Wednesday, July 19, 2017

How much reality do you want in your books.....

I was looking back over some of my posts from years ago and came across this one in particular.... How much reality do you want in your books? 
When I first wrote this post, I was not a published author- but a reviewer and avid reader. I wanted to see if my mind has changed since I added author to my title- it has not. I still love the fantasy, the love at first sight, and of course the hot sex...So, without further ado, a post from 2012.

How much reality do you want in your books.....
I find this to be an interesting question as it can be taken so many different ways.  The first thing that I thought of was watching the news and all the depravity that occurs in less than 22 minutes of a 30-minute program. Robbery, arson, rape, murder…do I want that in a book? My answer is yes and no, so allow me to explain. Most books have a theme involving two or more people who may or may not start out on the right foot, but hopefully by the end of the story have an HEA.  That’s the reality that I want. Sometimes in a book, a rape occurs as a back drop to the story and I can completely understand that, but I don’t want every single detail of the violent act. That’s not my cup of tea.  I am not living in a fantasy world, but when I read I want to escape most of the goings on in the world; otherwise I would watch CNN 24-7. What I want is hot sex! And lots of it. What’s a book without sweaty, hot sex?  I don’t care if it’s M/F, M/M or ménage, as long as it’s a great read with a great story line.

I love the fantasy aspects in most of the books that I read.  Why not try it? You may like it.  I want my books to take me away from everyday life and introduce something that I may not have normally thought I would have been a fan of. That’s’ one of the reasons that I love the paranormal, shifter books. I know the difference between reality and fantasy and sometimes fantasy is what does it for me. I love an alpha character that is possessive, hard exterior and has a killer body, but oh, so tender. So, if that takes me away from reality then so be it; fantasy is a wonderful thing. It gives us a new dimension to the world, opens our eyes, and allows us to say “Calgon, take me away.”

I have to say though that I do want my books to be based on a realistic situation. I know that people can fall in love at first sight, I believe in it so I love when the main characters do this even if they don’t know it.  This is reality. Sometimes we have to work for what we want, simply because that is the reality of it.  All in all, reality and fantasy can blur the lines when choosing a book and only the reader can determine where the line is drawn.


Tina Donahue said...

I wrote a blog post about this subject recently, in regards to historical romance. Some reviewers prefer total reality or they're not happy with the book.

Here's my take on it: If you're writing about someone in the 1400s, 1700s, whatever - they're not going to go on and on about bugs, sweat, unsanitary conditions (not really unsanitary, but not up to modern standards) because they're used to that. They don't know any better. It's normal. So why would they go on and on about it?

Also, I like a little fantasy with my romance. Saying the hero's teeth are decaying isn't gonna do that. Plus - and this might come as a surprise - people way back when didn't have decaying teeth because they didn't indulge in refined sugar (except for the nobles maybe). So their teeth were okay.

Too much reality kills the magic. If you're writing romance, it's about the fantasy (ugly duckling snags the hot bad boy). It's definitely not about reality.

Fiona McGier said...

I agree, but I do like to write realistic people. I like my conversations to sound as if someone is really speaking. And I like the motivations for actions to be something the reader can identify with, thinking, "Yes, that's how I'd react to that, also."

I was amused recently when the editor helping get my next book re-published, had a comment in the margins. It was the morning after the heroine and hero had spent their first night together. I had them both wake up with serious arousal going on. Her comment was that was inappropriate, hey, they should be satisfied after last night, right? All I could think of is what my husband and I were like when we first "got together." I guess my editor never had moments like that. I did!