"he wants us to move the island"

"he wants us to move the island"

A Lesson by scatterbrain

an overview on the suspension of a reader's beliefs. i will be throwing knives and riding a panther into the classroom. let's get this song a rockin'!


          It is when detectives comb over and fingerprint a crime scene for DNA, and the results of all tests come back after the commercial break; or how the superhero is fitted in the most revealing, enticing superhero suits, but only to change back to street clothes and glasses in order to conceal their identity; or how the distance between Washington D.C. and Paris, France seems to be that between Florida and Georgia.

          In order to allow your storyline to unfold, there are moments when the reader (and the author) must suspend their belief in natural reality. Rather, they must embrace the reality of the story. Because in our world, those DNA tests take months to process; and I would recognize Clark Kent the moment he would use his laser vision to warm his Caramel Macchiato; and those air flights are a pain in the a*s, and to shorten it to a three minute scene is the only choice that we, the writers and directors, have.

          Read this news article and ask yourself if you have to suspend belief in order to understand and comprehend the content:

          The Johnson and Johnson company unveiled its new Visine-brand "Eye-Bright" whitening strips Tuesday, an over-the-counter product designed to reduce unsightly stains in bloodshot and yellowed eyeballs. "If you're one of the millions who suffer from embarrassing ocular discoloration, this is the remedy you've been waiting for," spokeswoman Bonnie Jacob said of the adhesive strip, which, according to instructions, should be smoothed over an open eye, left on overnight while it fastens to the cornea, and then peeled off along with a thick membrane of broken capillaries and undesirable pigmentation. "Eye-Bright gets your eyeballs up to six shades whiter, thanks to a unique formula that penetrates optical tissues to scrub out ugly blotches at their source." Jacob added that consumers should discontinue use if swollen eyes reach billiard-ball size or sudden eruptions of vitreous fluid occur.

The line that gets me is, ‘then peeled off along with a thick membrane of broken capillaries…’! The desired effect this writer (and the “company” that “prints” the paper) writes for is satirical humor, though it comes at the price of distorting your reality. I am sure some of you might not have seen anything wrong in the following article, because perhaps you believe more easily in the reality of growing markets (and expanding technology that can “brighten” your eyes). But this is an article from the Onion Newspaper, a fake newspaper solely written for entertainment (a headline from the homepage: ‘Little League World Series Player Ejected For Arguing With Umpire About 'Avatar: The Last Airbender’). It’s hard to believe such headlines aren’t within our reality because of how realistically stupid they are. Maybe we want them to be true, such as how we feel about a good book’s dive into funky territory.

There are authors/directors who weren’t able to pull off the ploy (such as that movie where the Transformers kid goes jungle-swinging with the monkeys), and it is necessary to learn how they wrote wrong. Whether it is the character, the action, the setting, the dialog… there are many reasons why one scene can crumble under the weight of reality.


Rather than writing a scene dealing with the suspension of belief (too easy of an assignment), I would like to see everyone attempt at the most ridiculous scene you can think of. What comes to my mind is a roadrunner and coyote, when the coyote builds an AMCO electric-ski unit, then “flies” toward a canyon and misses the bird. Of course, he falls into the canyon and lives to go after the bird another day (reincarnation in the umpteenth degree).

Guidelines: Make it ridiculous. Bend reality until it becomes the most ridiculous piece you’ve ever written. I want you to write a “Shia Swings With the Monkeys” scene, where by the end, the reader is completely disgusted with what the author has written. You can use 50 words (minimum) up to 500 words (maximum). It can be humor, horror, romance; whatever your mind craves. And, one last rule: the story must deal with an animal, like the Looney Tunes video I put up before. There can be humans, but the main character must be an animal.

Next Lesson


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Posted 3 Years Ago

Hello dear how are you ? i am miss Pamela , by name i saw your profile at www.writerscafe.org and was move to contact you, please contact me back in my email (pamela_life90@yahoo.co.uk ) for me to tell you more about me or you can send me your private email for me to send you mail on it and tell you my reason i contact you, am waiting for your email to my email
(pamela_life90@yahoo.co.uk )

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Posted 6 Years Ago

Well this sounds fun; nice way to start the course. Kinda knew it would be something like this after watching the video. I'm looking forward to reading other people's scenes. *puts on thinking cap*
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Added on September 4, 2010
Last Updated on September 4, 2010

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8/24 - I'm not going to critique another poem on this site unless it blows my mind.