1. Elizna
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    Elizna New Member

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    Suspension of Disbelief?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Elizna, Mar 30, 2013.

    When your novel isn't set in some sort of fantasy world or even the world of the supernatural (vampires, werewolves, ghosts, etc), how hard is it for the reader to accept when something paranormal happens to a skeptical character? What kind of plot holes can arise here?

    I have my skeptical protagonists who eventually is convinced by a more spiritual character that he is being plagued by a past life. I'm just not sure how to work it so that it doesn't sound ridiculous. Keeping in mind there are many people and religions that believe in past lives.

    Does anyone have any tips? When my character finds out about his past life, I just don't know how to make him react to it.
     
  2. Simmy1993
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    Simmy1993 Member

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    It depends, when you say he's found out about his past life, is this concrete? Is it like, "You have a past life. Fact." Or is it a feeling, an inkling that something isn't right?

    If it's the first you could go with the classic, "this is impossible get away from me." reaction. You could also ask yourself, how would you react? If someone told me I had a past life, and that they could tell me about it, and perhaps I could even remember it, i'd pat them on the hand and point them to the nearest psychiatric unit. I'm unsure honestly how you'd prove it beyond forcing a memory out of the person from their past life.

    Hopefully some of that helps. He can either be stubborn, or open. I realize you've said he's skeptical but even skeptics can have more wishy-washey sides.
     
  3. doghouse
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    doghouse Member

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    Simmy made some good points. Just to help things along: what does your character believe? As in belief systems. It's not the reader you need to convince. *grins* The process by which the character changes to accept this is what needs to be convincing.

    Like Simmy stated, prove by forcing a memory in some way. But, would that be enough to convince the character. Here, I think, the tool of foreshadowing could work. Something in that memory can be linked to something mentioned previously in the story -- something dear to the protagonist.

    Foreshadowing, in this instance, could support the suspense of disbelief.
     
  4. Elizna
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    Elizna New Member

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    Yeah you guys are so right.
    I think it'd be simpler if my protagonist is agnostic rather than straight up atheist. He's vague about what else there is/could be in this world but he also acknowledges there are things that can't always be explained scientifically..Perhaps he's been exposed to spirituality before but just never really gave it much thought for himself.

    I think he would be pretty against the idea at first. But as he seems to make more links with this other man that lived a century ago, he becomes more convinced. but yes, I need to figure out a defining moment.
    It'll start off with just a feeling/inkling...which is when he comes across this other spiritual character who is a bit clairvoyant and she starts filling his head with all sorts of seemingly absurd ideas...but certain parts of her ideas fit into what he feels is happening to him
     
  5. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    This story won't work if you have a character who already believes in paranormal stuff. Take the readers on a journey of how the character became a believer in the end. The readers won't become believers with him, but they certainly would enjoy reading his transformation.
     

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