1. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    How can I create "suspension of disbelief"?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Ryan Elder, Oct 25, 2015.

    I have been writing a screenplay for a while now, but I have had no idea how to end it with an ending that works. Basically it's about a serial rapist/killer villain who has been going around doing his thing, and the MC who brings him down.

    I have suggested quite a few different endings, over the past year, but I have been told each time, that none of them work, because they are too 'implausible', as it was put. They are just too ridiculous. A few writers told me something that I keep thinking about and they say that a ridiculous story works as long as you create suspension of disbelief. How does one do that, as oppose to having just a ridiculous story in comparison though? Basically for my ending I am having trouble with an idea to get the villain caught or bring him to his downfall.

    Since I am writing a screenplay I tend to use a lot of movies as examples to compare, rather than books, if that's okay.

    Tonight I rewatched the movie Confession of Murder. I'll spoil the movie to ask this question when it comes to writing:

    SPOILER

    In that movie, a serial killer gets away with all his murders, because his statute of limitations has expired. In the movie, set in South Korea, it's established that in that country they have a statute of limitations, where if you are not caught for your murder within 15 years, you cannot be charged after. The main character is bent on finding out who the serial killer is and getting revenge, since the serial killer killed his mother.

    So the MC creates a whole new fake identity and gets plastic surgery to become a new person with a different look. He also creates a false birth certificate and the works to become a made up identity. He then pretends to be the serial killer and writes a book on all his murders, and how he got away with it because of the statute of limitations expiring. He then sells the book with great success and becomes a nation wide celebrity and millionaire. This causes the real serial killer to become enraged with jealousy over the MC taking credit for his work, and getting a lot of national publicity over it.

    So the villain then comes forth and tells the media and the world, that the MC is a fraud taking credit for his work and that he is the real killer. He also offers the public proof, so they will believe him. This is what the MC's plan was. To get the real killer jealous to get him to come forth and flush him out, so he can find out who he is, and can then get his revenge on him.

    Now the MC's plan was a long shot. I mean if you go through all that trouble of getting plastic surgery, coming up with a new identity, writing a book and becoming a millionaire celebrity by selling it, on the hopes of making the killer jealous enough to reveal himself, is a huge long shot.

    It's a huge long shot that probably would not likely work at all, but the killer fell for it, and the MC's far fetched plan worked perfectly in the end.

    So how can I write an story like that where the MC has a ridiculous plan, that probably wouldn't work, but does, so the audience buys it?

    I am wondering what's the trick to creating suspension of disbelief, so the audience will believe it, as oppose to not and just having a ridiculous story in comparison.

    A lot of times when I show my work to other readers, the readers say that that character would not do this, he would do this instead, and say that the character would do something else entirely, even though I, the writer, totally see it as out of character for them.

    But I keep being told by writers that my endings to do not work because characters would not fall for tricks or do anything that would lead to their downfalls. It's just not natural that they would make mistakes or give into other characters' far fetched traps, I keep being told.

    How do I write a story, so that the reader agrees with the writer on how a character behaves, as oppose to a reader deciding for themselves how logical a character would behave exactly?

    How do I write a character so that he is so smart that he can completely fool all the professionals around him and get away with anything, but at the same time, he can also be baited by the most unlikely of far fetched and illogical schemes?

    Another weakness of mine, that I have been told is that I rely too much on coincidences to bring plot points together. However, movies do this all time. In Planet of the Apes for example:

    SPOILER

    The main character travels into space for thousands of years and then crash lands on the exact same planet on which he came from. What are the odds? Also, only a few days travel from where he crashlands, is Dr. Zaius, the villain. The villain knows the truth about what's going on, that the MC is in search for. What are the odds, that the MC would not only crash land on his home planet after so long, but would also run into the one character who knows all the required secrets, who just happens to be within such close proximity on the entire planet?

    So how do you write a big coincidence or even more than one, and make it plausible?

    Thanks for the input. I really appreciate it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2015
  2. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm very happy to suspend my disbelief, provided that the writer makes it worth my while.

