Writing Forums

Writing Forums is a privately-owned, community managed writing environment. We provide an unlimited opportunity for writers and poets of all abilities, to share their work and communicate with other writers and creative artists. We offer an experience that is safe, welcoming and friendly, regardless of your level of participation, knowledge or skill. There are several opportunities for writers to exchange tips, engage in discussions about techniques, and grow in your craft. You can also participate in forum competitions that are exciting and helpful in building your skill level. There's so much more for you to explore!

Should real life events determine how believable your story is? (1 Viewer)

Status
Not open for further replies.

ironpony

Senior Member
I don't mean to sound insensitive about this real life tragdy, it's just that it has effected readers' perceptions of my script. Before when I wrote the script, I was told by people that a group of police officers conspiring to murder the villains out of revenge was not believable and officers are not going to do that and risk throwing their whole lives away, just to avenge someone.

But now, after the George Floyd event, people are reacting differently to my story, or at least that part of it, and are much more on board with it now, and now all of a sudden, it's completely plausible. But I find this strange and I figure that real life events shouldn't determine if a story is plausible, and shear believability in the fictional world of the story itself should determine that. Am I correct, or is it is more of a case, of the reader will believe it, if something similar has happened in real life, compared to the rules of a fictional world?
 
Last edited:

K.S. Crooks

Senior Member
As the saying goes, "Life is stranger than fiction." 20 years ago would you believe people could hijack two planes using box cutters and crash them into the New York twin towers? As long as your story has strong internal logic the behavior of the officers will fit. When you write consider how much you want the reader to side with the way the officers are acting.
 

ironpony

Senior Member
Oh okay. Well I wrote so that the reader doesn't pick a side necessarily, and it's more of a 'just the ugly facts' objectivity, unless I should have the readers pick a side?
 

Joker

Senior Member
Wars between countries have become increasingly rare. There hasn't been a major conflict between equally capable nations that led to mass casualties since the Second Congo War ended in 2003. And war between major powers has been completely extinct since 1953.

You wouldn't know that from playing Call of Duty or watching the latest adaptation of Tom Clancy, though. Civil wars in Bumfukistan don't make as interesting a conflict as American and Russian tanks blowing each other up in the rubble of Warsaw. These speculative fiction stories usually go to great length to justify the necessity of conflict, even if it's just our world with a few more psychos in office or a sudden oil shortage.

Never be constrained by the paper headlines, because then you're just writing non-fiction.
 

Matchu

Senior Member
Perhaps your story reads 'cartoon?' Officers destroy the bad guys.

Draft a while, & make your story hang more plausibly by dr 72 in the writer condition, character emerges c draft 22...and from previous posts it appears you're not putting in the graft, shoving half-bakes under residents' noses etc...

Get to work.
 

EternalGreen

Senior Member
Personally, I find that if I try to make the "little things" more believable, I can get away with a lot.

Your story sounds believable, anyway.
 

Sir-KP

Senior Member
if something similar has happened in real life, compared to the rules of a fictional world?

Unless you explained why or how things go a little bit different in your fictional city/world - or unless your fictional place is based on a real place that wasn't affected by the event, then I'm sure people will relate it.

George Floyd event wouldn't apply if you made a story set in fictional Southeast Asian third-world. Unless you write the event closer to George Floyd's, it wouldn't be the first to come to reader's mind.
 

ironpony

Senior Member
Oh okay, well perhaps the readers are not thinking of George Floyd when they are reading my plot, but they are think that after Floyd the police are capable of many things now compared to before, so they are not taking it with a grain of salt anymore?
 

Xander416

Senior Member
Your test readers have changed tune because hating and demonizing police is the "cool" thing to do. I'd take any post-George Floyd opinion of cops with a grain of sand.
 

ironpony

Senior Member
Oh okay, that makes sense. I was told by some that the story would fly less nowadays, and I was told that on here before, but now even if it's less acceptable now, it is still more plausible now.
 

