What does realistic fiction mean?
Writing Realistic Fiction
The Goal of every Fiction Writer.
Because experiencing realistic fiction - is the desire of
And writers write - to serve the desires of readers.
The combination of fiction and reality might seem, at
first glance, like a contradiction in terms; a dichotomy, even an
oxymoron however, as we will discuss on this page, the concept of
fiction that is real or life-like forms the very core of the
fiction reader's experience.
People read fiction for the emotional and intellectual
experience. And what readers read, and why they read it, influences
what we write and how we write it.
On this page we will discuss:
- What realistic fiction is
- Why it's desirable
- How to create it
1. What is realistic fiction?
How can "fiction" be "real? What does this term mean?
The word "fiction" in regards to literature -- generally means a
narration which is not-true, real or factual. And "Realistic" means
real, real-like or having the nature of "reality".
Therefore, "realistic fiction" means fiction that is realistic
Fiction that is lifelike is fiction that seems real and
And that is exactly what readers are paying us
for. They are paying us for an experience -- a lifelike emotional
and intellectual experience.
2. Is realistic fiction desirable? And if so Why?
Creating realistic fiction should be the primary objective of
every fiction writer. Because experiencing realistic fiction is the
primary desire of every reader. And writers write, to serve the
needs and desires of readers.
But why fiction that only that seams real, why not the
real thing? Obviously it would be more "real" if the reader
actually experienced the events rather than just read about
them.True, but real experience is time-consuming, expensive and
often dangerous. Few of us have the time, money or stamina to
actually climb Everest or go lion hunting with Hemingway. But we
can experience this and more from the comfort of our arm chair
through the magic of real-to-life fiction.
In many regards, fiction in literature is able to approach
"truth" more closely than "non-fiction". If it's done right fiction
can be more real, more compelling, more frightening and emotionally
charged than the tepid "reality" that comprises the bulk of our
The reasons for this are several.
Non-fiction by definition restricts itself to the facts. And
facts can be dry, dusty things, devoid of emotion.
Unless one is writing an autobiography, a great number of
"facts" must be left out of any "non-fiction" book. The most
important "facts" left out of non-fiction are "thoughts" and
"emotions". And these are very important components of the fiction
In non-fiction the thoughts and emotions of the characters are
missing. We don't know what Lincoln or Churchill "thought" or
"felt" about the events they were involved in.
However, in a novel we can (through the imagination of the
author) hear not only what the protagonist thinks, but what any
number of lesser characters think and feel about the events of the
This "insight" delivers an additional layer of emotionally rich
meaning to the reader.
But accomplishing this magic places an additional
burden on the author.
The thoughts and feelings, as well as the actions of the
characters, must be "realistic" -- meaning, "lifelike" or true to
This requires a little technique...
-------------- click the links below to read the rest of the