    Given the feedback you've received, I'd be concerned that the suspension of belief only comes at the end. If I'd invested in a story that seemed realistic, then if the final payoff isn't realistic, then I'd feel cheated. Start as you intend to continue? If you want to have a particular type of unreality in the payoff, then have that from the beginning.

    Though, is it not possible to keep thinking about the problem and possibly come up with a better resolution? One that fits the rest of the story, rather than making the rest of the story fit the resolution?
     
  3. Imaginarily
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    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    Do your homework. Learn Google-fu. Research everything about the scenario, follow the rabbit hole as far as it goes. Disbelief is suspended when the situation looks legit. :agreed:

    Apply logic to the situation and everyone in it. Be ruthless. Ask yourself, really ask yourself: have I written myself into a corner? Is my character too smart for this? Should he know better? Is he only in this predicament because the plot demands it? Is the only way this plot can work out "by fucking magic!" ? If you find yourself resorting to the dark arts to connect your dots, you need to use different dots.

    Sometimes writing sucks. Sometimes it's hard work. :superwhew: Nose to the grindstone, you.
     
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  4. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. But I do not understand the distinction. when it comes to other works of fiction, they have illogical stories as well. I do not understand the distinction or rules to what makes an illogical story work, I suppose.
     
  5. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think it may help if you stop thinking of creating the willing suspension of disbelief, and instead start thinking about not violating it.

    Because almost all of the time, people come into a creative experience wanting to believe. We pick up a little rectangle with black squiggles on thin sheets of tree-product, and we interpret those squiggles in such a way that they activate our imaginations and impact our emotions. We want that to happen, and we're willing to bend our brains pretty far in order to keep it happening. Same thing with a movie - we want to forget that we're staring at a two-dimensional screen with tiny pixels projected onto it, representing an image captured of a group of famous actors working in a studio environment somewhere, with cameras and booms and multiple damn takes skilfully edited together to create the impression of a story that, again, activates our imaginations and impacts our emotions. We come into the experience ready and willing to forget reality and suspend our disbelief.

    So you don't need to create that, you just need to not mess it up. A few ways to do this?

    Follow the conventions of your genre. I know, it's not great art, or whatever, but if people are getting what they expect in most areas, they don't have to engage their rational brains to figure out what's different, and that means they can stay lost in the story. Obviously if the breach of convention is a major point of your story or vision, you should breach it, but don't do it unless you have a good reason. Scifi movies have ray guns that shoot visible beams - don't make a movie where your ray guns shoot invisible beams just because you think maybe the beams could be invisible. Sure, they could be, but it makes the movie harder to follow and frustrates your viewer. If you're going to make invisible raygun beams a feature of your story, fine, but if it's just an incidental detail, leave it out.

    Take advantage of the conventions of your genre. The other side of the coin - the fun side! There are some unrealistic things that readers/viewers are conditioned to accept because they've seen it so damn often it's become like a new reality. My understanding of FTL travel is that it's probably impossible, based on our current understanding of how everything works, but I don't even blink when scifi stories use it, because it's been used so often by others.

    Acknowledge the improbability of certain events. This one has to be used with care, because sometimes it can just call attention to your hand-waving, but sometimes it works to have a character acknowledge that something is really weird and unlikely. It's like a tiny break for the audience to regroup, or something. Sometimes called Lampshade Hanging - not sure why!

    Introduce some Phlebotinum. Another risky move, but sometimes you can introduce an imaginary technology/magic that allows things to get done. Again, it can backfire because you're kind of drawing attention to the improbable element, but if your FBI agents consult a newly developed (in their world) database to catch their killer, it's a form of Phlebotinum, and it can work pretty well.

    Remain internally consistent. If you set up rules for your society and ask readers/viewers to accept them, the readers/viewers are entering a sort of contract with you. Don't break that contract by changing the rules. If you establish that your shape shifter has to get naked in order to shift, then you can't have her shifting while fully clothed five chapters (or two books) later. (That's right, I'm looking at you, Patricia Briggs!) If your character suddenly pulls out a super-weapon at the end of the story, a weapon that hasn't been mentioned before even though the characters really should have been using it or at least thinking about it, you're violating the reader's understanding that there was no weapon. Not good.


