The phrase “blind as a bat” is apropos for this crazy photo I captured near our cattle gate. The saying is actually a misnomer, since nearly all bats have relatively good eyesight. Even with eyes, they rely primarily on their sonar system (echolocation) to navigate in the dark (and catch their dinner). Their movements are so precise, they’re said to be able to avoid objects no wider than a piece of thread.
As such, I can’t quite explain how this happened:
For Writers: Does your novel suspend disbelief in any way or defy conventional wisdom, like my bat photo? What would happen if you put a character in an uncharacteristic setting? Gave him or her an unexpected outcome? Keeping a reader engaged and surprised can help add suspense, but there is a fine line (piece of thread?) to heed. Oftentimes reality (“it really happened”) is too difficult for a reader to digest.
Per Janet Burroway in Writing Fiction: “Young writers, offended by being told that a piece is unconvincing, often defend themselves by declaring that it really happened.” But credibility in words, she says, has almost nothing to do with fact.
Lesson learned? Sometimes reality is too absurd, too fantastical to translate to good fiction. But other times … other times you just may get away with manipulating a reader’s sense of reality by using the truth. Impaled bats included.