Key points: Suspension of Disbelief. Plausibility. Helping the reader pretend that it is all real. Don't be too tidy. Insert things that are just part of the world, not plot specific (beware fluff!). Don't ask readers to suspend their disbelief about too many things. Let readers know early what they need to believe. Don't break human nature. When readers believe the characters and the story, they will stick with you for fantastic things. Lay the groundwork. Don't shoot yourself in the foot with Chekov's gun. Start by making small things plausible, and build up to being strange things. When characters are surprised, it can help readers believe. Try bathos -- a dash of ridicule in the midst of intense drama and emotion.
( nailing down belief?Collapse )
[Brandon] All right. We're going to take this out. Mary, you've got a writing prompt for us?
[Mary] Yes. I want you to write a story and make us believe one impossible thing. If you can't come up with it on your own, try teleportation.
[Brandon] Okay. This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.