Thursday, July 9, 2020

How do I love fiction? Let me count the ways.

(sword on display at Château de Chambord)

There’s a ton of fictional aspects that don’t work in reality. But where’s the fun in that?! 

I appreciate the fictitious gems in books and on screen that make me suspend belief. I love when creatives take the mundane and fictionalize it. I’m a fictionist because I NEED fiction.

Why do I say I need fiction? Basically, to echo my post from last week, because fiction gives us hope that there’s more out there, that we’re part of something bigger than ourselves, that we’re capable of far more than we can imagine. And everyone needs hope. 

But back to our topic of the week which is: what’s your favorite bit of pop-culture fiction doesn’t work well in reality. Vivien Jackson beat me to this with her post yesterday (such a good top 10 list, go check it out!!), but here are a few of my favorite things that are better in fiction:

1. The ringing sword draw. You’ve heard it so many times you may believe it’s real. Though, in reality, a blade doesn’t shhhinnng when it slides free of its scabbard, unless you have one made out of metal and then you’ve got other issues. But a dramatic sword draw wouldn’t be…dramatic if there wasn’t a pure, metallic ring. Think Jon Snow drawing his sword against a mob of white walkers in Game of Thrones

2. When evil's defeated, their mountain/castle/spaceship blows up and becomes rubble. I really like this analogy to life as we’re constantly in a battle, internally or externally, for good to win out. It’s just not usually as epic as say Sauron’s eye exploding.

3. Implants. No. No, not those implants. The sci-fi implants that project a computer screen in front of the character’s face, the ones that open doors with the wave of a hand, the kind of implants that sometimes require the main character’s (MC) to eject a chip from within their body to provide evidence that will bring down the big baddies. You know…those implant

4. Capes. You know someone’s someone and that they mean business when they’re wearing a cape. And they always flow spectacularly in the wind, real or nonexistent. Think Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie in Thor Ragnarok.

5. The gadget save. Tweak as you see fit for sci-fi, mystery, thriller, horror, etc. But they’re all the same, the MC's in a fix and then their gadget-supplier shows up or sends them the perfect tool. Or, the MC’s smart enough to make the tool perfect…like in MacGyver and James Bond.

6. Televators. My then four year-old son said he wanted a televator: “You know, mom, one of those elevators that poofs you where you want to go.” My mind conjured a mix of Dr. Who’s TARDIS and Star Trek’s transporter, so number 5 is an homage to all of those futuristic re-locaters. 

7. The slow-mo first kiss. In my memory, my first kiss with my husband happened in slow motion as the crickets sang around us and the moonlight sparkled on the bench. And I love how fiction can recreate the lightening jolt of the perfect, first kiss and even amplifies it with rain/music/the impossibly suddenly empty room, etc. 

8. Damage Control. I love how the MC’s car can scrape the side fo a building, be shot up, make a jump over a parted lift-bridge, and still slide into a parking spot. Same for spaceships. The Millennium Falcon’s taken on more hits and lost more pieces than any car could ever dream! 

9. Dragons.

10. I have to do it…I just have to. I have to list running in high heels as number Ten. It’s incredibly difficult to pull off in real life, trust me, I’ve done it, and it’s dang near impossible to make it appear as if you’re sprinting in tennis shoes.

There you have it. Ten reasons I love fiction for its unrealisticness! What’s one of yours?

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