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Thursday, August 2, 2018

Writing - part x573, Developing Skills, How to Suspend Disbelief

2 August 2018, Writing - part x573, Developing Skills, How to Suspend Disbelief  

Announcement: Delay, my new novels can be seen on the internet, but my primary publisher has gone out of business—they couldn’t succeed in the past business and publishing environment.  I'll keep you informed, but I need a new publisher.  More information can be found at  Check out my novels--I think you'll really enjoy them.

Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with

I'm using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I'll keep you informed along the way.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website and select "production schedule," you will be sent to
The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:
1. Don't confuse your readers.
2. Entertain your readers.
3. Ground your readers in the writing.
4. Don't show (or tell) everything.
     4a. Show what can be seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted on the stage of the novel.
5. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.
These are the steps I use to write a novel including the five discrete parts of a novel:

1.      Design the initial scene
2.      Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
a.       Research as required
b.      Develop the initial setting
c.       Develop the characters
d.      Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
3.      Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
4.      Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
5.      Write the climax scene
6.      Write the falling action scene(s)
7.      Write the dénouement scene
I finished writing my 29th novel, working title, Detective, potential title Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.  The theme statement is: Lady Azure Rose Wishart, the Chancellor of the Fae, supernatural detective, and all around dangerous girl, finds love, solves cases, breaks heads, and plays golf.  
Here is the cover proposal for Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective
Cover Proposal
The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I am continuing to write on my 30th novel, working title Red Sonja.  I finished my 29th novel, working title Detective.  I’m planning to start on number 31, working title Shifter
How to begin a novel.  Number one thought, we need an entertaining idea.  I usually encapsulate such an idea with a theme statement.  Since I’m writing a new novel, we need a new theme statement.  Here is an initial cut.

For novel 30:  Red Sonja, a Soviet spy, infiltrates the X-plane programs at Edwards AFB as a test pilot’s administrative clerk, learns about freedom, and is redeemed.

For novel 31:  TBD 

Here is the scene development outline:

1. Scene input (comes from the previous scene output or is an initial scene)
2. Write the scene setting (place, time, stuff, and characters)
3. Imagine the output, creative elements, plot, telic flaw resolution (climax) and develop the tension and release.
4. Write the scene using the output and creative elements to build the tension.
5. Write the release
6. Write the kicker
Today:  To achieve the suspension of disbelief your writing has to meet some basic criteria and contain some strong inspiration.  If you want to call the inspiration creativity, that works too.  Here is a list of the basic criteria to hope to achieve some degree of suspension of disbelief. 

1.      Reasonably written in standard English
2.      No glaring logical fallacies
3.      Reasoned worldview
4.      Creative and interesting topic
5.      A Plot
6.      Entertaining

We can see in some popular novels that no one would ever call literature or literary, they are still entertaining and they still provide a high degree of suspension of disbelief.  Some of my favorite novels are not particularly erudite—I like them because I like the characters, the world the writer created, and the suspension of disbelief.

Look at the first criteria, “reasonably written in standard English.”  This is for books specifically written in English.  I want to warn you and to inform you.  Reasonably written means James Joyce is specifically excluded.  Joyce writes in a cubistic style that only a mother or a dolt could enjoy reading.  This is an example of not reasonably written.  There is also a question of whether Joyce wrote in standard English, but that’s because his writing is so clumsy and unreasoned you can’t tell if his writing has any basis in clear English grammar or structure.

Joyce is an outlier, but his writing should be a negative example for all writers.  You will never achieve suspension of disbelief with this type of writing.  To have any hope of suspension of disbelief, the words and writing can’t get in the way of the ideas and the entertainment.  This is the basic point.

The reader must be able to understand and enjoy the writing.  This means the writing itself can’t get in the way of the meaning in the text.  Understanding is critical—so the author must be cautious about his or her vocabulary and the use of complex word structure.  The keynote here is understanding.  If your readers can’t understand your writing, they can’t begin to suspend disbelief. 

Let’s put this in a simplistic sense—if your readers are struggling over the meanings of words in your writing, they will never reach a level of suspension of disbelief.  If your readers are struggling with your poor grammar or your overly complex sentences, they will never reach a level of suspension of disbelief.

If the dialects you use or attempt to imitate cause the reader to stumble, you will never achieve a suspension of disbelief.  It is enough to write, she continued in a strong brogue, or he spoke in perfect French than to try to express the brogue or to break out into French. 

At this point, we can make a list of these basic language factors:

1.      Vocabulary
2.      Grammar
3.      Dialog
4.      Language
5.      Idioms
6.      Understanding
7.      Terms

I’ll try to explain this to a greater degree next.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site, and my individual novel websites:

fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic

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