Suspension of disbelief

I’m hoping I’ll have reasonable internet reception this week. It’s been lousy for a while. Saturday I had a weak hour then nothing. There were several times where I went to fact check and couldn’t. That’s frustrating. I’m finishing a historical now. I need facts! I constantly hunt down facts and check dates on common words the entire time I’m writing. You have to be careful with colloquial speak. Just because we say something now doesn’t mean it was said in the 1870s. It jars the brain to see it.

Writing fiction with any degree of finesse requires the suspension of disbelief.  In historicals, suspending disbelief allows the reader to be transported to that time.  Take a story with paranormal elements. The best are those with enough truth woven in that the unlikely or downright preposterous seem perfectly plausible. I suppose that’s one reason I enjoy writing paranormal/fantasy elements. I like the challenge of suspending disbelief.

We see this all the time in movies. Picture a WWII story set in Nazi Germany. All the German actors have British accents and we’re good with it. For Americans, there’s just enough “other” quality to it. This allows us to suspend our disbelief long enough to imagine we’re in Germany. My blog day at Romance Books ‘4’ Us is coming on October 4th. I just may expand this thought.

Back in 1992 I went to see the movie The Last of the Mohicans. It was a visually spectacular rendition of the James Fenimore Cooper tale. For me there were two takeaways from the film — the first was an intense kiss that kissed my mind to see. I consider it one of the best kisses in film history.  Take a peek.

The second takeaway was a jarring bit of screenwriter lapse. Sadly I couldn’t find a bit on youtube to show here.

In a nutshell, there’s a point in The Last of the Mohicans’ story where the main character Hawkeye arrives at the fort with the commanding officer’s two daughters he rescued from an Indian attack. One of the chief officers says something disparaging out of jealousy and Hawkeye turns to him and says something like this, “One of these days mister, you and I are going to have a serious disagreement.”

No big deal, right? It is. The phrase doesn’t fit the time period of 1757. Picture those exact words coming from Robert DeNiro with a strong New Jersey accent. Picture them coming from Al Pacino in a movie like The Godfather. Picture them coming from John Wayne at the Alamo.  See what I mean? Once you hear John Wayne say it, it can’t be unheard. lol

Twenty-two years later and my brain was jarred enough to recall those out of place words.  But oh that kiss…



For 100 days, I’ll post something from my chosen topic: Clichés.
There are 28 entries to come.

Here’s a cliché for today:
Seeing is believing.


4 Us iconToday is Author Sandra K. Marshall’s blog day.

Romance Books ‘4’ Us ~ Watch for the October contest!


My recent projects~

murderTasteful Murders

Bake, Love, Write: 105 Authors Share Dessert indexRecipes and Advice on Love and Writing
In paperback and ebook. The e-version of our cookbook is sold everywhere for 99⊄. See My Other Projects page above for links to various formats.

I’m also participating in Fall Into Romance — a month-long event hosted by The Romance Reviews. Hundreds of authors and industry people are participating and that means hundreds of prizes. Find my bit on my satellite blog:


avatar-purple<– This is not a lag. It’s a statement. Learn how you can help stop the pending internet takeover by these heavy-hitting, well-funded Washington lobbyists. The FCC is taking comments now and wants to know what YOU think.  Learn what’s at stake and how you can give your opinion to the FCC.


all7books-smallLove Waits in Unexpected Places – Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories

Find my novels wherever books are sold.
Sample my love stories for free!



About ~RoseAnderson

Rose Anderson is an award-winning author and dilettante who loves great conversation and delights in discovering interesting things to weave into stories. Rose also writes under the pen name Madeline Archer.
This entry was posted in Past Posts - you'll never know what you'll find and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Suspension of disbelief

  1. treknray says:

    I am going to have to watch that kiss later with no glare on the screen. It comes out so dark I can barely see it. I have seen the movie several times and really like it.

    Your mention of the use of modern words in a historical makes me think of another phraseology that gets me. It is when someone uses a famous line out of an old movie in a new program. Last night on NCIS LA one of the two trapped agents in a submarine says something from a classic old movie. Right now I am having low blood pressure and don’t have the energy to watch the show again, but I recognized it immediately. I know in a scripted program you can’t give attribution, but you could just not use the cliche.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s