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How can I suspend disbelief in the thriller genre, the right way?

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Old 05-06-2016, 08:08 PM
ironpony (Offline)
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Default How can I suspend disbelief in the thriller genre, the right way?


When it comes to writing, a lot of times readers will tell me that a situation is unrealistic. Mostly police or legal situations, and they have a problem with that.

However, lots of movies have unrealistic police situations, and the viewers like it and do not care, as long as their is suspense, right?

In my current story for example, a man has taken people hostage, and the readers did not like how the police brought in the man's girlfriend to attempt to talk him down, cause they said it is unrealistic that the police would bring her in a situation like that. But I wanted the girlfriend there to do more with her character, for other parts of the story, especially the ending.

Now one movie I can think of that many people loved with an unrealistic hostage situation was Cell 211. In that movie, the government offered to pardon the leader of the hostage takers, if the leader killed his owned men and saved the hostages. That is actually what they wanted him to do, and he is pardoned.

Now that situation is not realistic and the cops would probably not do that in a real life hostage situation, but the movie was a hit in Spain, and won the Spanish Academy Award for best picture. So the viewers clearly didn't care that it was unrealistic, or against police policy.

So how do you write a story like that, that discards realism for the sake of drama, and people will accept it, and not be bothered by it?

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Old 05-06-2016, 08:27 PM
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It's not for the sake of drama, but rather for the sake of excellent characters and characterizations.
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Old 05-07-2016, 04:33 AM
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A lot of people are just douchebags. I don't see the point in looking for reality in fiction... Kind of why they call it fiction. Some people are looking for something to say negative, and others are looking for a small aspect to speak negatively of as opposed to the whole.
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Old 05-07-2016, 07:20 PM
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Hi Ironpony. How be thee?

Here's a few thoughts on what you posed.

Suspension of belief is important. Your plot didn't ccause me to question it. Also, only fascists cops would reject anyone who they thought would help resolve the situation. I've seen many stories where different people are brought in break the deadlock: lovers, mothers, fathers, priests, even children.

A good hostage negociator will over rule all cop policies.

Further more, if you're working on a rough draft, don't get hung up over this. Finish it and then see how it flies. If you decide you don't like it then change it a rewrite.

Just write your story! Good luck to you. And have a nice writing day. wrc
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