review
  5. Book Titles Which Caught My Eye ...
  6. Edgar Allen Poe: His Rhythm with Romantici
  7. The Curse of Deadman's Forest (Oracles of
  8. Mystic Witch book review
  9. Hooked--Book Review
  10. 3 H - P 10

Crystal in a shock wave / the works of Albert Russo by Albert Russo

The works of Albert Russo of the past 40 years, in both English and French, reviewed and commented in these two languages, with essays and photos by the author...  
BookAds by Silver, Gold and Platinum Members

Crystal in a shock wave / the works of Albert Russo by Albert Russo

The works of Albert Russo of the past 40 years, in both English and French, reviewed and commented in these two languages, with essays and photos by the author...  
BookAds by Silver, Gold and Platinum Members

Authors alphabetically: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Featured Authors | New to AuthorsDen? | Add AuthorsDen to your Site
Share AD with your friends | Need Help? | About us

Problem with this page?   Report it to AuthorsDen
AuthorsDen, Inc. All rights reserved.