photo by Jennifer Johnson
EXCERPT from "Blurring the Line: How Reality Helps Build Better Fiction" by Scott A. Johnson in Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction
No matter your genre, your story needs to have a few elements of truth. But wait, you say. My story is fiction, not historical, biographical, or any of a hundred other genres that require accurate and scientific explanation. True, but in every genre, for every fantastic idea, in each realm of fantasy, there must be some mote of truth, some element that helps the reader suspend their disbelief. Physical laws must be obeyed, sure, but more than that, we have to do our best to put the reader into the story and make them feel like they are a part of it. It is therefore part of your job as a writer to blur the lines between fantasy and reality.
Scott A. Johnson is the author of seven novels and three books of true ghost stories. His latest novel, Vermin: Book One of the Stanley Cooper Chronicles, was released in August of 2010. He serves as the Paranormal Studies Editor for Dread Central, and is a member of the Horror Writers Association and the International Thriller Writers. Scott also teaches in Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction MFA program. When he's not writing, he hunts ghosts, teaches Kajukenbo, and spends as much time as possible with his wife and two daughters. He currently resides near Austin, Texas. For more information, check out http://www.americanhorrorwriter.net.