Realism – Can being Real be too much?

And the simple answer is, Yes. It can.

 

Lack of realism can be jolting, and pull you out of a story, but being too real can do the same. In my opinion there is a fine line that must be walked. Each story needs a different level of realism, depending on your audience, and the purpose of your story, but there are a few principles that I think should apply to basically every story.

 

For instance,

If you are writing a high fantasy where great battles take place… Your soldiers (and ESPECIALLY your main character) cannot come out of these clean. I mean really. There needs to be some dirt and grime and icky stuff on them. But you don’t have to SHOW the blood splatters. Cause quite frankly, that can become rather gross very quickly.

 

Another thing I saw in a novel I was reading a while back, was the main character was traveling a very long way. Many trials afflicted them on their journey… But you know what stuck out to me?

They never got tired. They never needed to rest.

Mortals get tired, y’all. And if you have a demigod being trapped in mortal form (Thor, for instance), the mortal form WILL need sustenance and rest. Kind of part of the gig. 

Think of Aragorn in the Two Towers. Wounded. Exhausted. Barely able to ride. But he makes it to Helm’s Deep. That has such a bigger and deeper impact than if he had fallen off that cliff, and just stood up and walked there, without a scratch, or blood, or being totally wasted and worn out. 

 

I would never advise you to put content into your story that is too mature for your chosen audience. But even a child will notice lack of details in a story if they are well read. And for certain the story will have more meaning to them if you include just enough details as to not steer their mind into every little thing you want them to see, but to point them in the right direction and set their imagination loose.

 

Don’t be gruesome or overly mature. And don’t spell it out.

 

But don’t skimp either! Realism and details are important!

 

Real life isn’t real… so our stories need to be! And the reality of that is… that we have to tell the truth. And if you lie about a character being tired, it just lessens the impact of the greater ideal you are trying to get across.

Hello, I am back, and also……. Realism 101

HELLO PEOPLES. I am married now, and working my job, and my best friend is there all the time. It is so wonderful, and YEAH. So now time to get back active here on my blog, too! 😀

Cause I KNOW you all missed me posting and what not. 😉

My first few post back are going to be addressing an issue in the story world, character development, and some of the writing I have seen recently.

Realism. REALITY. The Big R. … and yeah. That isn’t Big Red. 😉 Real. Being real.

You need to be real in writing. Deus Ex Machinas can’t be something as common as grass. Your Hero can’t go through battles of epic proportion, and come out shiny and bright without any blood and grime to mar his “hero clothes”. Your Hero can’t have a perfect life. Be happy with every single member of their family, or all their friends, ALL the time. The list here goes on and on and on. Why should you NOT do them? Because they  aren’t REAL. Being realistic adds so much depth to your story, and makes it more believable on many more levels. But we are just starting on the basics here. One reason at a time.

Reason 1? The Theme (and therefore, also the Ideal) of your story. If your story world does not have realistic consequences, realistic struggles, realistic people, then readers, even if they don’t realize they are doing it, will be less inclined to receive whatever message you are trying to tell or teach them.

This might end up being a short list. It might end up being a really long list. And I am not even done with Reason Numero Uno yet, so bear with me, people.

~Daniel