Monday, January 24, 2011

fiction versus reality

I had a critique partner once that ...hhm... how shall I broach this? My crit partner wrote several scenes in which the protagonist, well, I'll just come out and say it: used the toilet. I immediately suggested that this might not be the best idea. My partner replied "But it's realistic."

Yes, that would be realistic. But is fiction supposed to be realistic? I contend fiction is better than reality. In real life rarely does anything interesting happen. No portals to alternate worlds open up, no handsome strangers steal your parking spot and then offer to take you out to dinner to make it up to you, no creepy dolls come to life and start chasing you. And, really, would you want them to? (Okay, maybe the handsome stranger thing.)

What's the (mythical?) Chinese curse? May you live in interesting times.

However, it is possible for fiction to be too unrealistic. Recently, I was rereading my WIP (instead of writing new pages, which is what I should have been doing) and I realized my characters never ate or slept. As the world-famous natural philosopher and empiricist H. Simpson would say: "Doh!"

Doh, indeed. I know what I need to do in my next revision. However, right now I'm not revising, I'm going to quit blogging and write some new pages. Right now. Seriously, here I go...

In the meantime, how about you? What do you think of the whole fiction versus reality dichotomy? Any "Doh!" moments?

1 comment:

  1. Hahaha I draw the line at the bathroom, although I have to admit that I have been wondering if my fantasy world has flusing toilets...

    I guess now the readers will never know...