• Natalie Nider

Why We Need Realistic Fiction

Everything on the mass media anymore is someone's highlight reel. The picture perfect moments. None, or at least rarely, any of the messy ones. It leaves viewers with a sense that they are fucking their own lives up in some astronomical way because their life does not as perfect as whoever is pretending that it is. Their lives aren't what they show to the world either, they've just got a platform to play pretend that it is. It's completely fake. it's all advertisement.

We have bad days, we have worse days, we have days that we want to lose ourselves, and then sometimes we have a good day ... sometimes we are even lucky and we get a few good days in a row before something fucks up. That's reality. Bad days, worse days, and good days mixed up together. It's rarely picture perfect but the media tricks the mind into thinking otherwise ... and even more so, it convinces people that there is something wrong with you if your life is not what they pretend life is for people.

That's why we need realistic fiction. It's okay to admit that life is fucked up and that it is often that way. Because it is for everyone whether people admit it or not. It's relatable. It's a reality check.

Not to say that there's anything wrong with less realistic genres, anyone can read whatever they want. Different strokes for different folks. That's the beauty of fiction. You can read anything you want. This post in no way has the intention of putting down other genres. However, I think there is something to be said about realistic fiction and why more people could benefit from the genre in a society where delusion commands the stage.

Realistic Fiction is the more broad term for what includes the likes of transgressive fiction, dirty realism, and contemporary fiction. Realistic Fiction is exactly what it sounds like, realistic. Realistic scenarios, characters, and so on.

Realistic fiction is fiction that uses imagined characters in situations that either actually happened in real life or are very likely to happen. Reference

I think that in this day and age a lot of people could benefit from a reality check.

Realistic Fiction, especially transgressive fiction, is a genre where real or realistic people with authentic scenarios are granted the space to be just what they are and not what they should be or could be.

I would certainly enjoy the mainstream media more if it were honest as I am sure many others would. That's what realistic fiction does. It's brutal honesty that doesn't care if the reader likes it or not because it's real and that is what is important to the genre. Not whether or not someone takes offense or feels uncomfortable.

Is it fine to indulge in a fantasy, sure. There's nothing wrong with that. But there is a problem with living in that fantasy world instead of the real world.

You know what happens in real life?

There are people who do twenty-plus years in a penitentiary. They spend all of those breathing moments in a cell where a bell tells them what do to and where they might get stabbed over a cup of ramen noodles.

People become so addicted to drugs that they lose their children, their homes, and their self-respect so they keep doing drugs and they eventually end up in jail or dead on the floor somewhere.

Women get raped and told they should've worn a longer skirt or maybe shouldn't have been out so late. Men get raped and they get laughed at or called a faggot.

People take guns, point them at other people, and pull the trigger. Some people take those guns, stick them on their temples, and pull the trigger on themselves. Other people are backed into a corner and have to pull a trigger on someone because they broke into their house in the middle of the night.

Plenty of people have to do what they have to do to put food on the table even if that means sucking someone's dick so that they can afford to eat McDonald's that day. Or they have to sell drugs so that they can have gas money to pick their kids up from school or afford the clothes on their backs.

There are so many people that are homeless because they ain't got the money to pay the rent and minimum wage isn't going to get them a roof over their head. And now that eviction on their record is going to make it even more impossible to get a place.

There are evil fucking people who do heinous things to other people and get away with it.

I could keep going but I think you understand what I am getting at.

Realistic Fiction is so important for giving people either a reality check or a genre where their past or present circumstances are shown for what they are and not what the media wants to dress it up as.

The stories about things that happen in real life are important. Even the smallest of things. It doesn't have to always be extreme. It can be something as simple as the grind of everyday life. It doesn't even need to be all bad because there are good moments and decent days. Realism, whatever intensity or emotion it is, is important.

Words do have power to them.

One of the most important things to writers is creating stories and characters that are relatable. There is not another branch of fiction that is more relatable than realistic fiction. It might not be everyone's cup of tea. It's not a genre tailored to everyone. Instead, it is a genre that needs to be read by everyone. At least from time to time to break up the monotony of illusion.

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