Friday, September 28, 2007

Plausible Plots

Well, things aren’t exactly popping since The Ride went ‘red.’ In fact, I can’t tell any difference other than the title appears in red on the ArcheBooks ( production list. I didn’t know what to expect but I’d hoped for some sort of immediate action by my editor. Now, I can’t help but wonder if silence is a good sign, a bad sign or means nothing at all.

The timing seems a bit bizarre, but the book I was reading this week, Stephen King’s, Lisey’s Story, had a scene about editors I really loved (and found rather ironic coming from the master of ‘taking the completely impossible and making it totally believable’). I think I can talk about it without giving the plot away for those of you who haven’t read the book yet.

It’s the part where Lisey’s thinking about her husband, Scott, a famous writer, when he’s lamenting the remark from his editor—“…plot creaks a bit here…” Meaning the editor didn’t find it plausible.

Scott ranted about the amazing true stories appearing everyday in newspapers, such as the one where a dog found its way back to Oregon three years after his owners lost him while on vacation in Florida, or a little girl emerging alive after six days trapped in a well in Texas. Such things would not be accepted as ‘reality’ in a novel and because of this, Scott says “…novelists labor under tremendous handicaps.”

And it is true, in a fiction setting, these scenarios would be shot down by an editor as too far a stretch, not likely to happen, and so on. In other words, fiction has to be believable where facts suffer no such constraints. Or, as Mark Twain put it, “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't.”

I truly hope my editor doesn’t tell me my plot creaks.

Veering off the subject a bit, I just have to say when I picture Lisey’s husband, Scott, he looks and sounds a whole lot like Stephen King. Is that planned, coincidence or just me? Or, is this book actually a creative autobiography? (Yes, I know I did a whole blog on fiction is fiction and has nothing to do with a writer’s life—but, hmmm…I just might have to change my mind.)

Thanks for stopping by. See you next Friday.

Jane Kennedy Sutton
Author of The Ride (to be released by ArcheBooks Publishing)

Tags: The Ride, Archebooks, Stephen King, Lisey’s Story, Mark Twain , truth is stranger than fiction

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Jane's Ride - Novelist Jane Kennedy Sutton's journey through the ups and downs of the writing, publishing and marketing world