Questions tagged [realism]

This tag should be used for questions regarding the realism in your own fictional writing, for example when you are researching something, trying to figure out how to present something in a realistic fashion or when you are asking about legal ramifications of using a real-world element in your story.

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6
votes
4answers
2k views

How to provide realism without making readers think grimdark

So, I have a couple moments in a fantasy story where I want the heroes' actions to actually have consequences (Well, that are really impactful to the story.) One is where the MCs kill a minor lord, ...
1
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2answers
743 views

Why is “Ser” used in Game of Thrones rather than “Sir”? [closed]

I'll admit I haven't read the books, but I've seen in subtitles and other things that knights in Game of Thrones are addressed as "Ser". It seems to me that fantasy works like this have similarities ...
3
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4answers
2k views

Would it be believable to defy demographics in a story?

My story is set in the US. Would it be believable to the reader if I deviated from the norm that is also supported by demographic data? How many of the following deviations can I get away with? A ...
6
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4answers
142 views

Finding out about other countries' military day-to-day

Where does one go to find out about the day-to-day of military life? In countries other than my own? I don't mean combat - I mean the boring routine. Basic training. What kind of food is served in the ...
9
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2answers
183 views

When writing in a school context without ever having been to school, how do I make sure that my story is accurate within school context?

I read a lot of YA fiction, a lot of which happens to take place in schools. Recently, an idea jumped into my head for a YA-ish story and told me that it was going to take place in a school. The idea ...
21
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8answers
4k views

Dead children in pre-modern setting

The reality of pre-Industrial Revolution times was that about half the children born died before age 5. It would be a mistake to think that parents cared less - we have multiple written records ...
11
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5answers
411 views

How do I respectfully write black characters in a 1930s Arizona setting?

I'm writing a cartoon script aimed at a children/young-adult audience (similar to the audience of Steven Universe, Gravity Falls, and Over the Garden Wall). It deals with the daughter of a Bonnie-and-...
10
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5answers
870 views

In the background of the Future

As I've mentioned multiple times, I'm writing a military sci-fi novel. The focus of the story is war, and that happens far away from Earth. However, I'm starting with my MC's "normal", on Earth. It is ...
1
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2answers
102 views

Consequences of imprisonment during childhood [closed]

My protagonist is a prince who was imprisoned by his uncle after his father died. This should happen at an age when he can vaguely remember his parents and the life he had. He should be extroverted ...
7
votes
3answers
464 views

What would a FtM transman's, who was born in 1990, life be like? [closed]

I am writing a story with a trans character (female to male) set in the 1990's. My main character's parents are supportive from the beginning, but did transpeople have access to hormone injections and ...
13
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7answers
3k views

Can ‘Stupid’ Characters Make Plot Narratives Memorable?

Characters in movies ‘28 Days Later’, ‘Jurassic Park’ and ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ made terrible impulsive choices that cost other characters their lives, but if it weren’t for any of those choices ...
88
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12answers
16k views

How can I write about historical realities that readers mistakenly believe are unrealistic?

Readers have certain expectations about locations and time periods, things they "know". For example, people "know" that everybody in the Persian Empire was brown-skinned, that houses in Ancient Rome ...
5
votes
3answers
285 views

How do you show character reactions without making them do something physically that is unrealistic?

I've read stuff like these: she sat up. Startled. His face flushed (how does that happen in real life) He felt his neck muscles tense up, his temples started bulging, he started breathing more ...
9
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4answers
1k views

The advantages and disadvantages of Fantasy-time

Many works of the High Fantasy genre are set in a pseudo-European fantasyland, in a rather amorphous time-period that mixes early-medieval and late-medieval arms and armour (but never gunpowder), late ...
3
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3answers
427 views

How Many Tropes Are Allowed In a Short Story?

I am trying to add some dramatic ‘zombie-virus’ suspense to a short-story about boy-meets-girl young love, which already has an unlikely (but not the first sort of) antagonist The boy named Ethan is ...
17
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5answers
2k views

How do you verify information?

This is a problem I usually come across with my stories. I often worry about whether the plotlines I introduce are realistic or not, and it's usually something that can't be solved with a simple ...
36
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15answers
12k views

“Real people don't make good fictional characters”. Really true?

I came across such statement here on Writing SE and I don't agree much with it. But what I'd like to know is why would it be "impossible" to make good characters using real people. Searching about ...
2
votes
3answers
181 views

Ramifications of using real public people as characters in fiction?

So the story I want to write can really only be written in one of two ways. Basically it's the modern world, a handful of people develop god-like powers, and some of them want to use those powers to ...
3
votes
3answers
202 views

Realistic way to ensure letter is posted in 10+ years time [closed]

I'm a bit stuck on what should be a straightforward plot issue but not sure what is actually realistic. The character is going away into tera incognita (effectively exile until a deadly enemy has ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Rewriting a scifi story to fit with actual science, should I do it as I go?

Rewriting a scifi story to fit with actual science, should I do it as I go, or just write first and make the needed changes while editing? My world exists in my mind, clear and palpable. but I am ...
2
votes
2answers
234 views

What are ways to make the protagonist's relationships with other people seem realistic?

For example, I am writing about my protagonist and her long time best friend. How could I convey closeness between the two characters in a way that feels like it could be a real relationship?
1
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2answers
542 views

When realistically portraying the characters' life is a bad thing?

I have a fantasy story I'm writing which takes place in the medieval period. Let's take the hero (the protagonist) as a starting point of example. The hero born and lives in a peasant village. The ...
4
votes
2answers
409 views

What makes a plot twist believable/unbelievable?

I'm just interested. Since there were many plot twist in books, movies, etc some critics say they're unbelievable. Now I'm asking myself, what makes a plot twist believable/unbelievable?
35
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8answers
3k views

Where to draw the line between fantasy and reality in a story?

I realize this question may sound broad or vague, so allow me to explain. I never knew much about combat or dealing with injuries until I started gathering research for a fantasy novel I'm planning ...
1
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2answers
185 views

What kinds of legal clearances do you need to produce “fiction” that's “based on a true story?”

The "Sound of Music" comes to mind. The Captain and Maria von Trapp were real people, although names and ages of the seven children were fictionalized in the movie. One factor is that the von Trapps ...