suspended disbelief


Ann Clare Le Zotte reviews Brian Selznick’s Wonderstruck:

“The facial expressions in Selznick’s peerless illustrations are cues (as they are in real life) for the d/Deaf to understand context. Rose’s eyes are translucent pools, absorbing the stress around her, and reflecting her hopes and fears. There is a memorable two-page profile of Lillian Mayhew in stage costume; her anger and the rejection of her daughter are written cruelly on her face.Wonderstruck is such a beautiful story that one can suspend disbelief with minor issues.”

Read the full review at Disability in Kidlit.

Superman hanger, designed by Roman Ficek of Comunistar.

Designer Roman Ficek created this Superman hanger as a conceptual storage piece, allowing civilians to add a subtle superheroic touch to their closet. Unfortunately, the Superman hanger appeared to be available in limited qualities per request, circa 2007.

Perhaps DC Comics will take a cue from Ficek for potential merchandise ideas in 2012?

One of my favorite phrases my Creative Writing professor had for when you’re writing fantasy is ‘giving your story a Flux Capacitor’.

Because it’s not real, it doesn’t exist. But the way it’s thrown into Back to the Future, at no point does it throw the audience off or suspend any more disbelief than time travel would. You believe Doc when he says he created the Flux Capacitor - the thing that makes time travel possible, because the universe never questions him. 

So it essentially means like, there are going to be elements to your universe that are just not gonna make any sense, even if you set up a whole system based on it. And the only way to make it work is completely own it. You cannot second-guess your system or else the reader will too. You can give it the strangest explanation, but write it like you own it.  

honestly the thing I have the hardest time suspending my disbelief for in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that Steve and Bucky are not fucking.

 A guy shrinks down to the size of an ant and can communicate with them? Totally believable. Literal other world god that is thousands of years old and travels via rainbow? No problem. Dude manages to stay alive by performing what is basically open heart surgery on himself while being held in captivity in some actual hell hole, and somehow doesn’t die? Sure!

Bucky breaks through 70 years of brainwashing and disobeys a direct order from the man that has tortured him for god knows how long, because his ‘best friend’ recites a line that is basically a marriage vow, and i’m supposed to believe those two aren't head over heels for each other? Yeah right. 

This dominant narrative surrounding the inevitability of female objectification and victimhood is so powerful that it not only defines our concepts of reality but it even sets the parameters for how we think about entirely fictional worlds, even those taking place in the realms of fantasy and science fiction. It’s so normalized that when these elements are critiqued, the knee-jerk response I hear most often is that if these stories did not include the exploitation of women, then the game worlds would feel too “unrealistic” or “not historically accurate”. What does it say about our culture when games routinely bend or break the laws of physics and no one bats an eye? When dragons, ogres and magic are inserted into historically influenced settings without objection. We are perfectly willing to suspend our disbelief when it comes to multiple lives, superpowers, health regeneration and the ability to carry dozens of weapons and items in a massive invisible backpack. But somehow the idea of a world without sexual violence and exploitation is deemed too strange and too bizarre to be believable.
—  Tropes vs Women in Video Games, Women as Background Decoration: Part 2
… there will probably never exist a photo of Chelsea Manning, age 28, for the world to see. It made me sad, because she looks nothing like any of the photos of her on the Internet. She looked like a hero, brighter and stronger than in all my memories, radiant with a light that makes no sense.

Yan Zhu, on her recent visit with Chelsea Manning

She was wearing a brown prison uniform that was too big for her small frame and smiling ear-to-ear. Her hair was neatly combed in a short pixieish cut, no longer than the 2-inch maximum allowed by the prison. Despite everything, she looked even younger than I remembered, with glowing skin and large blue eyes framed by elegant cheekbones. We beamingly smiled at each other for several seconds, suspended in disbelief and joy.

I bring up her recent appeal to reduce her sentence from 35 years to 10 years, and she seems worried that it didn’t receive enough coverage in the press.

She hopes that the world hasn’t forgotten about her.

Chelsea Manning’s: Twitter; Medium blog; Legal Defense Fund
How to send her a letter

“My sister, Jewlyes Gutierrez, is a 16 year old teenager, who identifies as a transgender female. Her gender identity has caused her to be a victim of taunting, harassment, and bullying by her peers.  On November 13, 2013, Jewlyes defended herself against three girls who were tormenting and then physically attacked her. This was captured on video and you can see Jewlyes trying to run away. The students involved were suspended but to our disbelief, District Attorney Daniel Cabral then filed charges against Jewlyes for battery - she’s the only one charged.”

you can sign the petition here, we still need 36000+ signatures, please help a wrongly charged woman get out of this!

Real People vs. Characters

As a writer, one of your main jobs is to get your readers to believe in the illusion you’re creating in your story. Deep down, we know that characters aren’t real people, but we suspend our disbelief to really put ourselves inside a fictional world. While characters can also be layered and complex, there’s a big difference—they’re not real people.

Here are a few differences to consider when building your own characters:

Characters are simpler than real people

I know, I know. How can I say that your favorite character from your favorite book series isn’t as complex as your next door neighbor? You know a lot more about your favorite character because you’ve followed their ups and downs for like 5 books now.

