1. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    Suspension of Disbelief is a &#$#!

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by CDRW, Sep 8, 2009.

    I wasn't sure where to put this, but here goes.

    There's a show I like, which shall remain nameless. In the second episode a torpedo boat uses a tilted shipwreck as a ramp to launch itself into the air, and fire its torpedoes into the cockpit of a hovering gunship. None of that broke my suspension of disbelief.

    The ship was just sufficiently tilted to make a believeable ramp. The boat launched high, but not unbelievably high. The torpedoes didn't launch like missiles, but instead tumbled a very short distance through the air, and one of them missed. ect. ect.

    The thing that broke my suspension of disbelief is the fact that the torpedo boat's propeller was not sheared off when it made the jump.

    Why is it that we're able to accept some things without a thought, but others pull us completely out of the story? Discuss.
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the prop problem was the first thing that leapt out at me, when i read the scene description... stuff like that makes me wonder how such stupid people can actually be paid to write and direct such idiocy...

    i was watching 'the storm' on ch 33 last night, simply because there was nothing else on and i like apocalyptic stuff, but there were so many ludicrous goofs like that in it that i got a good month's worth of bitching-release out of just a couple of hours!

    even the casting was abysmal, with a blonde bimbo teenybopper supposedly being a science whiz and a guy in his 30s, sporting the most un-military hair style, supposed to be a high and mighty pentagon general... sheesh!
     
  3. Cheeno
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    Cheeno Contributing Member

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    It's the kind of thing that freaks me out, too. My girlfriend and I take great craic out of spotting such things, not just in movies, but in novels too. We also compete in spotting breaches in continuity, where such things as beer or lit cigarettes are different in connecting shots. Hair is a great one. So much for high paid Continuity personel doing their job. Then again, maybe production values don't stretch that far.
     
  4. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Create a distinctive style and stick firmly to it, then there can be no disbelief, no matter how far out you go, because it's made clear from the start that you're making the rules.

    Tim Burton did that.

    Meat Loaf did that.

    Douglas Addams did that.
     
  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I think it depends on what catches your inner eye and when. There are certain things that catch my eye which can make a story go down the drain. We were chatting about this the other day in the Pet Peeves thread.

    Alien (the original)

    The chest-burster alien pops out in the most famous of scenes and runs away. Less than a day after, the thing has grown to the size of a man. None of the crew has been eaten at this point, so no foodstuffs for baby alien as of yet.

    Violation of the law of conservation of mass.

    Fail

    In Anne McCaffery’s famous Dragonriders of Pern and Harper Hall books (and it seems some other works as well) she makes the boo-boo of playing in the backstory of the story line and gives us a point of origin for the dragons which is after the coming of humans to Pern. Mistake. Fine, so the humans create the dragons because they need to fight the Thread that has begon to fall from The Red Star as it makes its pass of Pern on a very eccentric orbit. Fine, fine, fine. What about poor Pern before the humans got there? Thread is extremely hostile to life. If the Red Star orbits every two hundred years and the Thread falls, eating and burning everything it touches, yeah, don’t think there would be much life left on the land. Also Anne spreads the wyers out over the entire land mass of the planet with an exceedingly thing population. I just don’t see it working out.

    Fail


    I think it all depends on remaining true to the internals of the story. I have been willing to believe (buy) much more outlandish things than I have described as long as all the pieces fit.

    Wrey
     
  6. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have recently been watching the Gundam series. Now if you are not familiar with the Anime, its usually set in a world torn by war(atleast in the 3 series I have watched) often on a political stance or difference between people and ideaologies. Now the main weapon for combat are Mobile Suits/Gundams which are giant mecha's piloted by people.

    Now I can fully believe this without problem. I know that the stuff they do are impossible and such.

    But what gets me, atleast in Gundam Wing, is how often they talk to themselves outloud. One character was hacking into the governments system in a Private School. All the while talking about it out loud. Also another character talks about the main character and his mysterous behavior in front of her friends. Though I did find it funny that the chauffeur of a character who was talking to himself(about how this character wanted to kill her) and asked if she was reading a mystery novel or something.
     
  7. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    Never watched gundam, but I've always had a problem with giant robots. I'm always thinking, you have the technology to make spaceships, genetic engineering, FTL, and so forth, and a giant robot is the best weapon you can come up with? Even if they could work (physically impossible) modern conventional weapons are more than enough to slaughter just about any giant robot imagined.
     
  8. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thinking outloud happens a lot in Japanese TV shows. Unfortunately, it's sometimes the only way they can get the exposition. Other times, we need to know what the character is thinking. Maybe it would be more believable if they weren't actually talking, but it never phased me.
     
  9. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Its also not a good idea to impose Western conventions on literatures from other cultures....simply because it is unusual for our characters to talk to themselves, doesn't mean its the same for them (although, not being Japanese, I have no idea really).

    As for the original OP....reminds me of Annie Wilkes from Misery...complaining about how they cheated her in the serials or whatever....Kathy Bates scares the **** out of me....
     
  10. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well they could just use a internal monologue instead.
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Back on topic, please
     
  12. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's what I meant by not actually talking: not moving their lips. Either way, It's never made me not believe what I was watching.
     
  13. Davylove21
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    Davylove21 Member

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    Doesn't it depend on what we're watching/reading? I can suspend disbelief easily when I watch something like the LOTR films but no so much in a straight action film.

    So it depends. If I watched a torpedo boat use a wreckage as a jump in anything that is meant to be remotely based in the real world, I'd switch over.

    I guess it's a toy to be played with. In the James Bond movies I'm willing to believe he can jump on crocodile heads and do perfect jumps in cars because he's James Bond and James Bond is badass. The same thing doesn't apply to Xander Cage in xXx because he's just fail on all counts.

    It's an interesting point though because apart from some common ground, all our limits are different.
     
  14. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    I'm going to take a stab here and say you were watching Black Lagoon?

    When a series is quite insistent about the level of realism, the suspension of disbelief is an important factor, but depending on the style and genre you can expect varying levels of ridiculousness.

    Anime is a prime culprit of this, using the most idiotic physics system known to man from mildly unbelievable to just plain stupid.

    Insofar as writing goes, it depends on what you expect. I'm going to hold a movie like the Shawshank Redemption against the wall as far as a realistic experience goes, but when I watch a movie like Live Free or Die Hard, crashing a car into a helicopter and fighter jets chasing after trucks is pretty run of the mill =P

    Every time you nit-pick the finer details in a work designed without any sense of reality, God kills a publishing executive.
     
  15. Etan Isar
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    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

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    So we should nit-pick as much as possible?
     
  16. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    9_9

    I like the idea of getting my book printed before they all bite the dust, thank you very much.

    After that? weeeellll...
     
  17. Atari
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    Atari Active Member

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    In anime, I read somewhere, that they do it because a LOT of anime is based on manga.
    It would only require ONE episode to do an entire chapter of manga (and the books usually consist of about three chapters or so, if I'm not mistaken).

    Therefore, they make them talk a lot in order to stretch the episode's time to fill the time slot.
     

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