Being believable


It was a coming of age story.

My eyes usually roll back in my head when I hear that, and this was no different. The author was someone I knew and he was writing about people I knew.

Sort of.

He changed their names a bit and some of the details but the Priest in his book named Patrick Fitzgerald was a thinly disguised version of campus chaplain Gerald Fitzpatrick.

The hardest one to swallow was the protagonist himself. Actually in the book the protagonist was a female but it was clearly based on the author’s life when he was a younger man. This was a change that that stretched the limit way too much.

The inner dialog just didn’t work.

Kim, who typed up the novel for the author, kept telling him gently that a young woman just wouldn’t think or say the things that this young woman was saying and thinking. The author would quietly protest “but I did think and say those things”. And he had.

It doesn’t matter.

Just because something happened doesn’t mean that it’s believable. It might have happened and be believable or not and it might not have happened and be believable or not. It doesn’t matter.

The story must first and last be believable.