The other day, as part of a creative writing assignment, my kids were working on a skit. A condition of this skit was that it had to include: the Statue of Liberty, a supermarket, and a duck. It went like this:
1. We are customers in a supermarket. Of course, I said. That's how I'd begin the story, too, if I had to write it.
2. The Statue of Liberty is attacking the supermarket. Yikes! I said. Good story! And then what happens?
3. But it's okay, because mighty SuperDuck is here. Yay! Good story!
4. And now, it's raining squirrels. It's...? What....?
What do flying squirrels have to do with it?I asked. It doesn't make sense, I said. Actually, I whined.
They rolled their eyes. It's the Statue of Liberty, a duck, and a supermarket, they reminded me. None of it makes sense.
Oh, yes, it does, I insisted. Or at least it did, until the flying squirrels showed up. That's where you lost me!
I tried to explain the internal order of fiction.
I told them that the new story element was so random in the context of the story that they were building, that as an audience I was no longer willing to suspend my disbelief.
I am certain they thought I was off on a crazy rant.
Well, they wrote a different ending to the story, but I know it was only to humor me.
Fiction writers, beware! Especially writers of fantasy and science fiction. If it rains squirrels in your story, that's your business, but there had better be some sense to it all.