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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How do I make a historical fiction book seem real?

I am writing a story tentatively called Planes And Towers. It is a historical fiction book about siblings, Molly and Jacob Johnson, who are going on a trip to New York on September 11, 2001. They are ...
user63669's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
78 views

How do I fit angelic and demonic magic? [closed]

My magic system in my book is based on physics and real-world consequences. Fire spells will cause you to be frozen if you use them for too long. Creating stuff out of thin air will cause wormholes to ...
Rising writer's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
87 views

How to write an event in a story with a memory gap (Repressed memory)?

Scenario: The protagonist goes to a party, gets drugged, and is assaulted. This event is not in the characters history. It happens during the course of the story. Perspective: First Person Genre: ...
TehKaoZ's user avatar
  • 111
0 votes
4 answers
184 views

Writing about a story that will take place on Neptune - how realistic should I be?

I’m trying to write a new short story that will take place on a craft that is on Neptune (or “in”, depending on how you want to look at it since it’s an ice/gas giant.) How important is realism to ...
LTcav2008's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
3k views

Do I need to create fictional places to make things work?

The story I'm writing takes place in the USA. I have a huge problem as my protagonist is crossing states and needs to end up at a place where a lot of things have to come together. Like there need to ...
Sharktastic's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
127 views

"Write what you know", or, writing when you're young and ignorant

When you were raised in a remote town in Europe, there really isn't much that you've experienced. I'm 21 and I often struggle with writing because I just do not know how 'these things' work. I can't ...
seyramlarit's user avatar
16 votes
9 answers
8k views

Do "unlimited ammo" or "bottomless magazine" tropes ruin storytelling?

I was thinking this for a while. When I watched John Wick back then, I really like how he has limited ammo making the scenes tense and thrilling. It was such a cool detail that I wanted to add in my ...
IseedeadpeopleNOT's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
545 views

What is the difference between magical realism story and a low fantasy story?

If you’re creating a real world with fictional powers or magic, when are you creating a low fantasy vs. a magical realism story? Both are in the real world. Where is the line between these types of ...
Vogon Poet's user avatar
  • 1,112
2 votes
3 answers
110 views

How much altering geographic details can one get away with an urban setting?

I'm wondering how much latitude authors can have in general when it comes to details of an urban setting. I know the oft-told story of "the parking lot of Wrigley Field", where Jim Butcher ...
user2352714's user avatar
  • 4,685
2 votes
3 answers
253 views

Writing nightmares/dreams

How can I write a nightmare scene without making readers aware that it is indeed a nightmare and not something that is really happening to the character?
Nour Fourti's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
903 views

What kind of alternative or futuristic energy source would you come up with? [closed]

I'm writing a sci-fi novel and am having a hard time coming up with a new energy source that DOESN'T revolve around the widely popular "nuclear" option everyone favors so much. I've tried ...
Gannon's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
215 views

How to write partner fighting?

To clear some things up, I define partner fighting as combat in which two people of the same side are fighting alongside one another as a pair against another person/other people. I haven't been able ...
Jay's user avatar
  • 203
21 votes
11 answers
8k views

How do I write "fantasy counterpart cultures" without being accused of cultural appropriation?

In my book series, the various planets of the galaxy are inhabited by different cultures, most of which are based on or inspired by, at least to some extent, by real-world cultures. For example: ...
The Weasel Sagas's user avatar
0 votes
4 answers
209 views

Building a Fictional World upon a Real Setting [closed]

To save time with world building an focus on the tale, is it justified to borrow heavily from a real world setting and take enough liberties to allow creative freedom? Can this be done without ...
undocumented sophistication's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
334 views

How do I write a "suboptimal" fight scene?

For my story I have been doing research on fighting in order to better write the fight scenes. However, once I got a better handle on how fighting in real life works I've noticed I've started nit-...
user2352714's user avatar
  • 4,685
1 vote
1 answer
135 views

Is my general plot idea original enough or totally common?

I got a very general idea the other day for a story plot, which can be summed up like this: An ordinary, well-respected man is going about his day and accidentally discovers some kind of unbelievable ...
Micah Windsor's user avatar
12 votes
14 answers
7k views

How can I get 2 characters to bond while standing alternate watches?

Setting is standard space opera. I am writing a story in which 2 characters are crewing a spaceship. The characters are: (1) the captain, a female in her early 20s, who has grown up on the ship and ...
Niceday's user avatar
  • 139
6 votes
4 answers
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, ...
Kale Slade's user avatar
  • 2,643
1 vote
2 answers
1k 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 ...
thosphor's user avatar
  • 121
3 votes
4 answers
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 ...
iamtowrite's user avatar
  • 1,909
6 votes
4 answers
204 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 ...
Galastel supports GoFundMonica's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
247 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 ...
Mithical's user avatar
  • 1,159
23 votes
8 answers
5k 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 ...
Galastel supports GoFundMonica's user avatar
12 votes
5 answers
613 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-...
Avital S.'s user avatar
  • 231
10 votes
5 answers
937 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 ...
Galastel supports GoFundMonica's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
123 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 ...
Zuzka Houšková's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
518 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 ...
Lunar A. P.'s user avatar
12 votes
7 answers
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 ...
Edmund Frost's user avatar
  • 1,312
101 votes
12 answers
17k 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 ...
Galastel supports GoFundMonica's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
966 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 ...
Mugen's user avatar
  • 315
10 votes
4 answers
4k 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 ...
Galastel supports GoFundMonica's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
496 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 ...
Edmund Frost's user avatar
  • 1,312
16 votes
5 answers
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 ...
user avatar
36 votes
15 answers
13k 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 ...
Yuuza's user avatar
  • 4,619
2 votes
3 answers
821 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 ...
Sindyr's user avatar
  • 143
3 votes
3 answers
234 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 ...
Stilez's user avatar
  • 1,118
9 votes
5 answers
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 ...
shieldedtulip's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
288 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?
Keira Green's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
700 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 ...
Yuuza's user avatar
  • 4,619
4 votes
2 answers
894 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?
DarkYagami's user avatar
  • 1,005
36 votes
8 answers
4k 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 ...
Summer's user avatar
  • 1,495
2 votes
2 answers
255 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 ...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 4,405