The Chaos of Balance–Kenneth Kao

A man searching for a balanced life has many stories.

Writing with Accuracy vs Story

So as a doctor and a writer and tracuer, I run into a situation quite frequently: I write something that’s technically correct, but people don’t believe it.  Often, it’s something that barely fits into the rules of possible, even if unlikely.  Or sometimes it’s straight up true, but modern misconceptions don’t allow it to make sense in a reader’s head.

for instance, when you’re really really damaged physically, you don’t hurt after a short while.  Endorphines flood the system—you can’t necessarily feel anything!  But complaints abound when you don’t show enough pain for severe trauma.

Each time, I have to decide to keep it or get rid of it.  Sometimes it’s critical to the story.  Sometimes it isn’t and I’m blown away that someone COULDN’T get it.

ie.  I had someone tell me that they didn’t believe that my character could smile at someone in the middle of a backflip.  I’ve done it in real life.  And in the story, the character even had powers that made it easier.

It’s always a hard choice.  Most often I want to tell my reader that they should do some research before judging.  Sometimes, it’s a matter of what’s possible in the reader’s mind(some people can’t conceive that a standing backflip is even possible believe it or not).

I feel like propagating misinformation is wrong.  But then there’s that OTHER situation, where I KNOW something is wrong on a technical level, but no one but me or some other doctor would catch it.  So do I keep it?  Or do I stress about cranial nerves vs spinal nerves being affected by something located in the brain stem?

This may seem like little stuff.  But it really isn’t and I wish I had an easy answer.

Well, maybe I do.  Whatever creates the best story is the right answer.  And screw it if someone comes complaining.  At least I did it intentionally.


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This entry was posted on August 16, 2012 by in Writing and tagged , , , , , .
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