But the truth is your next door neighbor has a very real and very complex life and they’ll always have more depth than any character in a fiction novel. Authors only tend to focus on certain traits of a character; ones that pertain to the story and help drive the novel forward. Adding a lot more detail could bog the story down and feel unnecessary. Like I said before, characters can be complex and layered, but we’re only experiencing a powerful illusion. This is actually helpful for writers because it helps manipulate your readers’ emotions depending on what story you’re trying to tell. You get to guide your characters and where they’re going.

You’re only sharing a slice of life

Most of the time when you’re writing about a character, you’re only sharing the most dramatic moments of their existence. There’s a reason you’re telling the story and it’s not just them living their normal day-to-day lives. There’s usually the stasis that moves on to the inciting incident that gets them away from what they’re used to. We all know that real life can be tedious and boring for the most part. I’m not saying nothing exciting happens to real people, but we do work and go to school and sleep every night…the boring parts are usually cut out of fiction (depending on your story)

Again, obviously this all depends on your story, but there’s usually some excitement that pops up in stories that doesn’t always happen to real people. We are reading about what’s most representative of your character’s life.

You never know exactly what real people are thinking

This is one of the biggest differences between characters and real people. In novels, if the writer chooses to do so, the innermost thoughts of characters can be revealed. In real life, it’s impossible for us to know what someone else is thinking. They might tell us, but we’ll never have that sort of deep insight we’d have in a work of fiction.

Use this to your advantage as a writer because it doesn’t happen in real life.  Share your protagonist’s thoughts if you think it will help develop your story.

-Kris Noel




Intros and conclusions are often the hardest part of essay writing! Worry not, because here I will give you some tips to start your best essay yet!

* it can be just a general idea as many people prefer to write the intro until the essay is done *

-          Start with a quote:

“The best novels should be sensational and realistic, both in the highest of levels” said Anthony Trollope. When we talk about Dickens’ novels……

-          Start with a question:

How many words does it take to know you’re talking to an adult? In “Peter Pan,” J. M. Barrie needed just five: “Do you believe in fairies?” Such belief requires magical thinking. Children suspend disbelief. They trust that events happen with no physical….. (Magic May Lurk Inside Us All by C. Nathan)

-          Start with a fact:

Our education system is in a state of crisis. Among developed countries, the United States is 55th in quality rankings of elementary math and science education, 20th in high school completion rate and 27th in the fraction of college students receiving undergraduate degrees in science or engineering. As a society, we….. (Death Knell for the Lecture: Technology as a Passport to Personalized Education by D. Coller)

-          Start with some historical background of your topic:

Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries Americans developed a unique system of government with revolutionary ideals – never seen anywhere else before. Americans adopted representative governments with democratic principles that allowed…. (American Identity and Unity from A.P. Study Notes)


Develop theme 1. Finish that idea and connect it with the next one and so on. Now is when all the previous research pays off  :D Pour all your knowledge here!!

E.g.: “….but we could not give all the credit to Fielding’s plot development if we do not discuss his ability to construct realistic characters. As Gerould expresses it:  ‘Tom Jones is great because it pictures real men and women, and because its craftmanship [sic] is marvelous’”…..

Here I connected plot development [theme 1] with character development [theme 2], I inserted a quote to validate my opinion and I started to write about Fielding’s characters.


Ask yourself What is the point of all this? Why did I just wrote all the above? Basically, writing the conclusion is your ‘get to the point’ moment.

Here you should make a summary of everything you have written, mention every point you addressed in your essay with a final thought upon it. E.g.

In conclusion with (THEME 1) we can understand that ……. And with (THEME 2) the relevance of (YOUR TOPIC) is seen with a different perspective. However (THEME 3) shows that (YOUR TOPIC) is still a field that needs more analysis/investigation/understanding) but with the coming years we might hopefully find and answer to this. 

Super generic yet, somehow effective. In conclusion: SUMARIZE EVERYTHING and say goodbye. (see, that is the conclusion of the conclusion section on this post. Not so hard, right?)

Hope this helps!
6 Ways to Make SciFi and Fantasy Weapons More Believable
Ever read a fantasy book or watched a science fiction movie and struggled to suspend your disbelief due to the total lack of reality in some make believe weapons? Here’s advice for people writing this stuff on how to get guns and lasers and bow and wands right.
By Benjamin Sobieck

Ever read a fantasy book or watched a science fiction movie and struggled to suspend your disbelief due to the total lack of reality in some make believe weapons?  Here’s advice for people writing this stuff on how to get guns and lasers and bow and wands right.

When it comes to real-world weapons in fiction, I can talk all day about how the history of 1911 pistols, snubnose revolvers, switchblades and AR-15s can impact the story.  But it’s a little different when the weapons exist only in the imagination.

However, fantasy and steampunk weapons share much more in common with their real-world counterparts than it seems.  Here are six tips that transcend reality.

Useful stuff in the comments section, too.