    So, overall, keep things as realistic as you can, within a given understanding of what the word "realistic" means.
     
  6. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Because they've managed to make the logic of the world and the universe make sense. They've managed to write the story in a way where the characters and setting are legit, logical, and makes overall sense given what the authors are presenting to us.

    Let me create a hypothetical scenario. Suppose I were writing a story where I must ask you to suspend your disbelief about an albino space elf boy defending Earth from hostile forces. How am I going to get you to do this? Simple, I ask myself questions about the setting. The elf boy, the planet he came from, how he knows to fight, how he came to know of Earth. I ask myself how the internal logic and mechanics of the world is supposed to work. Is this set in a fantastical version of Earth, or our Earth and he's the one with the freaky powers?

    Who is he? Who are the people that he's surrounded by? How do they act and function in and outside of the main plot? What do they do? What does he do? Do they act given what the readers know of them? As @Imaginarily said, should they know better? Are they only doing certain things because PLOT? Do they even give a crap about the situation to do something about it? If one of his human friends, let's call her Patricia, was established to be a kind, if not eccentric person, then imagine how the readers would feel if she suddenly did a 180 and became a cold, emotionless, mean-spirited person just for the sake of conflict or plot? If I had a bully suddenly wanting to help the space elf boy, I'd better come up with a very good reason why he's doing this. (ie, we know Vader is going to choke Imperial officers who had failed him, which is why we were surprised at the end of The Empire Strikes Back when he...didn't kill Piett for letting the Falcon escape. Of course, this was masterfully done in a way so we know why he didn't kill Piett; he was conflicted by the experience he went through just a few minutes ago movie-time.)

    The setting, likewise, is put under a microscope. How does it work? How does it function? What kind of society/societies do these people have? What are their cultures like? If the societythe elf boy finds himself in is our world in modern times, and they think him nothing more than a human who had been playing fantasy videogames for far too long, it'd be startling if I later had a character who wanted to burn him at the stake for looking like a demon. Y'know, like this were the 1700s.

    In short, if the inner workings and mechanics of the setting makes logical sense, and the characters perform based on what is expected of them, we can suspend our disbelief on a lot of things.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2015
  7. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    This.
     
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  8. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. But even in lots of fiction characters do things that do not make logical sense. In Star Wars: Return of the Jedi for example, The Emperor tells Luke Skywalker to kill Darth Vader and Luke says never and he throws his light saber away. Now we understand why Luke does not want to kill his father but he still made the ILLOGICAL choice of throwing the light saber away? How did he plan on escaping the emperor and hopefully escaping the ship. Instead of choosing to escape with a weapon, he leaves himself wide open to attack. So when a character makes an ILLOGICAL or even stupid decision, to just get the plot rolling, how do you get the reader to believe the logic, of the logic itself is illogical?

    Like in my story for example, a villain knocks a cop to the ground, and beats him, then gets into his car and drives away. The cop then pulls out his pistol and shoots at the car to stop it. I was told it does not make sense, because the villain does not take the cops gun away. How can I create suspension of disbelief, that a character chooses not to arm himself, like in the Star Wars example?
     
  9. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    "You're wrong. Soon I'll be dead, and you with me." - Luke Skywalker.

    While we know the characters tend to do stupid things, it makes sense if it's in their character. In Luke's case, he was going to convert his father or die trying. Absolute worst case scenario: all three of them would perish when the Death Star explodes. It also makes sense given the symbolism. Remember how he spent a minute wailing on Vader like a deranged caveman? Then after he calmed himself down, he realized just how dangerously close to the Dark Side he had gotten to? He even said, "No. Never. I'll never turn to the Dark Side. You've failed your highness. I am a Jedi, like my father before me." He was trying to show his dad and the audience how a true Jedi acts: selflessness, compassion, self-sacrifice. If he died, at least he would die knowing that soon, his friends would destroy the Death Star and take the two Sith Lords out.

    Was it a stupid decision with regards to tactics and survival? Yes. Did it make sense given Luke's character and the message he was trying to convey? Yes.
     
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  10. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sometimes whether an action makes logical sense or not depends on how you interpret the situation. The emperor wanted Luke to come over to the dark side, with Luke killing his father being part of that. In throwing his weapon away, Luke made a strong statement. And of course what Luke wanted was for Darth Vader to leave the dark side, which did actually happen. Luke viewed death as the preferable option to becoming evil. Neither Vader nor the emperor wanted Luke dead. Hence throwing away his weapon was a logical decision.

    I'm not a Star Wars expert, but this is how I see it.
     
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  11. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Aren't you lucky I'm a Star Wars nutter? Here's what I posted just above yours:

     
  12. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm normally a huge proponent of the "you have to read a lot to write well" school of thought, but I feel as if maybe your reading is kind of getting in the way of your creation, here.

    You can't take one aspect from one story and say that if it worked there, it should work in your story as well, because you're ignoring all the other work that's been done in order to make the aspect work in the original story. Lifting something from a space opera and dropping it into a police procedural doesn't necessarily work because you're ignoring the genre expectations, and you're also ignoring the different characters involved.

    If you really NEED your escaping criminal to leave the gun behind, then go through the trouble of establishing his character as someone who would make a decision like that. He hates guns, he's forgetful, whatever. Or else change the situation so that he's reaching for the gun but the beaten cop finds enough strength to hold on, and the escapee hears sirens approaching and has to take off without it. Whatever. Fix the current issue, rather than looking around to find other situations where other creators didn't have to change things.
     
  13. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, I must revise threads completely before posting.
     
  14. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    On re-reading the OP - I think another point worth considering is that in order for your ending to be really satisfying, there should be a connection to the characterization and setting you've established for the rest of the story. So it's not just willing suspension of disbelief that needs to be considered, but also a sort of thematic continuity.

    If your ending is achieved by an improbable series of events, then you haven't really shown how your MC contributed to the resolution. You've made us suffer through his tribulations and then not given us the payoff of watching the tribulations allow him to solve the crime.

    Like, as an example - if there was a cop story where the whole story was about the investigation and the clues and whatever, and then at the end the bad guy was caught because he got pulled over in a routine traffic stop and did something stupid, that would be totally realistic. But it wouldn't be at all satisfying as a work of fiction, right?

    So writing an ending that's connected to what went before doesn't just help with willing suspension of disbelief (because we really understand the character and know why he'd do what he did) it also contributes to the overall level of satisfaction readers will have with the conclusion.
     
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  15. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks for the advice, that is really good input. However, I don't feel that my problem is not showing the MC contribute to the resolution. My problem is that the MC does not contribute in ways that can be believed. Like I came up with several endings before, but have been told by readers that they feel that the MC's contributions are too ridiculous, illogical, or implausible, in order to build into the ending options I want. I don't think it's the lack of contributions from the MC that's the problem. I think it's the contributions themselves, that I fail to make satisfactory to the reader, if that makes sense.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2015
  16. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Just my 2p since I think great advice has been given already...

    I'm willing to suspend disbelief - especially in a film - when I know that there's a surface story and a deeper story. I use this one all the time, but it fills the bill so well: the film Her. The story has a very low plausibility level as regards the surface story. A.I.'s sold at the mall as though they were cellphones or MP3 players. No kind of restriction on these things. They have complete access to the story's future version of the internet. They reproduce in cyberspace. The story is riddled with problems and things that just would never, ever be in real life. No government would allow the sale of these things in the manner the story portrays. Like, ever.

    But it doesn't matter in the slightest because from the beginning the story makes it clear to me that the deeper story happening here is human interaction, interconnection, and emotional engagement. The fact that one of the MC's is a very improbable A.I. is a thought experiment. It doesn't matter that she's improbable, not just as technology but by dint of access to such a thing even if it existed. She exists in the form of an A.I. because it's meant to strip away everything that is supposed to be trivial and not important and we (and the other MC) engage only the inner human paradigm of a person.

