Follow-up to Authors Kill Suspension of Disbelief by K.M. Weiland

I read an interesting article from K.M. Weiland about Authors killing the Suspension of Disbelief.  It is a great article, and has a video too if you don’t want to read (it’s a transcript of the video).

double-dragon-game-in-movie

The Nostalgia Critic suggested the universe should have exploded

The basic jist of it, is writers will often time have little inside jokes in their stories as a wink to the readers, which is OK to do, but sometimes go too far and taking us back to reality.  Not just books, but all forms of media.  Sometimes it can be done well, such as Metal Gear Solid telling you to look for the codec frequency on the back the CD case, and sometimes it can be done badly, just like in the Double Dragon movie where we see the Double Dragon arcade game.

 

 

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In response to what I read, I thought of a movie I once watched a time ago that I think best illustrates this.  The movie is called “Somewhere in Time” with Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymour.

***SPOILER***
This is a very brief synopsis.  In the story, our protagonist finds out that he was at a hotel and fell in love with a woman nearly 90 years in the past.  He meets a scientist who tells him that time travel is possible through self-suggestion, and removing anything related to the current time, thus tricking the mind that you are in the past.  Our protagonist is able to accomplish this, by removing everything in a hotel room of his current time and even buys a suit from the time period to further convince himself, and is successful.

Once in the past, he meets the woman he is destined to be with. After some adventure, they eventually make love with plans to be married. She even comments that she will buy him a new suit as it is 15 years out of date, and he shows her all the functionality of it and pulls out a penny from his present time and he is forced back into his present.
***SPOILER***

The lesson to be learned here as writers is that like our protagonist, to write about another realm (or time), we must remove all elements of reality that doesn’t fit into that universe.  So when our reader travel to our universe, they are completely immersed.  It is only when we try to insert elements of our reality into the story (the arcade machine from Double Dragon) do we burst the bubble of the writing universe and take people back to reality.

Now for me, I rather have readers not want to leave and give them a good reason to stay in, and not show them the way out.  Well, until they reach the end of the story.

Definitely check out the article and check out the movie.

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I need $125 by October 30th, 2017. Anything you can give will help.

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  • Good stuff! Like I said, this is a fabulous analogy of the whole idea of suspension of disbelief. We don’t want our readers ending up like poor Christopher!

    • Thank you for the reply.

      Something funny I remember somewhat related to this topic is from the video game Divine Divinity 2, where skeletons are talking to each other and then they wonder how they are able to talk without vocal cords, or move without muscles…and as soon as they start thinking about it, just fall apart.

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