According to wiki,

Realistic fiction typically involves a story whose basic setting (time and location in the world) is real and whose events could feasibly happen in that real-world setting.

This is really ambiguous definition. I have few questions regarding the same:

  1. Apart from basic time and location, what real entities are allowed during writing?
  2. Considering the definition, can most of the written TV soaps be termed as "Realistic" fiction?
  3. How should the tone of Narration be while writing Realistic fiction?
  • 1
    Why do you pose yourself these curious questions? Just write your story!
    – user5645
    Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 18:04
  • 2
    @what I think this is more of a genre definition question. Perfectly valid. Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 4:14
  • @NeilFein What does genre definition have to do with writing?
    – user5645
    Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 11:15
  • 2
    I want my readers to feel my write-up of genre A but for that I should be aware of tone, technique and narrative while actually writing. Keeping an output genre in context, I can get a proper scope while writing and would be sure enough that I am not messing up. Therefore, a writer should know genre's scope and definition. That's what I believe. Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 13:13

2 Answers 2


My experience is with novels, as opposed to screenwriting, but I can give a general answer about the genre.

  1. There is no inherent maximum or upper limit to amount or type of real entities that can be used within Realistic Fiction. For example, real-world companies, products, historical figures, etc. may exist in Realistic Fiction. However, for legal purposes, one should take care how any real-world persons, companies, or brands are portrayed.

  2. Yes, most. There have been some soaps/soap opera format shows that included some non-realistic or speculative elements, such as spirit possession, vampires, magic, etc.

  3. Tone and genre are not necessarily dependent on each other. A written work may be humorous or dramatic in tone, for example, and still be realistic.


All you need to do is ask yourself: If the reader accepts the basic non-realistic premise of the story, are there other elements that are hard to believe?

For example, if your story is about a vampire, we accept a certain concept to go along with that. But if your vampire drives around the city at night in his Maserati at 100MPH, and somehow never manages to get a ticket, that is very hard to believe.

We are used to watching movies, videos, and television, where the episode must fit in a finite amount of time. Thus, things that would not normally happen quicky, do indeed happen quickly. If the character goes to a fast food restuarant to get a hamburger, she is always first in line. That is hard to believe, but needs to be done in a short show. However, in a book, you would neither waste prose having her wait, nor state the incredible luck she has every time she is hungry. The objective is to confine the non-realism to only that part the is inherently unrealistic (she is a space alien, for example).

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