Being Realistic in Fiction: How much is too much?
I was watching The Following the other day (which I’m kind of ashamed to admit because it’s a rather heinous show, but I <3 Kevin Bacon) and the whole time, I’m saying to myself, “This is so unrealistic. He would never do that. He’s being so stupid.” And it got me thinking…
You could never get away with some of the character’s actions in fiction. I’m not sure why that is, maybe readers analyze more than TV viewers, but if a character is taking the nonsensical, much harder route in a novel, a reader just won’t buy it. And when I’m writing, I’m always keeping in mind that even though I’m writing fiction, it needs to be believable. This obviously doesn’t apply to certain genres, but when we’re writing about regular people in real-life situations, no matter how crazy, it’s a writer’s job to break things down and get in the head of the character. We need to think, act, and feel like a real person, only amplified.
If I had a heroin addict miraculously recover from his addiction because he found his true love, this would be farfetched. I couldn’t tie things up into a tidy package without the reader either being annoyed or left scratching their head. Life is not that tidy and I want readers to believe, to buy, what I’m selling—my story. Yet romance, in particular, the genre I write, most often requires a happy ending. I know I like happy endings in romance. Does this mean serious subjects can’t be breached in romance? Because there’s no way to be realistic while weaving a warm and fuzzy love story?
Not at all. Look at Jessica Park (author of Flat-Out Love and Left Drowning). All great books. All romance with underlying, serious subjects that weren’t just swept under the rug.
The key, I believe, to writing great fiction is balance. Just like life, balance is what’s required to create an amazing book, where the reader believes what you are saying, the characters are believable, yet you can wrap things up with a bow, if you like. If books were modeled solely after our real lives, they’d either be boring or a mess. So balancing realistic situations and characters, while keeping in mind that it’s fiction, so you can manipulate them to be more interesting and pleasing to reader is key.
After all, reading is meant to be an escape. But a great book combines realistic characters, with a great story, amplifying situations and reactions to meet the needs of the book.
WRITTEN ON HER HEART BLURB
Andi Callaway has dreamed of becoming a published author her entire life. Ford Delaney has always wanted nothing more than to escape his past. An opportunity of a lifetime. This is what Andi finds when she returns home to Callaway Cove on summer break. A chance to work for her literary idol Ford Delaney is up for grabs, and she’s willing to risk everything—her boyfriend, her best friends, and her education—to get it. She’s positive this will be the key to reaching her dreams. But the moment she begins working for the reclusive author, Andi realizes there’s more to him than just a name. As attraction builds between Andi and Ford, she begins to discover consequences must come hand-in-hand with something great—which could loosen control over her tightly wound life. And once romantic sparks fly, Andi’s other relationships start to crumble, Ford’s fame comes back to haunt him, and the heat they generate will either forge a powerful, enduring love or threaten everything she holds dear.
Paige Rion Bio
Paige Rion is a contemporary romance author. She’s a mother, wife, blogger, hopeless chocoholic, coffee-addicted, wine-lover. Her debut, novel—a new adult romance—Written On Her Heart, is the first in the Callaway Cove series. The next in the series is to be released this summer. She loves connecting with readers on her blog and social media. You can visit her website at http://paigerion.com/ You can also connect with her here:
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Being Realistic in Fiction - Guest Post from Author Paige Rion Reviewed by Joshua Cook on 5:30 PM Rating: