Sunday, February 10, 2008

At the January meeting of the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group, acclaimed novelist Juilene-Osborne-McKnight spoke on the topic of suspending disbelief and how writers can engage their readers and make them willing participants in a fictional journey.

Juilene offered four critical elements that writers use to encourage the reader to suspend their disbelief, and I'll paraphrase one of her tips here.

Mix the extraordinary in with the mundane.

What does she mean? I think to some of the e-mails I've received from friends. They might say that there's nothing new, that they're working hard, planning a vacation, and won the lottery for $5 million. It's sort of a nonchalant way to add big news to ordinary news.

Juilene says the master at this technique is Stephen King. So you King fans, look through your favorite horror tales and identify some passages where he snuck the extraordinary in with some fairly mundane stuff, and you'll know that this is just one of the ways that he's taking you along for the ride.

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