Suspension of disbelief in video games and an easy step towards feminism

Pretty much from the get-go, video games have asked us to suspend our disbelief over what the hero can do. From Mario being able to standing jump many times his own height, to Guybrush Threepwood being able to fit an entire dog in his pants without anyone noticing (that happens, no joke), to the cops suddenly forgetting that you murdered a city if you make it back to your apartment in GTA. It’s part of what makes the game a game. Being able to bend the rules a little (or a lot) makes it fun. We use art and entertainment to escape reality (or at least circumvent it). Appropriate amounts of suspended disbelief are part of the experience. See also: movies, TV, comic books, novels, fan fiction, etc.

In gaming, the most common suspension of disbelief is the skill/luck of the hero, particularly in fighting games. The IRL record number of direct kills by one person for the entire human race is 505 (from a Finnish Sniper in WWII), and this largely because the Russians had some really bad tactics at the start of that war. In video game terms, it’s one level of Left 4 Dead. In most combat-oriented games, the protagonist defeats or kills a small army of enemies, often with little more training than his opponents should have (and sometimes less). Look at FarCry 3. You go from spoiled, rich-kid crybaby to killing two islands worth of armed mercenaries (and several tigers and sharks) in a matter of days. And we didn’t flip out about it because, hey, it was fun.

And on the defensive side, how many bullet wounds do our favorite heroes shake off? 10? 20? 50? Hundreds? In real life, shaking off one bullet is a big deal. You might even be able to survive 20 with proper medical care, assuming none of the shots are instantly fatal. But you certainly can’t get a shot a bunch, walk past a first aid kit, and then get shot some more. We accept that our heroes can take abnormally high abuse (or recover quickly) because otherwise the game stops being fun. We WANT to suspend our disbelief so we can escape from the hard realities of real life.

And yet, when it comes to female characters, there’s still a “girls-are-too-weak-to-do-that” mentality. There’s virtually no roof on how over-the-top male driven heroics can be, but the roof on female characters seems to be “average man” (without resorting to magic). There are exceptions of course (generally with empty-vessel characters like the Dovahkiin), but normally we don’t see female protagonists who “just happen to be tougher than everyone else”. There’s an undercurrent of disbelief about “why is this woman a better fighter than the average man” that’s stronger than “why is man a better fighter than every single other man he encounters”, as if the gap between woman and man is somehow greater than the gap between man and God. And it grossly limits our imaginations in terms of telling great stories (as well as reinforcing video game sexism).

When we started designing Aberford, even we had to ask ourselves “How do we make it believable that these 50s housewives are fighting these zombies?”. We knew that if we didn’t give them some edge, the game would catch flak for being “unrealistic”. (For balance, we also give any of the male characters who survive the first three chapters an edge as well). So we made Peggy more athletic, Doris stronger, Betty more skilled, and Sylvia more ruthless than an average person, giving them a reason to be able to do all the heroics Aberford calls for.

But we really shouldn’t have needed to. Very modest amounts of research will reveal that a ‘50s housewife is a serious customer, far more serious than most of the jokers who survive in your typical zombie fare. From the growing up during the hard years of the depression and WWII, to the inordinately physical nature of pre-appliance housework, the average ‘50s housewife in her prime could have soundly beaten any of us without breaking a sweat. (And I KNOW you all think you’d survive a zombie apocalypse with flying colors).

In the interest of both equality and accuracy, the main thing that gets people killed/zombified in Aberford isn’t a physical inability to fight a zombie one-on-one. It’s actually the mental barrier, the hesitation, the aversion to hurting someone. The zombies look like people (and not corpses), so most of the characters are reluctant to really cut loose. Or they’ve been ingrained from childhood that they can’t fight back (as is the case with oppressed people). And when you’re attacked by fast, vicious zombies, that split second delay will be the death of you. So our heroines are all women who know they can fight back and do. And that’s their biggest edge. If oppression is about making people believe they can’t do something, empowerment is about making people believe that they can.

Gender equality in game design only takes a willingness to suspend our disbelief for female characters as much as we are for male characters. Feminism in game design is that short, easy step to realizing it’s currently not how things are and that we should be doing something about it.


You’re trying so hard to be an artist and craft something and create an audience that appreciates your work in the same way as a director or a writer, or whatever it is. That’s what you’re still doing as an actor, is hoping that people will want to suspend their disbelief with you. You’re creating a relationship. And it can be thrown away because someone takes a bad paparazzi photo. It’s so dismissive and disrespectful but it’s a reality. There’s nothing you can do.



Since the AU is set in the 1970s/80s @bitterbrokenbones and I wanted to have Rhys’ arm look like it fit into the universe more than his canon robo-arm in the games so we created two variations! The earlier 70s version is much more simplistic and requires a harness, the 80s one he gets later after becoming Atlas CEO so it’s all decked out with the best the 80s sci-fi aesthetic can offer.


Finrod crossing the Helcaraxë

Fighting a mild form of art block with something quick and dirty, aka Findarato crossing the ice (He hasn’t got a hat or a hood, I hear you cry. You would be right, please suspend your disbelief for the sake of DRAMA and hair snapping in the wind.

The crossing is a theme that I find deeply interesting, and I hadn’t painted Finrod before, so here we go <:

Hope you like it (: