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How To Write Realistic Fiction

The challenge of every fiction writer or non-fiction writer creating a fictional story, is to craft a fictional story that is believable. This challenge is taken to new levels for writers of realistic fiction. These stories, which are woven around real events that have taken place, can be formed around memoirs, historical moments, and even horror stories if desired. It is just important to remember that realistic fiction doesn’t blend well with other fictional genres. It must stand on its own.

That’s why it’s important to know how to write realistic fiction in a way that can relate to the reader, be realistic, but not include fantasy elements that drive readers away. Here’s how you can make that happen.

#1. Don’t go crazy with your characters. Most people in real-life don’t have crazy names, so don’t give your characters crazy names. Sometimes a guy named Joe, Jacob, or Chris is good enough for realistic fiction. Certain names have personalities as well. A guy named Graham isn’t typically going to be on the football team, for instance.

#2. Give your story a good structure. Realistic fiction needs to involve the characters in a comprehensive way. People like to see what happens to them because realistic fiction puts the reader into the character’s shoes. If your characters can respond to a bad situation and overcome it, then the reader will feel the same way about their own lives. Leave violence to a minimum, keep a gender balance whenever possible, and keep romantic elements plausible.

#3. Create a good introduction. You want your readers in realistic fiction to begin developing relationships with the characters immediately. This will help to draw them into the story. Let the first couple of pages be the setting where your readers develop a dialogue. Then let the events of your story begin to unfold for your characters. This will lure the reader in so they don’t want to put the book down.

#4. Make sure your settings are realistic as well. You don’t have to use a real city for realistic fiction, but the elements of the city need to feel like they are real. This is where the fantasy elements of your story must be kept to the bare minimum. People can relate to the challenges of a family coming together again after a husband or wife returns from a long stint in prison. They can’t relate to a toboggan race in the middle of the Sahara Desert.

#5. Create conflicts that are part of the character dialogue. Even close friends are going to have conflicts from time to time. In realistic fiction, these conflicts must also have a touch of realism to them. Friends might split on political ideologies, religious beliefs, or what movie to rent when searching for something to watch on Netflix. Having two people argue about who will travel to Jupiter, however, ruins the realistic elements of the story.

#6. Build to a solid climax. The most common error that is seen in proposed realistic fiction is that the entire story builds up to a climax at the very end of the story. This isn’t the best solution. People have problems solved on a regular basis. Readers want to know what happens after the resolution as well. Don’t forget to build up the drama until you reach the resolution, but don’t leave readers hanging on. If you have two people getting back together again after a long time apart, show what happens in their lives afterward. Was it everything they wanted it to be? Happily ever after is a dream goal for many, but it isn’t always achieved.

#7. Create a conclusion with a twist. Have you ever worked hard for something only to have something unexpected happen? Like working for a year to earn a promotion only to find a layoff notice in your email one day? Or discovering that instead of having one baby, you’re having two? Or three? Sometimes the conclusion of a realistic story is predictable and that’s a wonderful thing. Readers love it when everything works out as it should. For some characters, life might throw them a bit of a twist. As long as the results of the story are finalized within the conclusion, you can gently show people a specific message in your fiction that you want them to think about.

Knowing how to write realistic fiction can be somewhat challenging for writers, especially if they are used to being able to weave fantasy elements into their stories. By keeping things real, you create stories that will help readers relate to your characters in a very personal way. There is no better method to create a story that people won’t want to put down until they’ve finished it.

Melissa G Wilson

Melissa has been a leader in the book writing, publishing and marketing arena for the past two decades. To date, she has helped more than 100 thought leaders write, publish and market their books. Her clients include executives such as Dan Weinfurter a seven-time Inc 500 winner and Orlando Ashford, President of Holland Cruise Lines.

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