There’s something called “suspension of disbelief”, and then there’s just the stupid, crazy storylines that authors try to pull off. Fiction doesn’t work if it’s not believable. The lies have to appear true.
At this point, I don’t know whether what I’m writing is believable or not – I don’t know whether readers will buy that my main character gets involved with someone who’s very, very bad (see my teaser for CREEP here). Am I suspending disbelief or am I just trying to pull something off that’s totally idiotic?
I remember reading Little Red Riding Hood when I was a kid, and the book had pictures, and right there in full color was the wolf. He’d just eaten poor old Granny and was now wearing the old lady’s clothes and beckoning to the little granddaughter to come closer. I don’t remember the exact exchange, but it goes something like this:
And so the little red-cloaked twit gets eaten. As she should. Because she’s a stupid, stupid little girl and she didn’t see what the rest of us all did. And yeah, I know the moral of the story is supposed to be that kids need to be careful around strangers, blah blah blah, but as a kid I always hated Red and was thrilled that she got swallowed whole. She had it coming for being such a nitwit.
So is my main character stupid? I certainly didn’t write her that way, but who knows how the story’s going to come out?
Ultimately, I guess as a writer I can make up anything I want… but whether you believe me or not is all in the execution.