The other day I was in a discussion about suspension of disbelief. This sounds self-important - I don't mean it that way - but I was impressed with what I had to say. (Funny huh?) I realized my on the fly opinion held a lot of truth. At least, in my opinion it did so I thought I'd throw it out her to see what y'all thought about it.
I think as writers we always look at situations from a writer's viewpoint. I don't think readers look at things the same way.
For instance, if a writer is trying to create a situation in which the protagonist does something most people wouldn't do, the writer agonizes over how to make it believable to the reader. The writer jumps through all kinds of mental hoops to create a situation in which readers will suspend their disbelief and get involved in the story.
Actually, I don't think most readers (who are non-writers) ever really think about that. They don't shop for books, picking up one after the other, with the thought, "No, I won't read that because it's too unbelievable." Or, "yes, I can suspend my disbelief and read this."
Otherwise, there would be no paranormal sales whatsoever. Probably a lot fewer romance sales too. Likewise for mystery. When a reader wants a mystery, the reader probably doesn't pick up a book, read the blurb, and think: I don't believe the reason this sleuth is involved in the story.
Regardless of the genre, readers follow the thought process of: "ah, this sounds intriguing." Or it doesn't sound interesting and they don't buy. Readers don't buy books based on whether the reason that the sleuth becomes involved suspends their disbelief. They buy based on the way the story or the character resonates with them.
I think this is true for every genre. I also think, as writers, we lose sight of that fact. We get caught up in the mechanics of building a better mousetrap in hopes that the world of readers will beat a path to our door.
At least that's my two cents.
Ultimately, suspension of disbelief is achieved by being carried away by a story and its characters.