Hey writers, ever wonder if what you’re writing is just too out there? Ever read over your work and think, hang on, this epic fantasy involving an alien invasion on a middle earth style planet that includes a romance between a female ‘blob’ alien and a bald elf/orc half breed with webbed feet is just too much? Ok, perhaps that example was a little too much, but if written well, you would draw the reader in to such a complex world gently and introduce the crazy ass concepts so they wouldn’t even seem that crazy by the time they occurred.
What is interesting is that reality is often far weirder than fiction.
Today’s news stories include over 700 Muslims who perished in a stampede at Mecca whilst they were on a part of their pilgrimage to throw stones at pillars that represent the devil... I’m sincerely sad for the loss of life in this distressingly tragic case, if ever there was an example of meaningless deaths on a large scale, there you have it. The very next news story that flashed up on my screen was the fact that notoriously anti-gay Russian leader Vladimir Putin has offered to meet the notoriously homosexual Elton John to discuss gay rights. This occurred after pranksters tricked Sir Elton into thinking that Putin wanted to talk to him, and now, somehow Putin does actually want to talk to him. Finally, the Pope has praised capitalism...
The world is a crazy place filled with amazing, unusual, tragic, unexpected and astonishing occurrences on a daily basis. If I’d have written the news stories above into a book as having occurred all on the same day, it would have appeared unbelievable. In fiction, we often like our big story events delivered to us at a reasonable pace, not all lumped together in one massive section where the characters have no time to react and reflect and the reader can’t process it all at once. But in reality, drama is sporadic, we can go for months with nothing happening and then get a massive glut of shock and awe on the global stage.
It’s something to think about, next time you worry that you’re stepping beyond the realms of believability, sometimes a whole bunch of crazy shit really does happen all at once, don’t be afraid to write it that way.