Monday, January 19, 2009
Keeping it Real
There is a reason why they say you should write what you know (or have thoroughly researched ;)
I hate hate hate when an author takes a story with a brilliant concept and great characters and mucks it up by not having those same characters stay true to themselves. It happens more often than I like, too. Have you ever picked up a book and then put it back down in disgust when the characters did something that you knew they'd never do based on what you had learned of them so far?
I am one of those readers. And, even worse? I won't buy more books by that author. Disappoint me once? Well, there are many other authors to read books by. If you have established certain rules for the world your story takes place in, you cannot then break those rules, without convincing me it is now possible.
For example, if the world is coming to an end, and all the different species on your planet are fighting, so you have two people from each species boink together for the night to bring peace to the two species, that is great. As long as both people are important enough to the species to bring about respect and honor for that mating. Oh wait, there is no mating? It was just a boinkfest? Nope, ain't gonna happen. You want me to believe that they need to boink their brains out to bring peace, then I want something like in the Kim Knox story Unity where they need to mate to bring about a change that will in fact save the planet. Save both their kinds. If only the heroine can bring herself to mate with a species known for evil deeds? Yes, that is convincing. I've read both stories. The one I'm not naming and Kim's. I did not even want to finish the first one, but I've reread Kim's.
Think about your story as you are writing it. Maybe you can suspend disbelief because as the author, you know more than we, the reader could ever hope to know about your characters and their world. We only know what you show us. And if you want to keep us happy, keep it realistic. Keep it believable. Keep it Real.