The Truth About
Realistic Fiction Books

If I tell you I'm writing realistic fiction books, do you know what I mean? Is it the opposite of fantasy? Or the opposite of science fiction? Or just the truth?

Yes, and no. There's more to realistic fiction than meets the eye. Let's take a closer look.

Get Real

A realistic novel is one that occurs in the real world. No magic, no fantasy, though you can have exaggerated characters and bizarre events. After all, real life can be pretty weird, right? (If you don't think so, you should meet my crazy family!)

But don't mistake realistic fiction with real life. It's not. If it was, it wouldn't be believable. Do you really believe all the stories in National Enquirer?

Still, if you're going to write realistic fiction books, you have a huge array of sub-categories within it you can use. Crime fiction, the romance genre, adventure, thrillers, even horror (remember those creepy neighbors can be monsters, too). Any of those can be realistic fiction. So in one way, the sky's the limit.

Be careful, though. Realistic fiction isn't word for word reality. So how do you go about creating a good realistic novel?

Get a Life

Just like any other genre, you need to use plenty of realism to make your story believable. You can exaggerate your characters - create one who speaks in constant puns, for instance - as long as it seems as though it could be true.

You can also let your imagination run wild with crazy events, as long as it seems as though it could happen in reality. Yes, the tire can fall off the car right at the crucial curve on the mountain pass (it could happen, right?).

One caution: Don't write something that truly happened (that's not fiction, remember?). Write something that could happen.

You can use life for fodder. I encourage you to do so. Plenty of things in real life are inspiration for my stories. They should be for you, too. Just keep your trusty notebook and pen close by so when inspiration strikes you can swat it back - I mean jot it down.

The New and the Old

Do you need to stick to modern day reality to write your realistic fiction?

No. Contemporary realistic fiction is quite popular, and obviously easy to research to get facts right.

But historical fiction books can also be realistic, and quite fun to create. The main difference in the two sub-categories is that contemporary fiction deals with modern day problems and issues, and historical fiction deals with life of the particular era it portrays.

So if history trips your trigger, go for it, and write realistic historical fiction. Just be sure to research your era as well as you can. Nothing irritates readers more than facts that are skewed.

Whichever kind of realistic fiction books you like, get busy and write, already!

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