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The Unlikely: How Writers Make Readers Believe the Impossible

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The Unlikely: How Writers make Readers Believe the Impossible

The human race has always been interested in the unknown and the supernatural. From stories of vampires, ghost, or any story of improbabilities, people seem to be drawn to their mystical aspects; some might even believe in them while others remain sceptical. Writers can make their audience believe their fables because it is hard to know for a fact that their story is true or not. But how does a writer go about making his or her story all the more true to life? Writers make us believe ghost stories by, although this seems simple it is essential, stating their work as being truthful. They will also need to add eyewitness accounts of reputable peers. Furthermore, by stating how and why their anomaly has come to be; as seen in the works, Oroonoko or The Royal Slave A True History by Aphra Behn, A True Relation of the Apparition of One Mrs. Veal the Next Day After Her Death to One Mrs. Bargrave at Canterbury the 8th of September, 1705 by Daniel Defoe, and The Craftsman No. 307 by Nicolas Armhurst.

The first and most essential element, which maybe the most evident, to persuade someone that your story is true, is to state the fable as fact. In Oroonoko and in the Apparition of Mrs. Veal, this is done even before the reader knows what to think of their writings, by integrating it into their title, as shown above, and by continually insisting on the truth during the development of their tale. In The Craftsman No. 307, its subtitle affirms that there are “Vampires in Britain” (Amhurst 2393). These Authors find a need to state their stories as being truthful to make them plausible. In the Apparition of Mrs. Veal, Daniel Defoe, the interviewer affirms: “ This thing has very much affected me, and I am as well satisfied as I am of the best matter of fact.”(2374). In Oroonoko, Aphra Behn, the author and narrator, asserts that “I do not pretend”(2236), in the first four words of her work. As well as her first paragraph is also dedicated to asserting the truth of her text:

I do not pretend, in giving you the history of this royal slave, to entertain my reader with the adventures of a feigned hero, whose life and fortunes Fancy may manage at the poet’s pleasure; nor in relating the truth, design to adorn it with any accidents, but such as arrived in earnest to him. And it shall come simply into the world, recommended by its own proper merits, and natural intrigues; there being enough of reality to support it, and to render it diverting, without the addition of invention (Behn 2236).

By reassuring time after time that the author’s stories are true, the author’s effectiveness in convincing the reader significantly heightens. The next step is eyewitnesses.

The authors then continue on developing their works by including eyewitness accounts of reputable people. Consider the following, so that this argument maybe better understood, there are two individuals debating the date that nuclear power was discovered and whether a male and female was its founder. Now a professor of nuclear science passes by and these individuals inquire about the origins and date nuclear power began. The professor tells them it was a woman and the date was 1898. These individuals accept this as being true because it comes from a reputable source. Now one of these individuals has been proven wrong; but is he actually incorrect? Authors are doing the same, either as themselves being the trustworthy eyewitness, or having highly respectable gentlemen and women sign as being an eyewitness to the events. In the Apparition of Mrs. Veal the author’s first paragraph consists of the following:

Which discourse is attested by a very sober and understanding gentlewoman, a kinswoman of the said gentleman’s, who lives inCanterbury within a few doors of the house in which the within named Mrs.Bargrave lives; who believes his kinswoman to be of so discerning a spirit,as no to be put upon any fallacy. And who positively assured him that thewhole matter, as it is here related and laid down, is what is really true, and what she herself had in the same words from Mrs. Bargrave’s own mouth, who she knows had no reason to invent and publish such a story, nor any design to forge and tell a lie, being a woman of much honesty and virtue, and her whole life a course as it were piety (Defoe 2369).

Similarly in Oroonoko, the author herself is the eyewitness of her incredible story as quoted in the second paragraph. Behn can permit herself this because she was a devoted loyalist and was sent to Surinam, where the narrative takes place, to be part of the colony who was lodged their. In her conclusion she acknowledges, “I hope, the reputation of my pen is considerable enough to make his glorious name survive to all ages,

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