1. MustWrite

    MustWrite Member

    Jan 4, 2013
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    Northland, New zealand

    The Authors belief makes it real.

    Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by MustWrite, Sep 5, 2014.

    I have read some beautifully written, skillful books that I just couldn't believe in, and my heart has been caught so strongly by some characters and worlds that I'm left puzzling over how they managed to grab me despite writing that was quite a few steps below fine literature.
    Sure, bad writing can detract from an otherwise good story, and some people will read a beautifully written book even if the story is crap, but I believe there is an extra and essential ingredient here.

    I believe that if the Author believes in their own story, if it is real to them, the characters and the world are real and believable to us. I'm sure you understand I am not suggesting that Writers should all be delusional and wander around talking to their imaginary friends. I mean that they live in that imaginary place, the special place of the imagination where their story comes from, and they make it so real that we can live [for a time] there too. This is the magic ingredient.

    Agree or disagree?
  2. daemon

    daemon Contributor Contributor

    Jun 16, 2014
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    It is impossible to know for sure what an author is thinking when he writes fiction. "Believe in what you write" is kind of like "write for love, not for money" as far as advice goes -- there is no valid way to call it bad advice, but there is not really a way to support it, either, and it is impossible to explain how to do it.

    I do share your experience of reading book A, which is obviously finely crafted, and reading book B, which is sloppy in comparison, and getting much more (emotionally and intellectually) out of book B than out of book A. In fact, I have had that experience so many times that I have developed a philosophy about how fiction should be read and evaluated.
  3. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 1, 2008
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    El Tembloroso Caribe
    A good story and a good franchise need not be perfect to be captivating. The Darkover novels by MZB are known to have some internal errors of canon, timing of events from one story to another, geographic inconsistencies from one story to another, and a general fuzziness (sloppiness) as to the line of fantasy and science fiction.

    The books are fantastic. :)

    One thing I love about them is that she gives us a world that contains a human culture cut off from the rest of humanity for about a thousand years and is then reconnected. The original settlers came from a few different cultures, one of which is Spanish. She is one of the very few writers I have ever seen handle linguistic evolution in a manner that makes sense to true linguistics as we know it. Most writers are not linguists and when they play with language change and flux its almost inevitably cringeworthy. Not MZB. ;)
    minstrel likes this.
  4. Empty Bird

    Empty Bird New Member

    Aug 3, 2014
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    Books are personal to each person. The way I write may be different to how Sam, Mary or Bob writes. I'm not too sure, but sometimes, even if something is completely believable to us as writers, it doesn't mean that it'll be believable to the readers, the recipients of our words.

    People can have the most real imaginary world they've created up, but if they can't write or their story's rubbish, then it's still not going to be believable.

    Believability comes with how well you write. It's not about how beautifully you use similies or metaphors or prose or anything- it's about whether you can tell the story in an enticing way.

    The similies and metaphors and etcetera are the things that make it your own. The things that make it that much more beautiful.

    Some people can write beautifully, but their story is lost in a jumble of flowery words and phrases. Other people are blunter in their writing but are loved.

    Basically, I'd say it was about weaving a story well, not about how believable it is to the writer.

    Hope that made sense :)
  5. Kelly St Clair

    Kelly St Clair New Member

    Sep 1, 2014
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    I can see what you mean. I do think when you can imagine the world and the characters clearly in your head you are able to select the words that best describe them. So maybe it is not believability as much as clarity.

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