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Welcome to my blog! This is my journey, my first steps into the world of fictional writing. This blog is an online journal of sorts, where I share the progress of my work as well as what I have learned along the way. I hope you enjoy your time with me and that my experience may be of some use to you.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

BOOTCAMP LESSON 9: Suspending Disbelief.

Welcome back!

    There is a lot going on at this time of year. Family reunions, friendly gatherings, office parties, gift exchanges, etc. It seems the older you get, the more Christmas becomes a social exercise rather than the magical phenomenon we saw when we were children. When exactly did this happen? Where is the point between believing and no longer believing? These questions lead us into today’s writing game!

Lesson 9: Suspending Disbelief

As writers of fiction, it is our job to make people believe what we are telling them is not only possible, but an established fact. This can be particularly difficult when dealing with a subject that is known to be fictitious. Writers must then find a way to explain these elements and make them sound plausible. This is a technique called hand waving.

    A Hand Wave is referred to as any clarification which is noteworthy for its lack of detail or coherence. By using minimal or even sketchy information, this plot device hopes to suspend the reader's disbelief long enough to continue past this point of the story without interrupting its momentum.

    In the spirit of the holiday season, the goal of today’s writing game will be to take the statements or situations mentioned below, and find a plausible explanation for them. Please keep your explanations to two or three paragraphs long, these are “hand waves”, not theses n how to scientifically explain these phenomenon.

So, here are today's guidelines!

  1. Below are five "phenomenons" to work with.
  2. Following each phenomenon, write two or three paragraphs plausibly explaining said situation.


Phenomenon 1: Flight.

Explain how Santa Claus achieves flight using eight reindeer pulling a sleigh.

Phenomenon 2: Fitting in small spaces.

Explain how Santa Claus, a man of considerable girth, succeeds in fitting his physical form down a small constricted space such as a chimney.

Phenomenon 3: Overcapacity.

Explain how Santa Claus can carry a large amount of merchandise, notably toys, to the entire children population of the globe.

Phenomenon 4: Private information.

Explain how Santa Claus has knowledge of every child on earth, most notably who has been naughty and who has been nice.

Phenomenon 5: Lack of evidence.

Explain how Santa Claus has avoided being discovered after so many years.

For those who aren’t afraid to share their entries, feel free to share them as a reply to this post, or send them to me privately. I may create a page for submissions in the future for those who are interested.

Hope you have fun giving this exercise a try. Until next time, and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Patrick Osborne