R is for Realistic

When I read a book or watch a movie, one of the things that irritate me the most are unrealistic scenarios or characters. I’m not saying plot lines, movies and books that explore the possible are some of my favorites. I love Lord of the Rings and all the Star Wars/Star Trek movies. (Yes, I am neither a Star Wars nor a Trekkie, but enjoy both. Shocking, I know.) No, it’s the impossible that annoys me. Like in the movie Wonder Woman where she leaps the gap and climbs the tower. Yes, I know that she’s a demi-goddess, but it was enough to pull me back to reality and away from the storyline.

 

demotivational_poster_star-trek-VS--star-wars_20110403010012_reg

 

When we read or watch a movie, we participate in something called the Willing Suspension of Disbelief.

A willingness to suspend one’s critical faculties and believe the unbelievable; sacrifice of realism and logic for the sake of enjoyment

Word Origin: Coined by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Source: Dictonary.com

 

However, there comes a point when something is just too much for our minds to take and we are jerked harshly back to reality. So how can a writer stop from passing that line? That’s a hard question to answer. The patently ridiculous is obvious. For example, in a western, floating cyber cows that can shoot laser beams from their eyes will immediately pull us from the storyline as we shake our heads and wonder when that happened. But on the other hand, what if they have subtle chips that have GPS in case rustlers happen to take them? I would be willing to keep reading and see where this goes.

However, when you have characters, unless you have Superman, keep it within human limitations. And remember, even Superman had a weakness. Kryptonite reduced him down to human standards. What readers and viewers want are flawed heroes, people that they can relate to. Perfect characters can turn people away even faster than bad prose can.

Superman kryptonite

 

So what is a book or movie that you found totally impossible?

H is for Hidden Heroes

Welcome to week two of the A to Z Challenge. I can’t believe how much fun week one was and I was blown away by how many people liked and commented on my posts. You guys are awesome. Also, I got to read some marvelous posts and I can’t wait to see more in the coming weeks.

 

So the post for today is about Heroes. Face it, every story has a hero, no matter if it’s fiction or non-fiction. In fiction, it’s usually a person or an animal. In non-fiction, it’s an object or subject. For example, in a non-fiction book about agriculture, farming is the hero of the book. Why is it the hero? Without it, the book cannot exist. Take a look at any book. What person or subject if you remove it, makes the book impossible? That is the hero of the story.

 

However, that is not to say that there is only one hero in any given story. Stories are complex, intricate things, much like humans are. Which isn’t really a surprise, because what are stories but the result of human’s dreams and imagination? So while there is usually an instantly visible hero, there are also hidden heroes. Yes, you heard me right. Hidden heroes. ‘But’, you say, ‘You just told us that without the Hero, the story wouldn’t exist’. That’s true, I did indeed just say that. But at the end of the day, heroes aren’t infallible. In the course of a story, there are often many times that a hero would’ve fallen or given up if there wasn’t someone there to support him or give him something to fight for. These characters are the ones that I like to refer to as hidden heroes.

 

samfrodo_twotowers

 

One of my favorite hidden heroes is Samwise from Lord of the Rings. Although he thinks of himself as a simple hobbit, he is the reason in the end that the ring is destroyed. There are so many times that Frodo would’ve never made it to Mordor without Sam’s help. His perseverance and loyalty are truly awe inspiring and sometimes having just one friend at our side can make all the difference. Not to mention that he risked giant spiders to save his friend with only a vial of light and Sting. Shudder, those were some big spiders. I’m not afraid of spiders but I sure would have arachnophobia after encountering those things. No matter how tired he got, or stressed, or even betrayed by his friends, Sam never gave up, never faltered in his quest to help Mr. Frodo. Can you imagine what you could achieve with a friend like that at your back?

 

However, there is one point, in the second book “The Two Towers” where Sam and Frodo have hit one of the lowest places in their journey. The have been captured and taken from their trek to Mordor and while captured, they have been attacked. Frodo has reached his breaking point and tells Sam that he can’t do this, he can’t go on. I believe that this is the truly pivotal point in the journey and that there is a real chance of Frodo giving up and going home right then and there. And Sam doesn’t argue with him, doesn’t tell him all the reasons why they have to get the ring to Mordor. Instead, he simply shares his heart, giving Frodo the strength to keep going. This scene makes me tear up almost every time.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6C8SX0mWP0

 

Here is beautiful kinetic typology of his speech. Kinetic typology is a fascinating thing.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pErpW0vFtPE

 

So who is your favorite Hidden Hero? I can’t wait to see 😊

E is for Escape

book-quote

 

Come, (holds out hand), escape with me for a little while. Let me take you away from the real world and invite you into my world for a bit while we explore exactly what I believe escapes are. First off, books offer me an escape into a different world. They allow me to run off and have all sorts of adventures with a myriad of different companions. I was exiled to the attic with Sara from “A little Princess”, I spent summers with Andrew Lang’s color fairy series, my imagination running free. I sleuthed with Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys and cheered on Chester in his attempts to protect his family from ‘Bunnicula’. I traveled with Frodo and the Fellowship to Mordor to get rid of the ring. It is a wonderful thing to be able to open a book and step into another world. However, there are other types of escapes that I’ll mention briefly.

 

One: Emotional escape.

 

I like to make characters that I believe I could meet on the street. As such, they come with all the flaws that real humans do. Sometimes, my characters will avoid situations that are emotionally fraught. They will run and hide until I make them face it and/or resolve it. Other times, characters have finally walked away from emotionally toxic situations and begin to do emotional healing. They break free from their chains and move on to live the lives they were always intended to live.

 

Two: Physical escape

 

This doesn’t necessarily mean that the character is imprisoned. It can mean many different things. The character can move in order to have a better job and a better life. They can walk away from an abusive person or situation. And yes, in some cases, it means escaping from being imprisoned. That, however, takes a lot of planning. When you are writing and your character is imprisoned, think long and hard before taking this route. Because if your storyline is going to be continued, your character must either of a necessity escape or be rescued, or another character must shift into the main character’s place. Also, there are the logistics to be figured out. Are they in a highly secured or a loosely secured area? Are the guards lazy or highly alert? What about the doors and windows? Can the be opened or picked or is there a special key that only opens that one door and is held on to by a highly skilled individual? Does the character have allies where they are held or are they completely alone? Will their compatriots rescue them or are they expected to sacrifice themselves for the good of the cause? These are all things that an author will have to contemplate if their main character gets captured. These are the sort of challenges that I love as an author. It is a like piecing together an intricate puzzle and the reward is a satisfying plot line.

 

So what are some books that you like to escape into?

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