Realism in your work:

Total posts: [60]
1 2 3
1 TeraChimera30th Sep 2011 09:22:44 PM from somewhere out there
Cool Celtic Composition
In your writing, how much realism do you like, and why? Obviously, different genres are going to have different levels of realism, but works within the same genre can vary wildly.

What I like depends very much on what I'm writing. For example, I'm writing an alternate history fantasy where, even though the main character is essentially a dragon, I'm aiming to make it fairly realistic. For example, a character uses a shotgun for the first time without earplugs (it's in the middle of a crisis) and not only does he get temporarily deafened, but he gets a nasty bruise on his shoulder from the recoil. He attempts to jump through a window, and succeeds, but gets a lot of cuts. And so on.

And on the other extreme, I'm writing a story with loads of gun fu, carsurfing gunfights, leaping from one plane to another mid-flight, magic users playing missile pong, and dual-wielding shoulder-mounted miniguns. It's just about as over-the-top as you can go.

How much do you want reality to ensue?
"The Uncertainty Principle isn't about uncertainty and it isn't a principle; other than that, it's perfectly named." — David Van Baak
2 feotakahari30th Sep 2011 09:52:28 PM from Looking out at the city
Fuzzy Orange Doomsayer
I go with as much coolness as I can justify given the rules of the setting. I don't typically use the Theory of Narrative Causality, so any trope beginning with "Rule of" is right out. On the other hand, I tend towards settings where most or all of the cast has access to magic or high technology, and I like finding cool applications of the Phlebotinum du Jour.

Edit: I just realized that, as one of two tropers who write Plot with Porn, I tend towards realism on another scale—I try to make it seem plausible that two characters would be willing to hop into bed with each other.

edited 30th Sep '11 10:08:15 PM by feotakahari

That's Feo . . . He's a disgusting, mysoginistic, paedophilic asshat who moonlights as a shitty writer—Something Awful
I write Lit Fic—even though the story I'm working on now is technically Magical Realism with literary fiction conventions—so I rely on realism.
Realism in the setting isn't really important, so long as one is consistent. It's almost always a good idea to have characters behave in a realistic manner, though. Keeps them as people in the reader's eyes.

edited 30th Sep '11 10:51:14 PM by RTaco

Realism is a real tricky one for me. I'm a big fan of the 'Tarantino realism' used by Black Lagoon et al, but putting it into words is quite difficult. Of course I'll strive for realism when dealing with things like illness, large-scale battles, military chatter and so on, but I don't let it take precedence over fun.

For example, at one point in my fantasy story the protagonist goes all One-Winged Angel and rips into a squad of elite knights, and kills one of them by pulling him by both shoulders until he splits lengthwise. I don't know if that's even physically possible, but it sounded cool to me.

edited 30th Sep '11 11:01:15 PM by Anfingrimm

I have no beard. I have no beard, and I must scream.
6 Wolf106630th Sep 2011 11:45:37 PM from New Zealand , Relationship Status: In my bunk
Typin' strangely
I try for as much realism and, if dealing with things that aren't actually real (e.g. fantasy races, Functional Magic, advanced technology and such), logical consequences and internal consistency as possible.

So even if I've got people running around with cybernetic implants and replacement limbs I don't have the "Six Million Dollar Man" clusterfuck happening.

That extends to consequences of actions, so I don't have heroes speeding around the city streets, destroying store fronts and scattering pedestrians, then gunning down the bad guys, as anyone who pulled that crap in real life would be looking at some serious prison time - if they were smart enough to drop their guns when the cops ordered them to do so (and possible death at the hands of duly-appointed upholders of law and order if they weren't).

I even take it to the point of looking at what we have now and working out "logical" or "plausible" extrapolations and developments for any futuristic speculative fiction. What do we have now? What's being developed? What needs/requirements drive the research? What would be the first stage? What follows? Why? What plot points and story ideas are suggested by this?

Prosthetic limbs? Sure, people lose limbs and want good replacement. Eyes? Yep, them too. Built-in night vision and/or Thermograph? The military would want that. Would it be restricted? Probably not, but very expensive. Why would Joe Random Citizen want it? Very few would want/need it.
Dangerously Genre Savvy since ages ago...
7 nrjxll30th Sep 2011 11:53:35 PM , Relationship Status: Not war
It depends - what do you understand "realism" as?

Personally, as I've mentioned in other threads, as a writer I am very much a Watsonian, so I place high emphasis on internal consistency - not so much on genre or external consistency. Since my view is that every work should be treated as if it was a real universe, this does result in Reality Ensues taking vastly higher precedence over the Rule of Index.

In other words, while I may have wizards, aliens, and the like running all over the setting, I adhere strictly towards realism in character behavior, setting logic, and the like.

Edit: Anyone know what's up with the display problems Rule of Index is having?

edited 30th Sep '11 11:54:45 PM by nrjxll

8 dRoy1st Oct 2011 12:45:57 AM from The Happy Place , Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Perpetually clueless
To simply put, realism and doing research is JUST AS IMPORTANT as story. That is my writing creed. I try to do as much research as possible. However, because I'm a simple minded writer who likes explosions, fanservice (nurse and maid comes in mind), and KILLMAIMBURN action, I will have to apply Artistic License. Even then, I try my best to acknolwedge that, by either lampshading or the author's note.

