Suspension of Disbelief.
Giving you time to recover from the groaner before continuing.
Well, first things first, I want to share some good OOC, real life news. Almost done with this semester. Super stoked. Have had to write three papers, finished and submitted two, finalizing the third this week. I know what your thinking: what grades did you make, Rygen? Answer: 100 and a 98. I was so stoked man.
Now, to what this blog will be covering and explaining my bad joke: for those of you who have been in theater, you know what the suspension of disbelief is. It is that when you go into the theater and pay for it, you suspend some things; you choose to say "I know that these actors are not really out in the woods/in a war zone/in a political drama, etc." We do the same thing at the movies and with TV shows--I even have enjoyed several mocudramas. Why do we do it? Because we love it and because it takes us place we could not go otherwise. We even do it here for the same reasons.
But in a land of saber-jockies, cocky smugglers, and hairy, massive aliens, there is a suspension of disbelief that can go no further. I draw your attention to the latest Doctor Who. They pulled a character who was dead back to life by suspending their last few moments and pulling them out of time. Their death was fixed, it was going to happen. However, in a suspended way, they had her alive but technically dead. Her heart wasn't beating--when she asked how she was able to still talk and interact with the others around her the answer was, "Because the Time Lords are cleaver."
That answer was so bad I paused the DVR and facepalmed for thirty seconds. If your going to suspend disbelief, at least do it believably. I found it so tragic, I serious wanted to cry. However, I love Doctor Who. In another episode, if you went into a shadow you would be eaten to the bones in milliseconds. Explanation? There was a piranha-like race of aliens in the shadows that were really creepy-like. That was a great suspension of disbelief.
Basically, if you do it right, you get epic lauds of praise. If you can't you get eye-rolls and called "godmodder," a "lame writer," and "lazy writer" if not "lame brain." I know only because I have had a lot of practice suspending the disbelief badly. As in really badly.
Tips for making the suspension of disbelief work?
1) Make the disbelief believable. If whatever your going to do doesn't have even a modicum of evidence in known science, chance are--it won't be believable. For instance, creating a bio-engineered plant that eats people is cool and believable--venus fly trap. However, making a hand-held weapon that shoots at incredible speeds and chews through all enemies cause it shoots so fast--not remotely believable.
2) Bend the rules, don't break them. No one likes a rule breaker; when someone desecrates what we call common sense or plain science, we feel gypped as well as the urge to seriously take them back to kindergarden. A good example would be lightsabers. By all plausible means, they should go on forever, their blades never ending. However, their crystals cause prisms that contain the photon packets that light is made of. Cause we were all paying attention when the physics teacher was getting excited explaining that light was both an energy beam and a substance, right?.... right?.... right, guys? *pauses and realizes how large of a geek he really is*
3) Respect the brilliance of your reader. Look, this really is the most important. If your reader is sitting there thinking, "man, he must believe I am dumb if he thinks I am gonna believe that?!" or "man, he must think I am dumb cause he won't tell me how it works and only says, 'cause I am cleaver,'" then your DEFINITELY doing it wrong. If your trying to make them think your brilliant--also doing it wrong. However, if you pull it off right, this will be a natural part of the process. Why? Cause it proves you really are. ;) This is what they should think something like this, "Wow, I figured that out! I am so smart, I knew what that meant! Hm, this guy, I like him. I will read more of his stuff."
4) Be creative. Don't sit there and only be dogmatic and for goodness sake don't bombard me with math. We hate math. Find a scientific principle and say "in 100 or more years, where could this go?" As John Linen would say, "Image all the ideas, going beyond today/you make say I'm a dreamer/I'm not the only one." Flex both sides of your brain to do this right. That is where the real fun comes in!
Additions? Comments? Corrections? What are bit of advice you have for building this amazing bridge? What works best for you?