Making Good Use of Assumptions

We all make assumptions every day.  As humans, we’re prone to finding patterns, making things make sense based on our personal knowledge.

If you see a man, a woman, and two kids close in age, you’ll probably assume “family;” if you see an adult, a teenaged girl, and a baby, most people are likely to assume “teen mom” rather than “late-in-life baby” or whatever else the case might be.  When there is a complete lack of context, we’re all going to try to find a context that seems logical to us.

As an author, it can be fun to play with these common assumptions.  We know what’s really going on, but it’s up to us to share or obscure details and context.  A good movie example is the man and woman seated next to each other on a plane in Valentine’s Day.  They are totally context-free when we see them; they may or may not relate to any of the characters in the story.  The woman is a soldier, and she mentions coming back to surprise the man in her life; who that man turns out to be is a heartwarming and fun surprise.

I haven’t really dabbled a lot in this, but I think it might be fun to try.


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