Someone very smart just articulated something I needed to hear. In the context of writing fiction, specifically, world-building, there’s a need to embrace the logical, but move away from the expected. For instance, if your novel is placed along a river, in a very dry climate, there would be trees there, or if not trees, an explanation of what happened to them. Logical, both in nature, and in the context of the world being created. But when a writer is deciding which of two characters named Anton (“Anton the Elder” and “Anton the Younger”) should quit a carnival due to fickle working conditions, the expected would be the younger leaving. Youth has more energy and less patience, right? But why can’t Anton the Elder leave?
So I decided he did leave. In my world, age has more wisdom and less capacity for bullsh*t.
3 thoughts on “The logical vs. the expected”
Maybe this is why I have always loved good science fiction. A good science fiction writer deals with the logical known science and then expands on it, creating a world that is unique and unexpected.
Flannery O’Connor had some things to say about this, too, the importance of grounding “fantastic” stories in a certain kind of reality. I think it really does orient the reader, even if it’s a really weird world being created, to have some reality, even reality the writer creates. The point is being confident and consistent, I think. I blogged from another angle about what I think we’re talking about here: