Love Out Of Lust Series

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Realism Dilemma

Over the number of years that I’ve been writing, and I’ve noticed the reviews and comments written by some people about stories that have read. While some of their one, two, or three star reviews may have some legitimacy, due to the fact the writer had written a boring piece, there were too many punctual errors, or the person wasn’t feeling the story entirely, I have noticed a number of reviews that was over-opinionated, petty, and lots of nip-picking.

Ouch! Why did I say that? Well, why not tell it like it is.

I’m going to give a brief re-cap from a review I received in 2012, when I released “The Girl Upstairs” on Romance Divine. I won’t say the name of the reviewer, out of respect, but I got to notice all the nip-picking on my story:

Before I get into the pieces of the story, let me give you a brief summary of my story that Carlos Munoz moved out of New York City, in search for a better life in Scranton, PA, and he falls for this woman Bella that lives above him. What Carlos doesn’t know is that Bella has a dark past, an ex-boyfriend who just got out of jail. When her ex-boyfriend finds out where she lives, Carlos does what it takes to save Bella from the most unthinkable.

Okay, now the review I received three years ago, with a bombardment of criticism from one reviewer.

The reviewers said that how could I write a story where a man who was a financial analyst go down to being a janitor? And have I done any research on how much a financial analyst makes in New York? Also, what are the odds of the ex-boyfriend finding out where she lived? It’s not really possible, if he got out of jail. The sex was really good, but your characters didn’t use any condoms. I don’t think I could give it a good review.

My response was like, really? Get the fuck out of here! But I have much thicker skin than that, and I’m sure there are many authors who feel the same.

Now, I did explain in the story, The Girl Upstiars, that Carlos was a financial analyst who got laid off when the company went under. He tried to find another job, but he couldn’t make ends meet and left New York City to live with his brother, until he was able to get his own place. The average salary of a financial analyst for a big company in New York City is 70k. When he moved to Scranton, located in Northeastern Pennsylvania, the only job he could find was a janitor job that paid $23k a year. I know a hell of a drop. I also explained in the story of why he didn’t pursue the job as a financial analyst. He also hated the job, the more he was working in that field.

The odds of Bella’s ex-boyfriend, who just got out of prison and discovered where she lived, finding her is totally fiction. I never intended to get into the details, and drag on the scene. In my opinion, I found it too boring, and I like to avoid any extra fluffs and fillers.

And now the part some readers bitch about reading erotic stories – characters that engage in risky sex in the story. Yes, in the real world, HIV/AIDS and other STI’s exist, but in the story, my characters are immune to it, unless I say they are not; whether you like it or not, that the way I write my sex scenes.

Now I know, in the real world, these events aren’t at all possible or things are handled differently in a situation, but there are a lot of readers that need to pull their heads out of their ass, because the story is fiction. Shall I spell it? F-I-C-T-I-O-N. I am an erotic romance author that uses ‘writer’s creativity.” The true purpose of the story was about a man who left the city life to settle in a small town, to fall in love with a woman who was right for him. The story was never meant to feel real.

But to get back to the topic of fiction, when you watch a TV Show or a movie; let’s take NCIS or CSI, for example, or better yet, Law & Order: SVU, better yet. What makes the T.V. Shows really interesting is how they plot the story. Surely, they use real life events, but they also use writer’s creativity. I will give you samples of writers creativity, and there is no law for it. The truth is it’s how well can you make the show very interesting.

The episodes in Law & Order: SVU, uses realistic events in their shows, they also use creativity to keep it interesting, otherwise it wouldn’t have lasted sixteen seasons. They have to add different plots, scenarios, and create twists that will make you say ‘Oh Shit!’, but also the story doesn’t necessarily have a happy ending in the story. Also, in the show, the crime is immediately solved. While in reality, cases like these go cold; victims don’t come forward because of fear, and sometimes these crimes go unreported because of other circumstances. The show is a hit, because of the creativity of the show, not because it feels so real. The show is supposed to capture you in a drama. That’s the trademark of Dick Wolf.

I use some real events in the story, but I choose writer’s creativity to keep it interesting. If I use any ounce of realism, then the story is over-explained and boring. Realism in a fiction story hinders creativity, no matter how you put it. Both Stephen King, L. Ron Hubbard, Danielle Steele, E.L. James, and James Patterson, all respectively, use creative writing skills to make their stories interesting, regardless of how real it might feel to you, which I’m about to touch another subject about how real it needs to feel.

Reader: But I need the story to feel so real to me. I need to be the character when I read it.

First of all, get over your melodrama. What is it that you need to feel the character? Do you expect the character to physically touch you? Fiction or fantasy is meant to let your mind escape, not transform you into some magical creature. We are suppose to help your imagination fly, not keep you grounded with reality. And to those who need to be the character, come the fuck down to reality, because you sound ridiculous! If you want to understand the character, then that is different, but for you to be the character I think you need to seek help.

