Let's Keep it REAL about REALISM

I’ve seen lots of negative opinions about cliche’s and unrealistic relationships and characters…
I get it, everyone has their preferences, right?
But… let’s be REAL about realism.

Most people do not want to read about “real life.” Many people want to read about things that help them escape reality. Let’s discuss some (meaning not all) of the things we “hate” shall we?

Just to be clear:
When we talk about realism, at least for me, we mean things that happen in real life typically.

Is a love triangle typical?? Nope. Would nearly every girl want to be the center of a guys world, to feel she is his everything and he would rather die than not be able to look at her every morning? Yep! Now what could top that? How about TWO guys absolutely drooling over you???OMG even better! So, yeah… a love triangle is not typical by any means, but it certainly is something we might all WANT to happen to us!

Is turning a bad boy into a good guy typical or realistic? Um no… not at ALL! But, do we all want to understand why bad people do what they do? Probably. Do we all hope that we are so darn irresistible that ONLY WE could warm a cold heart? Probably. Again, is it realistic? Nope. But it sure is something we may imagine or think about.

When I read, I want to read about things that I WOULDN’T encounter in real life (typically.) I want to “experience” things I know may never happen to me in real life. THIS is what makes these stories so exciting! THIS is why I read. I don’t want to read about two average people, meeting in an average place, having an average conversation, and having an average love story. This, to me, is not exciting. Its average… AKA boring.

Reading is supposed to be an escape for the writer and reader alike… our innermost curiosities, desires, fears, and unrealistic, selfish, needs being met through an alternate reality, where odds and chances change so we can experience the “unrealistic” and “rare” events. Events where two guys are madly in love with you, and a bad boy is willing to change his ways because you are so perfect in his eyes!

Many will not agree with me, but I just wanted to say that we need to keep in mind that the writers story, and the readers mind are their own. Some minds enjoy overly dramatic baby drama stories, some like daring love stories, and some like fantastical stories… Everyone already KNOWS they are not realistic. That’s kinda the point. I hate pregnancy stories, but that’s just me. Many people like them and that’s fine. I DO love “THE ONE” stories. Not realistic in anyway, but that’s why I love them!

So long as what we write does not cross our own moral compass (and guidelines), we should be able to write what we want and readers should be able to read what they want.

What do you think?

(Keep the comments respectful, please. Remember, we all have our own opinions and we should know when its better to agree to disagree.)

Edited to add: Please forgive any spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors… I only scanned once (and quickly) for errors! HA!! :rofl:


Definitely agree with your points! A vast majority of us read/play to escape reality and witness the interesting experiences of characters. It’s supposed to be dramatic, thats what most people like whether we wanna admit it or not. However it is also important to keep characters relatable while also keeping the story interesting. Finding a balance between reality and fiction is so important.


I can agree 100% there! relatability is crucial :slight_smile:


I agree with you 100 percent.

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ML to you! :slight_smile:

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I agreee with everything you said, but this part, it just felt like you wrote down how I feel about reading stories.

And this is amazing too.

Stories should be more unique and things that can actually happen, because there is definitely ENOUGH to talk about. When everyone’s life is only about 2 men fighting over a girl, then I’m not a human. There is so much there that could be talked about. This isn’t a perfect place and a lot of things happen that could be used in a story.


Haha! Good one Ed!

I hadn’t seen you for a few days and actually had a dream that I made a “Where in the World is Ray Edwin” topic and it got really popular and then it actually got so deep that we found your real identity.

I love having dreams!

Anyways, Episode actually seems too realistic for me. Almost everyone is a human character. You can’t get any less diverse than that!

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Its has been a few days! I Missed your sarcastic humor!!! If it makes you feel better, I have two stories that involve non-humans! (How’s that for diversity?) LOL. Eventually, people will figure it out I guess… until then, I’ll enjoy the anonymity.


I think a lot of people like all those or the majority of those things in a story. I know I do. What I dislike however, is when every single story is exactly the same. There is no originality whatsoever. It gets boring. I agree too that a lot of people read to escape reality however a lot of stories become extremely insensitive and dragged on and some authors think that’s okay because it’s not reality and it’s just a story when really, it’s not okay


I can agree with that 100%. Stories should not be blatantly offensive no matter the genre.

