If you’ve read my first book, Long Time Coming, you probably remember what happened to the character Eddie at the end (spoiler alert if you haven’t read it yet). After finishing the book, one of my friends sent me the following text: “Thanks for killing Eddie.” My response was: “He had to go.”
I was thrilled she believed so much in the character Eddie she wanted him gone. That is called “suspension of disbelief.” It means the fiction writer has convinced the reader to put aside their doubt or skepticism in order to accept as believable events or characters, purely for the sake of enjoyment.
You know those times when you are so immersed in a book, hours pass before you realize it, and you find yourself staying up too late or skipping your household tasks or, and this is a big one for me, you stop snacking and simply read? You are hooked on the narrative and have suspended your disbelief, and, for any writer, when it happens, it’s a good thing.