Motivation for Writing Message Stories

Samuel Taylor Coleridge mentioned the “willing suspension of disbelief” that readers bring to a well-told fantastic tale, inducing them to believe the unbelievable.  Now, it is a commonplace that the reader can be counted on to enter a fictional story ready to accept an initial situation if everything afterwards is sensibly connected to the initial assumption.

Boy flying by standing on bees

By Egon b – Own work, CC BY 3.0,

Since readers of blogging posts never grant the “willing suspension of disbelief,” they never experience the force of the logical consequences of a presumption they don’t start from.  Very rarely do they change their attitude.

This is a reason to cast some blogging posts as fictional narratives with characters who experience emotion. That is the only way by which people who don’t share your presumptions—whether political, religious, or social—will ever see and feel the emotional reaction to reality as the blog writer imagines it.

I am aware that a methodical application of converting advocate posts to stories runs the not insignificant risk of polemic stories—stories that don’t meet the demands of good literature. That is, they may lack believable situations, characters who are one-dimensional, and story logic that is forced to a pre-determined conclusion.

If these flaws can be avoided, an effective story will result.


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