Monday, February 23, 2015

Fiction Facts: Reader! Suspend Thy Disbelief!

What's awesome about the number of people visiting my blog is that I can assume they are readers. Not necessarily of my work, though an author can and will dream to her bloody heart's content! But since you are here, I hope you've made the time for a good book of late. As I traverse the web, I see lots of recurring themes among the commenting populace, but there is one particular group that is making my hairs stand on end. That group is the Y-4's.

You could be a Y-4 and just not know it

The Y-4's are a segment of readers who consistently report a difficulty in their ability to suspend disbelief in a fictitious world simply because said world contains a very visible group of people whose existence remains in direct opposition to happy joy-joy time. The short version of that sentence can be read as:

Majority of good people over here  {-                  -} Small amount of bad people over there 

Why are they called Y-4's? Because I always envision them deep in thought, speaking with a rich internal accent, and saying, "Why for you no erase these persons? They are bad people, no?"

Ultimately, what triggered this post was a question someone asked about the Harry Potter series that went something to the effect of,

"If the members of Slytherin House are such d-bags, then why are they allowed to exist?"

If this were an isolated question, I might not have thought much about it. But as I am seeing more and more of this type of inquiry on my trips through cyberspace, I thought I might take a crack at answering it.

Let dragons be slain while jerks remain bitter

The answer, my dear Y-4, lies in the simple fact that genocide is a nasty sort of business. It isn't the answer to your problems in reality, and it certainly won't fly in well-written fiction. As you go through life, you will meet people that you don't necessarily mesh with in any way. Some of them you might even be related to! However, we as human beings have decided that life is precious on any level, so we must do our best to compromise and work together to keep things moving along.

Magic users are people too...most of the time

And while I'm on the subject, for those who wonder why people with special powers don't just run around dominating non-magical persons and doing them in, the reason lies in morals and conscience. You don't have to have magic powers to harm someone, but most of don't because we make a choice as sane individuals NOT to hurt other people no matter what drives us.

It's okay to be angry, hurt, sad, or any other number of things, but once those feelings translate to pain for another person, then we have a problem. It wouldn't be too far-fetched to think characters in fiction have similar thoughts and feelings. Some do choose to hurt others. Usually those people are called villains though.

I will close with a final reminder. When you find yourself asking why the jerks get invited to the story, just remember that a book without conflict probably isn't much of an interesting read. It would be a pretty short tale, though it might still go for 99-cents on Amazon. "Conflict-Free Reading" I just may have to experiment with that sometime. Perhaps there truly is an audience for every genre.

Purchase The Lost Remnant on Amazon!

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