Monday, July 23, 2012

Stranger Truth

Mark Twain is often attributed the quote "It's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense."
I thought of this last night as we watched one of the final episodes of Kyle XY and Kyle did something that was shockingly out of character. We've come to know his personality and this action immediately caused both of us to sit up and say (at the same time) "Kyle wouldn't do that."
{Aside: Darling and I pick completed series and watch them all at once on Netflix. We are almost finished with Kyle XY. It's a fun show with superheroes. No, really. What would you call Kyle and Jessi? They have super-hearing, super-vision, super-strength, telekinetic mental abilities and they are super smart. And though they can't fly, they can levitate themselves. So - superheroes!}
Fiction has to make sense if it is going to work. The minute you put something into your story that doesn't fit, that violates the world you created, you've lost the reader.
Unless you have a good reason and can reconcile the problem. Superman was evil because of polluted Kryptonite (in the movie). Kyle did have a good reason, so they didn't lose us. We felt momentarily betrayed by the change in his behavior, but it was intentional on the part of the writer(s). 
We're almost finished with Kyle XY and then we will move on to another cancelled series. We watch them until we finish them or grow tired of them. For instance, we watched only the first two of the three seasons of the 1999 series Roswell; Season 3 just didn't capture our imaginations. I also only watched the first two seasons of the 2006 series Robin Hood, but couldn't get into the third season after they /spoiler/ killed Marian.
We've seen all of Firefly, of course, as well as all the episodes of The Adventures of Briscoe County Jr. but that's not the same since I own those two series on DVD.
So when I am reading my cousin's newspaper from a small town in Mississippi I have to smile at one of the paragraphs in the section of Police Reports.
"A man reported his ex-girlfriend came to his residence and knocked out both passenger side windows on his car. He said she is mad, because she has seen him at his wife's house."
That paragraph is funny to me (and sad). A good fiction writer wouldn't be able to get away with that in a story because it isn't very believable.
A great fiction writer might, but maybe not. Truth is often stranger than fiction. Sometimes it just doesn't make sense.

1 comment:

  1. I did read this one, but didn't comment. :P

    I wish I could muster more will to watch the remaining Kyle XY episodes, but sadly, I don't think I care - so you should feel completely guilt-free about spoiling them for me. ^.^ (Please?)

    Shame about the whole canceled-series thing...it would be good if YouTube eventually became an outlet for canceled series. Wouldn't that be a strategic move? Cancel a series, let the fan base simmer for one or two years, then start a YouTube series with requests for donations. BING! Instant profit.

    However, I guess if you've been deprived of shooting space, etc., it's hard to make a profit...

    Sorry. Going on tangents. :P Next post!

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