Just a moment ago I was composing a tweet and it inspired today’s blog post topic. For those of you who don’t follow me on Twitter (you’re missing out! 🙂 ), here is the tweet minus the ubiquitous #amwriting hashtag:
“Sometimes I worry about needing to keep my story too realistic and forget that sometimes characters need to be larger than life.”
As I was typing the tweet, I was impressed and surprised that I was able to gather that thought into 140 characters. Thus, I realized it is a topic worthy of a blog post. As I write I find myself wondering if the binds my characters get into and–more importantly–get themselves out of are too far-fetched. This is writer’s self consciousness manifesting itself in a new way, and it must be battled. However, there are so many times in books or movies where I find myself rolling my eyes as the main characters find themselves embroiled in some fantastical situation or achieving feats that are simply hard to fathom. Am I the only one that does this?
So I think it is a fine line to tread. While I certainly don’t want my story to be boring, I don’t want to add one harrowing situation+dramatic save too many and have readers become skeptical. Hence the last portion of my tweet. Characters are supposed to be compelling. Stories are supposed to be entertaining and transport us to new worlds. Every story needs to have a bit of magic. Magic doesn’t have to be spells and wizards. Magic can be the heroine grabbing the rock that conveniently appeared to be jutting out of the ledge she was just shoved off.
In conclusion, I am going to try harder to embrace the license we as writers are given. The license to use our magic and weave a tale that entertains, compels and allows readers an escape to imagine the impossible.