3 Things All Writers Can Learn From…Realism

One more addition to my “3 Things” series (there’s a whole bunch, go check them out). Now we’re onto realism.

1) How to make things feel authentic

Realism needs to feel authentic – but this can apply to other genres too. Unless you want to go out into a surrealistic narrative, having a thread of authenticity helps to keep your reader engaged. We all like a bit of escapism and adventure, but we also like to relate to characters, settings, and storylines. So adding authenticity in any form is necessary for pretty much all genres.

2) How to draw attention to social issues

Realism is often defined by focusing on those marginalized by society. It’s unafraid to confront the harsh realities of life. These issues are central to many realistic books. And whilst your novel may not focus so strongly on them, everyday issues will be present. Realism can get heavy-handed but not if done well, and it’s this you can learn from.

3) How to explore themes subtly

If you look at the summary of many realistic stories, they may seem kind of dull. Tales of real life are difficult to get right because in real life, often not a lot happens. And if you try and force in “events” you risk things becoming soapy and melodramatic. But done right, the true story of a realistic tale is hidden only slightly below the surface. The themes are front and centre – just not in a way that’s in your face.

Related reads

3 Things Writers Can Learn From…Historical Fiction

3 Things Writers Can Learn From…Romance

3 Things Writers Can Learn From…Crime


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