Lee Messer

Senior Member
I've seen some shit. Yeah, whaddya know there's bad people in every group! Smell that coffee? Bad cops exist. Best way I can say it is I've been friends with ex-cops. Bad cops like to get good cops fired. Knew someone who tried to be a cop, became a cop, and then found out about bad cops. They decided they didn't want to be a cop anymore for some reason. Food for thought.
 

bazz cargo

Retired Supervisor
A writer working on the Doctor Who series invented an Ice Volcano for a gag in a particular episode. Since then they have been found on some of Jupiter's moons. It is your story, but if someone is going to make something out of it, a play or TV or Radio programme it will mucked about by whoever is doing the adaption.

As a me being nosey kinda thing. Have you considered storyboarding?
Before when I wrote a story, I was told by people that a group of police officers conspiring to murder the villains out of revenge was not believable and officers are not going to do that and risk throwing their whole lives away, just to avenge someone.

But now, after the George Floyd event, people are reacting differently to my story, or at least that part of it, and are much more on board with it now, and now all of a sudden, it's completely plausible. But I find this strange and I figure that real life events shouldn't determine if a story is plausible, and shear believability in the fictional world of the story itself should determine that. Am I correct, or is it is more of a case, of the reader will believe it, if something similar has happened in real life, compared to the rules of a fictional world?
 

Bloggsworth

WF Veterans
Why? Real life events are often unbelievable...

"One day, George, a group of terrorists are going to fly airliners into the World Trade Centre."

"Shut up Charlie, that's a stupid idea."
 
Oh okay, well perhaps the readers are not thinking of George Floyd when they are reading my plot, but they are think that after Floyd the police are capable of many things now compared to before, so they are not taking it with a grain of salt anymore?

I believe that you are right in your assumption. The George Floyd incident helped showcase that the police are capable of certain actions thought completely unjust before. However, I feel that we must remember that there has been corruption in the law enforcement for over thousands of years the only difference is now we have the widespread media. Media, ultimately, makes the corruption in the law enforcement more prevalent, therefore more believable. I feel that your plot will hit much closer to home and seem more believable now that your readers have seen injustice among the police more publicized. Despite all of this, I believe that your plot was an extremely interesting thought even before the George Floyd incident, you should not feel that your plot must be changed due to the believability of it. Ultimately, you are writing fiction and while all elements of fiction have some truth, don't feel the need to shape your story around current events just because ideologies have changed. (This is my first post, so I'm apologize if it's not as helpful as you'd like. I will work on improving my responses, thanks for understanding! :) )
 

luckyscars

WF Veterans
Oh okay, well perhaps the readers are not thinking of George Floyd when they are reading my plot, but they are think that after Floyd the police are capable of many things now compared to before, so they are not taking it with a grain of salt anymore?

You need to take into consideration reader's views and experiences in the real world when it comes to anything, including law enforcement.

It's true most readers will likely think of cops differently now compared to, say, the 1950's and even the 1980's. Before Floyd, since the 1990's actually, police brutality has been a major issue in public perception and that has absolutely spiraled since 2010's. Not because the cops have changed much, but simply because we have video cameras and social media and a means for voices that were previously unheard to gain a platform. Nobody gave a crap how many black people were getting beaten and killed in 1950 because it didn't get into the newspapers and there was nothing besides the newspapers where you could possibly read about it.

Suffice to say, yes you need to not only take this stuff into account but actually try to understand it. It is vital for any writer to have a finger on the pulse.
 

ironpony

Senior Member
Oh okay, but there have been plenty of fictional stories of police officers exercising brutality, before the 1990s though. Bad and crooked cops have existed in fiction going all the way back to film noir, and before that the Wild West. So why is that people thought they were so clean before Floyd, that they cannot accept it in a story, when other fiction has done it before?

Since you mention black people being killed, in my story however, the criminals the police set out to kill are not black though, but would that make it less believable, if people are going to compare to real life killing of black suspects?
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top