Welcome to a rainy, cool April morning, but I’m okay with that…it isn’t snowing! Today, on the A to Z Challenge, we’re looking at the letter R. When I think of R, a lot of good words come to mind, like romance and roses, but the word I’ve decided to look at is reality. As a suspense/romance novelist, one of the things I have to do in my books is make the stories believable. So…
R is for Reality
I will start by stating unequivocally that I do not watch so-called reality shows. Reality television is type of television programming that supposedly presents unscripted ordinary people, not actors, acting out dramatic, humorous, or real-time events. Give me a break! They’re being filmed, so there goes the realism in one shot. They’re doing what they’ve been told to do, so there goes the unscripted aspect. Possibly the only thing that is ‘real’ are the lines they speak, but even then, I think they’ve been coached. If I want to spend an hour or two watching television, then give me a program with solid acting, a complex and entertaining plot, and a satisfactory conclusion. I don’t want to be voted off the island, out of the house, or anything else.
When I write, I try to be as realistic as possible. I want the story to be believable, but it’s primary goal is to entertain. Since I don’t write sci-fi, whatever devices my characters have at their disposal need to actually exist. A subcutaneous tracking device would be cool, but we haven’t invented one yet that can be used safely. Maybe the black-ops people have one, but not the general public. That being said, it’s possible to put a GPS microchip into a locket or some other large enough piece of jewelry, and of course cell phones have them, so a character could be tracked by GPS. Secondly what happens in the book has to be accurate. With my first novel, I learned gasoline isn’t explosive, but the fumes are easily ignited which is what makes it look like it is.
When I write, I research, and the reality is, I’m terrified by the kind of stuff i can learn about on the Internet–modern day Molotov cocktails, pressure cooker and pipe bombs, and tons of information on drugs, and that’s not even considering the pornography and other yukky stuff out there.
Reality is important in literature, and while I strive for realism in my books, I remember that the overwhelming point is to entertain. So, when you pick up my books, rest assured the research has been done and the reality maintained.
Click on the sunflower and visit the other R blogs.