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I want to say: you have a great point :grinning:.

I will divide my opinion into two parts:

On the one hand -

Well, if so, then I have news for them: escaping reality will never help them deal with things. I’ll ask like this, in general: if, for instance, an author writes a story while he/she tries to ignore reality, how he/she exactly expects his/her story to be original and unique?

So, my answer for this is: if you want to make a unique and original story - add some cases that can happen in reality or represent ethnic groups - even your own one (of course, do it respectfully).

On the other hand -

I think it is nice to enter into an unrealistic world. Sometimes, when we are shown things that aren’t realistic (but they might feel and/or appear to be realistic), we can find something that can be helpful to us for life. I mean, it’s like the stories with cases and parables - even though the told cases aren’t real (but some of them might happen), we might learn something for life. A parable that can help us to deal with certain cases. You know what I am saying?
Although a person’s purpose by reading unrealistic stories is to escape reality for some reason, he might find something that can help him deal with the reality that he lives in.

In addition (about love triangle stories), I want to say, even though I am not a romance lover, I think it’s good that an author sometimes adds the love choice option, because, as you said, it is something that can happen to anyone of us in real life.

However, I don’t like it when many stories become too insensitive and authors repeat the same thing over and over, something that makes the stories less interesting. It is getting boring and I am really sick of it. Just because the story isn’t realistic, it does not mean that you should neglect it and put no effort while you are writing it.

But, hey, it is only my opinion.


Agreed, as mentioned by @OreoBiscuit, no matter the genre, blatant disregard of sensitive subjects should never be allowed in any genre, realism or not.

As mentioned by @MarsX Realism is not really as important nor the same as relatability which is crucial for the greatest reader engagement. Its a balancing act.

I think, collectively, we all seem to be on the same page deep down… which is wonderful, ain’t it?! :slight_smile:

I guess my point was, maybe we, as a community, are too harsh on the importance of “realism” sometimes. I could be wrong, but based on what I have read here in the forums (myself included), and comparing it to stories I’ve enjoyed such as: Tuck Everlasting, Harry Potter, The Chronicles Of Narnia… None of those were very realistic, by any means. Relatable? Yes. Realistic?.. Not by a long shot.

Thank you for sharing your opinion on the subject! I enjoyed hearing your opinion, very much!


ONLY? It was a great opinion :slight_smile:

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Seems like that :sweat_smile:. But, as you said, some people here might not agree with your opinion.
Anyway, I agree with your opinion and you have a point :woman_shrugging:t4: :smile:

Of course :blush::grinning:

Ha! This is very true!!! LOL

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I agree with you, but I feel that there is a fine line between an escape and a cliche for the simple reason that a cliche is something so overused and predictable that reading books with cliches become less of an escape and more another predictable, not-so-captivating reading piece - ya know?


I can understand that :slight_smile:


Considering what you said… is the “cliche” the issue, or “predictability”??? :thinking:


the predictability OF the cliche - e.g: bad boy who smokes and rides a motorcycle and wears leather and has tattoos meets nice girl/new girl/nerd and is sweet with her and then falls in love with her. Even though the characters and events may be different the plot, character motivation and characterization is the same and you can see it coming from a mile away

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hmmm… So what if the nice girl ends up actually being the “bad guy” in the end and she is worse than the “bad boy” and he ends up saving everyone from the “sweet innocent blond?” It’s still a cliche’ but the predictability factor changed because of a plot twist that you didn’t expect BECAUSE of the cliche. Cliches can be used to a writers advantage. You start with a cliche to make a plot twist that much more unexpected.

I guess what I am trying to say is… I think “Predictability” and “Cliche” have become ONE word somehow. In reality, they are not at all. We have, for some reason, decided that Cliche is a “bad word” and is a synonym to “predictability” I’m not really sure how the words have become so blurred into this one lump sum of “terrible”??

Does that make sense?? lol.

But I get what you mean, and I appreciate your opinion on this very much :slight_smile: Thank you for sharing your thoughts!