This is a serious flaw of mine, though, because the amount of research hinders me from writing. Even though...I just can't ignore reality so casually like 90% of all creators do. I even almost punched a guy for saying that story should come first, which is true but pissed me off greatly.

edited 1st Oct '11 12:54:36 AM by dRoy

Mother of god...You turned one of the hardest and best Champions into an absolute joke. - Zelenal
What is this
I like to have a long-distance relationship with realism. Reality doesn't do me many favors so I do see why I should do it any with the things I create.
"Everyone wants an answer, don't they?... I hate things with answers."
Grant Morrison
Welcome, traveller, welcome to Omsk
I aim for as much realism as is actually possible while still making it a good story.

I tend to relax it a lot if I'm writing fanfic for a work that relies on Rule of Cool or Rule of Funny, however. For example, in a Venture Brothers fanfic it makes sense that a good enough fighter could mow down dozens of mooks, or that the local police and military wouldn't get involved in a supervillain attack on the good guys' base.
It does not matter who I am. What matters is, who will you become? - motto of Omsk Bird
Woefully Ineloquent
I aim for as much realism as humanly possible without having to chop the fantasy elements of the story (And, in the story I'm writing at the moment, without having to chop the swordfights that are very much powered by rule of cool. But still, I try to make the way people win those fights as realistic as possible.).

edited 1st Oct '11 4:42:33 AM by fanty

Individual liberation is an illusion.
12 MajorTom1st Oct 2011 06:36:17 AM , Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
It factors in heavily unless something else makes for a better story. After all I have to show you can do Space Marines in a different way than the present Warhammer 40K style of dull personalities, Hollywood Tactics, and overdependence on unrealistic expectations of Powered Armor and humongous firepower.
"Allah may guide their bullets, but Jesus helps those who aim down the sights."
I like to have everything fantastical that I create have some kind of basis in reality or, at the very least, enough internal consistency for magicology to be considered a legitimate science.
"Whenever I feel like I know how computers work, I go to class and leave feeling like I'm wearing my pants on my head, eating paste."
14 USAF7131st Oct 2011 07:46:43 AM from the United States
I changed accounts.
What most of the above said, in terms of going for realism. I like to shove realism on fantastic situations for fun and profit...
I am now known as Flyboy.
15 chihuahua01st Oct 2011 08:06:55 AM from Standoff, USA , Relationship Status: I LOVE THIS DOCTOR!
Writer's Welcome Wagon
I had been trying to do this but...perhaps next draft.

One case of Reality Ensues is when the protagonist finds that duel wielding can be quite unwielding.

16 TeraChimera1st Oct 2011 08:09:14 AM from somewhere out there
Cool Celtic Composition
[up] Unwielding? You mean unwieldy, right?
"The Uncertainty Principle isn't about uncertainty and it isn't a principle; other than that, it's perfectly named." — David Van Baak
17 Wolf10661st Oct 2011 12:38:16 PM from New Zealand , Relationship Status: In my bunk
Typin' strangely

whereas I'm trying to learn as much about real historical sword fighting as I can so I can make the fights as short, brutal and realistic as possible - I've rather had my fill of lengthy "cool" sword fights.

Perhaps my readers will enjoy the gritty realism, perhaps they'll shun my works for not being cool and exciting enough - who knows. grin
Dangerously Genre Savvy since ages ago...
Shadowed Philosopher
I like realism; in fact, I'm fairly obsessive about it, within the context of the world. Yeah, it's a Naruto fanfic and people are throwing fireballs around, but I'm going to remain internally consistent, damnit. I later realize that none of my readers actually care that much, but I still obsess about it anyway.
Shinigan (Naruto fanfic)
Cogito ergo cogito
I don't care for realism at all.

For me it's all perception and nothing of objectivity.
'It's gonna rain!'
What is realism?

21 annebeeche1st Oct 2011 05:03:20 PM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
Put simply, I like to aim for historical and scientific authenticity.
Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion.
I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
22 Night1st Oct 2011 05:22:28 PM from Jaburo , Relationship Status: Drift compatible
The future of warfare in UC.
I tell stories of unrealistic things with as much realism as possible.

The care, feeding, and tactics of power armor or flight mages are things that are actually of great concern to me. tongue
Nous restons ici.
Gay bacon strips
I try to make most of my works as realistic as possible while still containing supernatural or science fiction elements.
Author in waiting
I perfer to keep it within the realm of possible physics, allowing for whatever exceptions the world my have. For example, I was reading a story were a halfing gutting a orc, by putting a dagger into its belly and shoving up (assumable cutting through the armor as well). My first thought was "bulls**t"
I am a nobody. Nobody is perfect. Therefore, I am perfect.
25 MrAHR1st Oct 2011 08:54:42 PM from ಠ_ಠ , Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
None of my characters are likable, just like real life.


I kid. I kid. I scoff in the face of realism.

Except when I heavily obey it.

Total posts: 60
1 2 3