Monday, 26 March 2012

Suspension Of Disbelief

By Richard Jay Parker

Is there an average suspension of disbelief measurement for adult readers?

If you examine book charts it apears that a large percentage of human beings will happily entertain notions of serial killers commiting hideous gory crimes.  However, if that character were a vampire it probably wouldn't get anywhere near a chart.  Teen vampire books aside, of course.

There is a substantial appetitte for wizards and zombies of late.  Horror and fantasy will always have a readership but it doesn't very often impact on the mainstream.  Is this because it's not entertained by publishers and booksellers or does the average reader want their stories to have a firm footing in reality?

Perhaps, for some readers, the scares are more thrilling when they are feasible in the world they inhabit.  And perhaps they can empathise with characters who inhabit that same world. 

It's probably why crime and thrillers are being constantly snapped up.  There's no doubt that books that examine the darker side of the human psyche are immensely popular but is that an indication of how much slack they are prepared to cut the author's imagination?

I personally enjoy books that are gritty and fantastical but, in terms of being a thriller writer, the challenge is always to present a story that is engaging without asking for too much rope from the reader.

We all know what you can do with a length of that.

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