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Writing: Making It Believable

February 11, 2017

Imagine reading a a story in which a man survives an extraordinary amount of time without food or water, longer than a person typically can.

It’s the author’s story, it’s fiction, and so, said author can create a character who survives 20 days without food or water. But readers are going to want an explanation. Why and how did the character survive so long? Is this where it’s revealed that the protagonist is a descendant of a mysterious God or an alien? Maybe, just maybe, the author can sell his character as an extraordinarily strong and exceptional being.

Somehow the author has to make the “figment of his imagination” real. Real to the reader anyway. Truth is, a fiction writer’s job is to take reality and twist and bend it, but not stray too far from it. The reader has to be able to entertain the notion at the very least.

Example: Think Star Trek—in the distant past there was an Earth where humans watched television.

Then again, I feel detached and disembodied from reality, and lately, I prefer to live in my fictional worlds. I’m just… well, I just am, damn it.

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