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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

How Close to Reality Should You Get in Fiction?

First, I must apologize in case I've used this blog before.  We have company coming, and I have been cleaning house all week.  Yes, it was that dirty, she says while shaking her head.

I write about real life, so I believe its okay to make your situations real, and have your characters act like genuine people.  We have heroes, heroine's, villains and people like you and me in our stories, so an author has to make them realistic.  A hero or heroine may not be heroic in there everyday life, but they can become courageous under certain situations.

For instance, a neighbor could pull you or a child from a burning house, or they see someone breaking into your house and run over with a gun or a ball bat to help fight off the robbers.  Is that a hero/heroine, or a stupid move on their part?  It all depends on what kind of capabilities you gave them.  Usually, there is something in their background that makes them capable of acting the way they do.

To make a story that your readers won't find fault with, you research the skills you give them.  Their skills should be accurate and as realistic as you can make them.  Some people can just have natural instincts to survive, but you must be in their head to show this. 

Have a great Memorial Day everyone.  Remember our loved ones and those wonderful men and women who fight for us. 

I hope this makes sense, as I have rewritten a bit of this. 


Sandra K. Marshall


Paris said...

Nothing will put me off a story faster than a character behaving out of character without a good reason. Of course, turning reality on its ear can be a challenge that can be entertaining for both the reader and the author as long as the author makes it believable:)

Adele Dubois said...

The ability to make characters seem so real that readers forget they aren't is always my goal when writing fiction. My success as an author will ultimately depend on that ability.


Tina Donahue said...

I find the more reality you sprinkle into a story the better (more compelling/gripping) a story is. If you present your hero or heroine as perfect, always making the correct decisions, always taking the high road, they don't come off as real to me.

I read a thriller once where the heroine was really sweet. Actually icky sweet. The bad guy kept trying to kill her. Finally, he cornered her but she had a gun. Mind you, this guy was going to do some nasty things to her (torture, etc.) before he killed her - she knew it - and yet she kept thinking, "Should I shoot him? Would it be right? Maybe I can talk him out of this?" Come on - I would have shot off his kneecaps first so he couldn't move, then I would have kept shooting until he was dead. I think most people, after getting over their fear, would be enraged at being cornered by a psycho. They would think - screw you for doing this - I'm gonna save me.

jean hart stewart said...

You can certainly make a hero or heroine too perfect. Before I start a book I outline the chacter traits, which include faults. Well, before I get too far into the book anyway. Sometimes the first chapters just flow and then I stop and make my guys real.

Sandy said...

Thank you, Paris, Adele, Tina and Jean. If I had a really sweet character they would have to be a secondary character and probably the villain. lol

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