Friday, December 17, 2010

Contest Mania

I would be remiss if I didn’t remind you the contest is still going on. The form is still at the bottom of the blog. Also, I like that I’m finally able to use remiss in a sentence.

Anyway, in actual blog update, I’m here to talk about reality vs. believability and how important the latter is in writing. The former? That can be played with. It’s no fun if you can’t make vampires and angels and magic-y worlds…as long as they don’t break the rules you lay down, especially if it’s by some contrived plot device (the dreaded deux ex machina…shudder).

I once read a book—unpublished and by someone else, so no names or specific details—that wasn’t bad on the surface, but struck me as unbelievable. It was a paranormal romance where the main character and her love interest kind of fell into each other. They were “destined” to meet, so these sorcerers brought them together by calling one up, asking him by, then calling the other. That’s it.

From there, the plot was better, but a lot of the relationship that drove it was laid out in front of the characters with people pushing them to it. Had they met and not liked each other, then it could be forgiven, but they were madly in love (or maybe in lust). These people got along way too much; the only trouble in their lives was the villain trying to kill them. It didn’t read like a real relationship and without that, the book didn’t work.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to see what is unbelievable in our own work. The reasons in my mind make sense to me, but that isn’t enough. If other people can’t understand motivations, characters, and plot points, they have to be changed.

And now, back to editing. (Can you tell what brought this on? I’ve been going through an old MS and realizing why people didn’t get it :)


  1. That sounds suspiciously like a deus ex machina endplay around the rules of narrative and character!

  2. Nope. Don't like perfect relationships! Not realistic. Make's me feel bad when I don't get along all the time with the hubs!

  3. That is why my writers' group is so important. Without them, I fear my writing would be one big cliche.


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