I’ve approached this subject so many times on my reviews – I have this thing, I need my books to be as realistic as possible all the while being in their fictional bubble. I’m crazy and way too demanding, well…
Some readers will argue that the point of fiction is to escape reality and I get it I do, I read to escape reality too, so it really sucks when in the middle of reading a book I pause and think, this is not realistic, or this wouldn’t have happened in real life or just really?!
Tell me you haven’t done the same thing at least once in all your reading journey. I might not believe you. But in my opinion, it all depends on the genre and the sub-genres.
Does fiction have unwritten rules? Situations and settings that have to have a tiny bit of truth in them, enough to make the reader escape reality but at the same time not loose the reflection of our reality in it?
Romance is generally the one genre in which suspension of disbelief is mostly used to make things happen that normally wouldn’t happen in a romantic way or in the pace the author wants it to happen. And for the most part I’m okay with that. It’s when impossible stuff get piled up that I want to scream at my book.
So the question is, can fiction in books be unrealistic? And what is the definition of realistic in fiction?
In my opinion it all comes down to the structure. The reason why sci-fi or paranormal books mostly get away with insane stuff happening – although not too insane – is because of the world building.
In a dystopian world the sky could be pink, and I will believe that, because after reading many dystopian books, nothing seems too crazy, or too unrealistic or just because at some point a character will mention what caused it. In the dystopian world – or paranormal, or sci-fi, the rules that apply to our reality – Earth and present time – don’t apply there. But in Romance, usually set in the US, as a reader I automatically apply my reality to that of the book’s. Does that even make sense?
For example, if an author was to have a story set in 2086 but include nothing that will technically qualify it as sci-fi and the story is purely romance, just set in the future, I’m gonna need the smallest details to frame that new world, or the same details that apply to my reality, will apply there as well but with the only difference that I won’t expect people to have fly cars but I won’t be shocked if there happens to be a flying car mentioned.
Likewise in Contemporary Romance when teens are all about the 80s music and there’s not a single mention of twitter, instagram, facebook posts or mundane stuff that everyone in that age is into, I will be disappointed. Not because I expect teens in books – or adults – to behave a certain way but because the way we behave, the readers, doesn’t get reflected into contemporary books they way it should be.
No, I don’t want to start reading about characters playing Pokemon Go and doing nothing with their romantic life or not saving the world, but it would be nice to have a more fresh approach to the average teenager – who does not read Pride and Prejudice all the time and listens to 80s non-stop; what is up with that?!
Rant over! Please share your thoughts with me, can fiction be unrealistic? And are you into 80’s music? Just kidding!