Sometimes when I read a story and there is a big reveal, my reaction is literally WTF. The creativity is there, but nothing made any sense. If you ever felt this way, then the writer has violated a sacred rule: don’t abuse a reader’s suspension of disbelief.
Suspension of disbelief is what happens with anyone reads our stories. We pick up the novel, which means we want to believe what the author tells us is true. It’s us holding back our common senses and immersing ourselves into this world of possibilities. The same thing happens when someone watches a movie. Most people know there’s no such thing as ghosts, but we all cheer on the four laser wielding heroes as they attempt to catch and contain the spooky specters.
What happens when that all important leap of faith seems to be a bit too long of a gap? Let’s take a majorly controversial novel as an example. I’m sure everyone has read Twilight. There’s a scene where Bella ran to the wooded area behind her house and started to believe in vampires. It was here that I questioned her sanity and became annoyed with the author. Not because the character believed. It was because she thought it was corny to believe it only moments ago while in her bedroom. For me, that’s a serious mistake. How could she not believe one second, and then start to in the next one just because a change of scenery? I felt as though my suspension of belief was abused. Naughty naughty, Mrs Meyer’s.
As you all know, however, Twilight sold like Jabba the Hut squeaky toys at a Star Wars convention. So it could just have been me. But it does bring me to my questions. How much logic does one really need in their stories? And, can that leap of faith ever be too far for you?