Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Tuesday's Inspiration ala Elizabeth Peters
I may be spending more than one time with this essay by Elizabeth Peters for it's about "suspending disbelief" an important thing for all writers to know. The essay was geared to "Gothic" novels or rather the modern ones but it's something all writers need to know and that's how to draw the reader into a plot, characters or a setting that is larger than life and one that could cause them to toss the book aside.
"the willing suspension of disbelief." It has been the goal of storytellers since the pre-literate dawn of time and of writers since fiction began." This calls for belief on the part of the reader but also on the writer.
Now for a bit on plot. "The more fantastic a plot the more important the factors that invite belief." I know I've read stories I've wanted to toss aside because I can't believe what I'm reading. Has nothing to do with factual or true for this is fiction. To make the reader believe, the writer must find a way to make the reader see the possibilities. The plot needs to be consistent and logical within the framework. Recently I had to read several books for a contest. Most of them led me through the plot with ease but there were a few that I found I could not buy the plot. There were things that didn't fit and constantly pulled me from the story.
Now I'm a plot oriented writer so making sure I'm consistent here is important and I'll pick at the threads until they're knit into a whole. The dropped stitches are woven in so there are no holes. Most of the time I succeed but there are times but that's for another day as I continue to explore this essay by Elizabeth Peters, a writer who brought me much enjoyment through her fictional world and the twists and turns of her plots.