Logic In Fiction

In fiction, one thing that must be present is a strong logic.  That’s not a problem for many, who don’t venture beyond normal human activities in normal circumstances.  For those who go beyond our reality, however, the question of applied logic becomes critical.  A tale can’t work if its internal logic doesn’t work.  That said, the logic in our tales doesn’t have to be the same as in the real world.  It doesn’t even have to be the same from tale to tale, if they are unrelated.

If we populate our worlds with things that defy reality, such as vampires and werewolves, their existence must be made both natural and logical.  We might not explain how such creatures can exist, but we do have to have a system that constrains them.  In fantasy works, the created world and what may be done there must adhere to an internal logic that is unbreakable.  The Universe, even an invented one, obeys a definite rule.  For every action, there must be an equal and opposite reaction.  Magic cannot be employed without consequences.  Beings we create must have evolved to their present form.

Everything is held together in any story only by a logical system.  If we start ignoring that fact, we enter a kind of chaotic existence that most readers will find not only difficult to read, but basically incomprehensible.  We may borrow from Dali or Roger Dean, but once we do so, the story must adhere to their vision of a different reality.

All that said, a story can have two, or more, universes, where the systems of logic vary.  Our human world will be ruled by the logic we know, but our characters can pass into, say, Faerie, and be ruled by a different logic.  Reality, for our characters, can be very different to our own version.  More, it can be flexible if our universe is multidimensional.  But, each dimension must have its own internal logic.

Do you need to explain a different logical system?  Generally, it’s a good idea to do so, if you have the space.  That can be difficult in a very short story, but anything of reasonable length can have the fundamentals, at least, explained.  Not explaining it could make it difficult for readers to figure it out.  You don’t have to write a weighty thesis on the logic employed, though!  It suffices to mention, at convenient times during the story, how the logic applies.  If there’s one thing worse than confusing your readers, it’s boring them!

~ Steve

This entry was posted in general, Steve K Smy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , by Steve. Bookmark the permalink.

About Steve

An author since the age of 13 years, writing again dominates my activities. My "Imagineer-ing" blog is my primary site. Also: Beginner knitter since November 2010. Favourite knitting techniques: cable and lace. Beginner cross stitcher. Beginner jewellery maker. With the promotion of self publication and all the other work that has been going on here, Dad decided around 2am this morning (22/11/2013) that it was time to begin his next adventure. He was seen off earlier the previous evening by myself, my brother, my sister in law, and my sister, as well as his wife (our mum), and an enigmatic being known only as A Lorraine. After this time of story telling, laughing, crying, joking and mickey taking, we saw how tired both mum and dad were, and we decided to leave them under the (sometimes) gentle care of The Lorraine. When Dad found the timetable for his travels, he let Mum know gently, which woke her from her drowsing, then, with the same gentleness he showed in this universe, he boarded his favourite mode of transport, the Interdimensional Steam Train, and set off with a smile and a wave. For those of us closest, that smile was a reminder that his pain has ended, and the wave, an indicator that he will pop in to all those that knew him, from time to time. Usually at the most inconvenient and in opportune moments he can. While we are sad that he is no longer here, we are happy he now has no pain, and is experiencing more extraordinary things that his writers mind will be frantically weaving into a new story. Posted by Son Damien

Please leave your comment(s)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s