Believable Make-Believe

by Angella Jacob

March 22 , 2011

Writing fiction is equivalent to inventing a world where readers can believe the impossible. The reader should never be thinking, in my opinion, “What? That could never happen...”. If the reader did not want to be carried away into a world where impossible or improbable things could happen, they would have picked up a memoir, a biography, or a non-fiction work matching their tastes and likes.

The fiction reader wants to be entertained, wants to be so wrapped up in the story, and in the characters lives that they do not become aware, somewhere in between the lines, that what they are reading is impossible and could never happen. This is what I believe as a writer. Of course fiction, mostly the genre I write, horror, or other genres, such as science fiction, are full of impossible and improbable plots, characters, events and even scenery at times. The stories morph into something that is unnatural and alien to us, but yet we continue reading and more often than not become so wrapped up in the story that we forget it is not possible. We forget that the beast that lives in the woods and preys on its' victims during the full moon is not really there, but yet in our minds as we read it, we see it, visualize it and our perception of reality is changed momentarily.

With the tool of imagination comes the freedom to create anything we desire on the page. Any world, any creature, any event or scene. All of these, alone, could potentially become a very disappointing work of fiction if it was left to only these things. The life that is breathed into the story, is the one that flows through the emotions within the reader, brought about by spot-on descriptions. This will in turn promote the feelings that the reader can relate to (fear, joy, stress, worry, anger, anxiousness etc...). The emotions are what pulls the reader into the fiction story, without the questioning and disbelief that would be common if no emotional connection was made.

The ultimate goal as a fiction writer, is that a reader is truly captivated by what they are reading and your fiction becomes their reality for the duration of the story. Creating worlds and characters is a daunting task on it's own, but creating a convincing tale, one full of heart-pounding, nail-biting, and can't-wait-to-see-what's-next, is an accomplishment that any writer can be proud to have created.

It is my goal to improve on this, and my hope is that one day I can create fictive worlds of great magnitude where my readers can become captivated, losing the reality perception, and becoming part of the reality I offer them through my written works.

Angella Jacob