What Makes a Story Believable & How Much Should Authors Worry about It? — H. L. Wegley

Today I’m excited to welcome Harry Wegley as he talks about his latest book.

What makes a story believable to one reader and not to another? This subject troubled me for a while, especially since I write stories about everyday things like intense action, thriller-level stakes, and high-IQ characters. But, regarding readers’ believability, I see a pattern emerging.

In my newest release, No Safe Place, one of my main characters has a real-world counterpart who inspired part of the story. Parts of the plot come from my life experiences, the rest from careful research.

As reviews trickled in, I compared them to my earlier books. The story elements that were real, i.e. based on real-world events and people, were the parts most questioned by dubious readers.

That seemed counterintuitive until I realized some readers were never fortunate/misfortunate to have my experiences. Though I came from a hard-working, blue-collar family where we sometimes struggled to make ends meet, I was privileged to live out many of the adventures and some of the exploits I’ve incorporated into my stories. This includes athletic accomplishments, using guns, making explosives, blowing things up, and other activities to insane to mention. It includes finding love that would last a lifetime after spending only a few hours with someone. Believable? It was to me.

But some readers will never relate to what I write. And that’s okay. They may not enjoy all my stories.

My advice to readers, when tempted to disbelieve what you’re reading, remember that the author’s normal may be your extreme in accomplishments and failures, in exploits and exploitation, and in abilities and disabilities.

For authors, write what you know and diligently research what you don’t know. Let the chips of perceived realism fall where they may. But keep in mind that fiction is not realism. It simply maintains that façade to entertain and, sometimes, to teach life lessons.

To those who have read No Safe Place, get ready. In July, No True Justice amps up the action. The stakes go much higher and a pair of four-year-old twins with off-the-scale IQs attempt to con the bad guys.

About No Safe Place

No Safe Place tells the story of a young man returning from the far country, trying to regain his honor, and a young woman with a heart broken by her parents’ rejection because of her newfound faith. Each has what the other needs, but will the assassin who put them on his hit list give them enough time to discover that? It’s a new take on the prodigal story that races from the beaches of the Olympic National Park to the beauty of Lake Chelan in Central Washington State, a story of courage, honor, faith, forgiveness, and love.

No Safe Place on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2vjZ42C



About Harry:

H. L. Wegley served as an Air Force Intelligence Analyst and a Weather Officer. In civilian life, he worked as a research scientist, publishing in the scientific literature, then developed Boeing computing systems for twenty years before he and his wife retired near Seattle. He is an award-winning author of inspirational thrillers and high-action romantic-suspense novels.

H. L. Wegley on the Web:

Website: http://www.hlwegley.com

Twitter https://twitter.com/hlwegley

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/H.-L.-Wegley/e/B00B1XMR56

FB Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/HLWegley/


2 thoughts on “What Makes a Story Believable & How Much Should Authors Worry about It? — H. L. Wegley

  1. Leann, thank you for inviting Harry to your blog today! Harry, good to see you here! I enjoyed the blog and yes, I know exactly what you are talking about with the believability issue. if i ever tried to put into a book some of the things i saw during my career as a psych nurse – well, I’d probably encounter some harsh reviews!

    • Hi, Patti! I’ll bet you did see some strange things. Sometimes it can get a little frustrating when a reader criticizes a story because the main character did something that I did without thinking much about it. Of course, that was a “few” years ago and a few pounds ago. 🙂

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