    Because the film makes it pretty clear that this is the real story and that A.I.'s are just incidental surface props, I am very willing to suspend disbelief because I realize the writer is asking me to consider a question and the question is very interesting indeed.
     
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  17. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. I see what you mean, and I am often willing to ignore problems in my favorite movies.

    Like for example, in one of my favorite movies Cell 211, the villains have taken a building full of people hostage, and the police send in a negotiator. The negotiator goes into the building to talk to the terrorist leader face to face. The terrorist leader kills him. This drives the plot in other directions as the negotiator's death sets off a chain of events after.

    Now their is a plot hole here. The negotiator could have just negotiated with the leader over the phone or walkie-talkie. There was no need to go in in person, and the writers wrote it this way, so he could be killed, in order to get to the ending they wanted, even though it results in a plot hole. But I accept the plot hole, because I love the ending and believed that the ends justifies the means. But how do you get other readers to see that?

    Some people who read my story tell me that it doesn't matter how deep of theme you are trying to make, no depth matters unless it's supported by plausibility. What if a reader feels that way about it?
     
  18. Imaginarily
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    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    They're right.

    It doesn't matter how cool your theme is, or how profound your message is: if it makes no sense, it makes no sense.

    It took me over a decade to get to know my MC and his world. To really get inside all of it. I'm only able to do him justice now because I've put in the hours (years) of research and a lot of scrapped ideas.

    "Because, plot!" is not plausible. As a storyteller (whatever the medium), your job is to make the story feel real. You can tell a fantastic tale, you can have an unlikely hero. You can ask a disturbing question. If you want people to follow you, though, you have to unravel your world (and characters) and make sure that all the pieces actually fit.
     
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  19. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    The golden rule of film scripts is this:

    It has to be plausible, not possible.

    Strangely, even some things that are realistically possible may not work in film because they don't seem plausible. As long as you make the reality of the film plausible, it does not have to be realistic. You need to establish the rules of your universe and stick to them. As soon as the audience goes 'bullshit' you've lost them. That's the suspension of disbelief. Establish credibility within the context of your reality.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2015
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  20. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    It won't work for everyone. It just won't. If we go to a written work, there's China Miéville's The City and the City as another example. In that story, there are twin cities, Besźel and Ul Qoma. They are culturally distinct cities. They lie next to one another and in many places merge and meld in areas called crosshatch. Citizens of one city learn to "unsee" the citizens, buildings, architecture, everything that is part of the neighbor city. They don't speak to one another or even acknowledge the presence of the citizens of the neighboring city even when the buildings and common areas interlace and cross one another. It's illegal to do so. There's a special police force called Breach that handles the situation when people break the code and acknowledge the presence of the other city. If you want to travel to the other city, you have to pass through this special "border" area, get your passport stamped, and then you can cross through and you're allowed to "see" the other city and its citizens (who were walking right next to you all the time), but you now have to "unsee" everything from your home city. This would never happen. Ever. China uses this story to talk about the way culture trains us to "unsee" a lot of things in real life. Poverty. Abuse. All the ugly things that we do see, but we don't see. You either love this book because you give room for this bizarre situation to happen so that a question can be considered, or you hate it because it's utterly improbable and because other than this bizarre border between two cities, the rest of the story is set in the very real world you and I inhabit, so... wtf?

    To flip things around, the film Elysium (I keep going to film since you mention a film script) lost me from word go. The "theme" was as heavy handed as The Hulk rubbing one out, and the rest of the story was just broken and ridiculous for the sake of selling me a message about income inequality and tribalism that I get clobbered with on a daily basis anyway all across the news and the internet and to get clobbered with it one more time in what should be a sci-fi film was just insult to injury. My eyes rolled so hard and so often that I spent 20 min looking for my left eye, which had rolled under the sofa. Just appalling. You would think, given everything I already described, that I would make room for this film to tell me what it has to say, right? Nope. Because for this film, I'm the person who it didn't work on. Same thing with Snowpiercer. I know exactly what that film is about (nope, it's not about climate change), and again, it's another politicized piece of bullshit that I'm tired of hearing already. Darwinian determinism, blah, blah, boring-ass, self-important blah. But lots of other folks really dug that film, because they're into that shit so they were willing to forgive the improbable surface problems.
     
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  21. ChickenFreak
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    Re: "Basically it's about a serial rapist/killer villain who has been going around doing his thing, and the MC who brings him down."

    I see the above as the problem. In all of these discussions, I don't see any depth of understanding of either your villain or your MC. I don't see you communicating that depth, and I'm not sure if you really possess it yourself.

    You're focusing on plot, and there's almost nothing about character.
     
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  22. jannert
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    I agree. The main solution here is for the writer to stop trying to get other people to 'help' figure out his story for him. He needs to dig in, get to know his characters inside and out.
    If he's developed his 'villain' into a forgetful sort of person, or the kind who is likely to panic, then running away and leaving the cop with the gun would make perfect sense.

    I love this forum, and gathering suggestions from fellow writers about HOW to write are excellent, but I'm afraid WHAT to write must come from you, the author, not the forum. As an author, you need to throw your crutches away.

    This OP may think he's asking for 'how to write' advice, but he's not. He's asking us to tell him what his story should be. His specific question about plausibility has nothing to do with how his story has been written. It has to do with what his story actually is. I reckon he's got to figure this out for himself. If he truly understands the characters he's writing about and truly understands the setting, then the plot will make perfect sense.
     
  23. Inks
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    @Ryan Elder - I do not feel you are able to actually get inside your character's heads. The last several threads I have seen or responded to are filled with coming up with some impetus for plot action that goes against the nature and logic of characters you portray. Instead of resolving a singular issue, you are drawing on other works and establish entirely new methods without ever establishing your characters at all. From all your postings, I get the distinct feeling that your characters are paper-thin cardboard cut outs stamped with generic labels.

    From the Research thread you commented:
    "The situation is already high stakes though, as he has killed dozens before." + My story is also tricky, because I do not want the police to know who the killer is, until after he shows up for the sting."

    These comments are symptoms of the problem. I do not think you know the characters at all. Have you drafted an entire backstory, going through the pivotal events of your character's life? Have you done this for each of the main characters? Have you understood their motives and desires?

    I feel you cannot construct the plot because you have not constructed the characters. All the research in the world will not help you if you cannot comprehend your characters. You should be able to understand your main POV character entirely, and without pausing to think of how they would respond to such situations. The mental walking through of the plot will come with a combination of research and products of strong character development. It will not be found in scenarios of others.
     
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  24. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. When I first started writing the story before coming on here, I felt I had a much better understanding how my characters behaved and why. I knew exactly what they would do in the situations they were put in, and why. But then other readers started telling me that my characters would not do this, they would this instead, and say they would things that are completely out of character for them. At least I felt that they were out of place. But other readers kept saying that my characters would do this instead, other than how I wrote them I felt. Which is good, I wanted feedback of course, and that's good.

    But how do I make the reader believe that the character you created would do what you created them to do? If a reader says no, a character would do this instead, how do you convince the reader not to think that, and actually believe the character?

    Perhaps I should go back to my original story, and write it with the original characters in their original behavior as I intended. Or I can up with new characters, but I feel it will be the same, and I need to establish why a reader believes that a character would behave differently than originally written or intended.

    I mean you can say just have the character behave naturally, but that's so relative. I mean when I get inside the head of my character and say 'Oh he would so this if that happened!", and get a lightbulb go off in my head, how do you really know if you character would to that in accordance to what the reader thinks? How do you know what's natural if your decisions are not in agreement with what the reader thinks that character would do?

    Also if a reader tells you to change a character around, the question is should you, because that might cause the character to behave more unnaturally, with contradictions, and perhaps it's best to keep a character the same, so you know who they are and are not a likely pawn. What do you think?
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2015
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  25. Imaginarily
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    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    Perhaps you never painted your characters in a light that reflected their personalities. Maybe that's why your readers are questioning you so much.

    If you know them -- or knew them -- the next step is to animate them within their own idioms: give them quirks and idiosyncrasies that tell who they really are.

    They are your paper dolls, did you remember to dress them?
     
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