S35E4 – One Impossible Thing in Fiction

It’s no secret that people turn to books to find an escape from the reality of the world. It’s why fantasy and science fiction are so popular. Even books outside those genres often include one impossible thing which the readers simply accept as being part of the tale. That acceptance, however, is limited. If you begin to include to many unrelated impossible things, readers start to look elsewhere for an escape.

This red flag is more than just having a story set in a fictional world fictional elements. It’s like including fae and Marvel-esque superpowers and space battles and whatever other one you want. If you have to spend too much time explaining why they all belong in the same story, you’re probably including too many shiny ideas. Instead, pick one. A single cornerstone impossible idea, then build the rest of your world from that. Listen to this episode for more suggestions on how to make the impossible things in your story cohesive, rather than a red flag to turn away readers.

First aired September 12, 2022.

About the Author
I'm an editor and cover designer for AspenHouse Publishing. I am also a host for AspenHouse's poscast, Writing Roots.

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