Reader: This one phrase in the story didn’t sound right.

Really, this one phrase in the story instantly destroyed your mood to read the book. Do you know how pathetic you sound to the average person who has sense and sensibility? No one’s perfect in the world, but your pettiness is compared to going over to five-star restaurant and bitch to the waiter that your glass of water isn’t clear enough, even if they served it to you from a Fiji water bottle. Seriously, get the fuck out of here!

Reader: The things in the story aren’t accurate.

Okay, while there is a half argument here, but the story can still be fiction; not real.

If you’re writing a historical story, you do need to do some research. I don’t care if you’re writing a story that takes place in 2003, for example. Smart phones didn’t exist in 2003, and running water from a faucet didn’t exist in the 1781. You have to do some fact checks and research on what existed. I mean the internet didn’t exist publicly in 1990, and in 1994, it was barely making a mark in the United States and United Kingdom.

However, to counter-argue here, If I feel like including a forty-story building in a town called Lubbock, Texas, United States in my story, I can. There’s no rules on that. If I want to create a fictional town in my story called St. Marks Hill, California or Santa Maria, New York I can! It’s fiction, it doesn’t have to be real or accurate to your liking.

I want you to show me where in the rule book of writer’s creativity that I have to write it so real? Filmmakers use this, so do authors, and there is no rule book. Only your mind can create such fictional things. It’s the most unique and complex weapon in your body. All it takes to write something fiction is a vision.

Now everyone is entitled to their opinions, but you can’t argue the facts that writers can’t be creative. Keep in mind, and I’m going to be very harsh about it, as writers, we are catering to the general public; not you. Even if it means you tell ten others not to buy our book, your opinions do not become law. We do have our fan base, regardless how small it is, and what real authors are about is originality. We are not genetically the same like other authors. I’m not Stephen King, but we both utilize writer’s creativity. I’m an erotic author who enjoys arousing my readers with fictional fun and sexual fantasies. My goal is to entertain an audience, not you. If you do not like what I write it’s fine. I learn through my experiences that I can’t please everyone. It’s like dealing with people who don’t like me, and I’m not going to cater to them, but I do have to say get over your realism dilemma; it’s fiction for god sakes. Learn to enjoy reading it.

7 comments:

  1. Well done, R. ay. In real life much of what we write goes on....much of it does not! The truth is, people read to escape the confines of law and order, of rules and persecution, of even right and wrong. The want to escape to a fantasy; that is why we call it fiction. If she wants reality, read non-fiction or watch Island Nudity - Naked and Afraid on DIscovery. Or is that Island Stupidity? In MY books, my lovers do not fumble for condoms and no one I know has the kind of recurring regular scorching, mind-blowing sex I describe. F*I*C*T*I*O*N Get a life and a copy of The Lion King ~ the Defense rests. xo

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm definitely on the other side of the fence on this one. I try not to judge stories by their realism, and I always give a story at least one big suspension of disbelief. It's usually that one detail (like your released convict) that makes the story work. The others do turn me off. It's a big problem when I find too too beautiful people everywhere I turn. Drives me crazy! I almost always give my characters one flaw, a missing tooth, too much weight, a freckle or mole that occasionally draws the narrators eye, bad fashion sense, something! Everyone has something that ruins that ideal and it's what makes me relate to and love a character. Often the flaw is mental or emotional and that is what the protagonist is trying to overcome. Those are perfect.

    I understand not wanting to pop in a mention of a condom or the awkwardness of not quite lining up right before thrusting, but I ADORE writing the latter! It is so much fun to show characters that are real, that can laugh at one another and not be completely lost in the moment and instead lose themselves to one another.

    The nit-picky devil's advocate will now go and stand in the corner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As I drag you out of your corner. I think what you're referring to is the how you like to write your stories, versus the way people review their stories. While I've read your work, and it's also described as fiction, how you prefer to write it is totally different than how you want to read it. What I'm pointing out are the number of reviewers who need to understand it is fiction, and yes I did included here, there are authors who want to write fantasy, but put too much realism in their stories, which thus makes it very over-explanatory and boring. However, your work is erotic fiction.

      Delete
  3. Well, thanks. I was just looking at my work in progress and saw another example of realism. I had to go from her kneeling behind him with a strap on to him bent over the bed so she could stand, because she has bad knees. Talk about not fantastic! Wow. :p

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Again, you are showing your story with writers' creativity. It's not like your going to the over explanation of everything in the story.

      Delete
    2. That's true. I know I like reading things written the way I write. I like a smack of the real in amid all the fantasy and fiction. It really resonates that way.

      Delete