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Michelle's Musings

You Can Make this Stuff Up

In this climate of conspiracy theories and alternative facts, the line between reality and surrealism can become blurred at times, which is often the case in magical realism writing.


Magical realism differs from fantasy in that the latter contains a unique, fantastical environment or world in which its characters exist. Magical realism, on the other hand, drops a fantastical element into the midst of an otherwise ordinary, real world. A successful magical realism writer must coax her readers into suspending disbelief so that the story doesn't seem silly.


Some authors open their stories with a magical element to ground the reader in the genre up front. I'm more a fan of the gradual introduction of magic. For me, that makes the "twist" even more intriguing when it first appears. I'm hooked when I'm given pause to ponder whether what I just read is what the author intended me to understand. I'm motivated to keep reading to see how this bit of intrigue will play out. Either way, I find the genre enthralling.


In recent months, I've repeatedly heard, "You can't make this stuff up." I imagine there are lots of Hollywood scriptwriters and producers foaming at the mouth about plotlines and miniseries with themes based in our current political environment. While those headlines don't necessarily implicate magic, there is a sense of surrealism from time to time that might stir the creative mind to consider, What if?