How Come Fiction Has To Be Realistic?

Just so you know, this post is going to be quick and to the point. I’m just venting a little because of one question that’s bothered me for years: how come fiction has to be realistic but real life doesn’t?

I mean, it just doesn’t make any sense! Now, of course I don’t mean all aspects of fiction. After all, we all know that most every hero and villain in the D.C. and Marvel universes aren’t realistic (yet). But by and large, there are still an enormous amount of improbable (and sometimes even probable) events that happen in real life that are frowned upon in fictional writing.

That guy would never be able to shove a car. Are you kidding me? There are videos of individual moms lifting cars to save their children, but you’re telling me my (tremendously, almost supernaturally strong) fictional character can’t?

She should’ve died! There’s no way she could possibly survive that! Oh, you mean just like nobody should be able to survive being struck by lightning…twice?

Nobody would be stupid enough to– Let me stop your right there. Watch the local news for five minutes. I rest my case.

There’s no way she could’ve had such a long string of bad luck. Seriously? Just talk to a stranger…any stranger.

And in addition to this, many people will complain how a character talks or dresses is unrealistic. (And having resided in NYC for the last three months, I can assure you that any style of speaking or dressing that you can imagine is realistic…trust me.) It’s just annoying. Really annoying. Particularly since fiction isn’t designed to be completely realistic. It’s fiction!

That’s the end of my rant (for now). But I still want to know why. Why does fiction have to be realistic but real life doesn’t?

If you can think of a reason, please leave your answer in the comment section below. Thanks. 🙂

Until next time.

– JP

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