My Writing Pitfall #34


One of the many writing traps, I seem to find myself in at times is that of believability. Often times, I'm writing a character's motivation and the voice inside of my head is going: "Really? Would he really do that?"


It stalls me at times. Eventually, I can get around it by rationalizing to myself any reasons for the choices I'm making on the page. Sometimes they fail. That's what the rewrites are for. but these attacks on my writing happen at the very beginning at times, while I'm attempting to map out a story.

For example, I'm working on a story that is essentially a noir-adventure aboard a train in the early 1940s. I know the key players, but I'm struggling with how and why certain actions need to take place. Am I making these decisions because I want it to happen or because my characters would make these decisions? I'm even questioning the ultimate motivation for the villain. It's all very confusing and messy and, I'm sure, not entirely rare of a problem for a writer. Just a problem I'm dealing with right now.

My only defense is my rationalizing skills and the ever-present and necessary: Suspension of Disbelief.

"The willingness to suspend one's critical faculties and believe the unbelievable; sacrifice of realism and logic for the sake of enjoyment." - Thank you, Dictionary.com

Onward into the struggling abyss of story creation I go.


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