Realism – Annoying Realism

Every author I have ever advice from has always spoke of the importance of Realism. The jest of their advice was readers only like what they can relate to and only can relate to what they believe could be real. This made perfect sense coming from the mystery and romance novelists. A few years ago I spoke with a science fiction author and he echoed the exact same sediment as the mystery and romance novelists. This caused me to pause, because how could his work have any sense of realism when he wrote about time machines and aliens. I am paraphrasing, but he roughly said,

As the author you can create any reality you want, but it is important that the reality you create exists.

Hu? That was my initial response, until he went on to explain what he meant. He mentioned that a sci-fi author who creates a new planet in this universe which is roughly the size of earth should have roughly the same gravitational effects as earth. Ok, makes sense so far, but what about worm-holes and warp speed, etc? According to him, it just a mater of portraying the concept in a way the reader believes it is reality.

I don’t believe I am good at capturing all the little details to create a believable reality, but I try. Last night I was attempting to finish my newest story, when I realized the entire conversation at the start had to be rewritten. The progression and message were fine, but the conversation is via text between two uppity college girls and I had used grammar and correct spelling. So I spent the evening reading screen shots of SMS conversations between teenagers. I got the first part fixed, though my head still hurts, and I now fear slightly for the survival of the human race, or at least the English language.

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