Friday, 18 November 2011

Keep it Believable

Between studying and writing, there hasn’t been a lot of time for me to blog this week. But I’m reading a book which I think has a lesson for all of us. The book I’m reading at the moment is an explosive action thriller. I’m loving it… except for some of the action scenes.

In one action scene, the protagonist drove up a tunnel wall onto the roof, shot an enemy sniper while speeding along in a car, and managed to skid a car along a small concrete wall while keeping the car perfectly balanced.

It’s all a bit of a stretch.

In our writing, it’s important to make sure things stay believable. Sure, it’s okay to ask readers to suspend disbelief, but being a good enough shot to hit a sniper while speeding along a winding road?


So, as I get back to going over lecture notes, tell me: have you ever read a book which was simply too unbelievable? Let me know in the comments!


  1. No books come to mind, but TONS of TV shows/movies do. That older Legend of Hercules show, anyone? Or Xena?
    This always in on my mind while writing. Most of the notes peppering my MS for when I go over it later in edits are telling me to "check this––realistic?" or "that's not very fantasy-esque", etc. With more flair, of course. Meant to be read with an Irish accent. :P

  2. LOL, Constance. Xena was one of the first things to come to my mind. XD I read mostly fantasy, so while believability has been stretched and possibly snapped for a couple instances, (namely the part in Brisingr where Roran pretends he has super strength/beats all the Urgals with powers of strength like an elf when he's still completely human), the main offender seems to be TV. They think if you see it, you'll believe it, but I really don't, lol. Question EVERYTHING! =P

  3. Constance: Ooh, I didn't think about movies! But yes, movies are always guilty of it!

    Amanda: When it comes to TV, I usually just go with it, whatever they do! Perhaps people are more inclined to believe it because the stunt happens so quickly, but in books it could take a few paragraphs, in which time the readers clue on.

  4. @Teo & Matt: Agreed and agreed. I remember that part with Roran; not cool!