23rd Oct: It's time for the second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest, theme: cute monsters! Details and voting here.
"Reality is often stranger than fiction, because fiction has to be believable."
"Mass media have a terrible impact on people who lack guidance."
—Linda Degh (folklorist)
"I didn't think it was very realistic in the movie and it turns out it's pretty realistic."
— Dwight Schrute, The Office, "Stress Relief"
Your theory is crazy, but it's not crazy enough to be true.
— Niels Bohr
"The Guide is definitive. Reality is often inaccurate."
"Man, reality sucks!"
— The Cat, Red Dwarf
Truth of course must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for we have made fiction to suit ourselves.
House: I was not wrong. Everything I said was true. It fit. It was elegant.
Dr. Wilson: So reality was wrong?
House: Reality is almost always wrong.
Things that try to look like things often look more like things than things. Well-known fact.
'Tis strange — but true; for truth is always strange;
A likely impossibility is always preferable to an unconvincing possibility. The story should never be made up of improbable incidents; there should be nothing of the sort in it.
You call this reality? My VIDEO GAMES are more realistic!
"Few people have the imagination for reality."
"That's the difference between truth and fiction. Fiction has to make sense."
"Do you want to know the greatest and also the worst device that humans ever invented? It's television. Television controls people by bombarding them with information until they lose their sense of reality. [snip] Television has created a people who believe instantly in dramatic fantasies who can be controlled by little dots of light."
— Dr. Londes, Cowboy Bebop
It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen.
— Alex, A Clockwork Orange
The problem with fiction, it has to be plausible. That's not true with non-fiction.
— Tom Wolfe, Advice to Writers
For example, few novels contain plot twists like the ones in the news story about a band of thieves posing as police officers who were forced by circumstances to try to arrest a group of policemen disguised as a gang of thieves. The real police were — you guessed it — on the trail of the thieves who were posing as police. If a novelist were to submit such a plot to a publisher, it would probably be rejected as incredible or unrealistic.
—W. Lance Bennet, News: The Politics of Illusion
The buildings that you see in a model railroad layout are not only interesting to look at, in many ways they look more like the real thing than the real thing does. A model factory looks more like a factory than a real factory does, because the modeler abstracted out the irrelevant bits, and amplified what makes it unique.
—Ocean Quigley, SimCity 5 Blog
Sometimes you'll know your material cold — and you'll be absolutely correct — but your readers' previous experience disagrees. [...] It's not much comfort to be right if your readers toss the book aside because they're convinced you're talking through your hat.
—Leigh Michaels, On Writing Romance
"The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense."
Important point: just because it has happened in real life does not make it believable in a story. If a reader says she didn’t believe such a thing would happen, it is no defence for you to say, "Oh, but that did happen! In 1982 I was walking along..."
— Nicola Morgan, Write To Be Published
"Really, if I was writing a piece of fiction this plot line would be rejected as implausible."
(The kids watch the film's prop department paint black patches on a brown horse with fake horns and udder)
Martin: Uh, sir... why don't you use real cows?
Prop Guy: Cows don't look like cows on film. We gotta use horses.
Ralph: What do you do if you want something that looks like a horse?
Prop Guy: Eh, usually we just tape a buncha cats t'gether.
— "Radioactive Man", The Simpsons