A few days ago, I read a comment on something I’d written and posted over in my writing community. To paraphrase, she said she likes reading about normal people.
There’s nothing wrong with superheroes (Uh, Thor, anyone?) and dragons and talking dogs, but I don’t like reading about them. Watch a movie about them? Sure. Maybe I’m just narrow-minded, but I think there’s more to it.
When I read, I want to identify with the main character. I want to feel her struggles and maybe even say, “I know, right?” or “Me too!” It’s possible you can relate to Thor in some respects, but it’s not quite the same, you know?
I want a character to feel like the sister I never had, or my best friend, or my neighbor, or, best of all, me. When I have common ground with a character, I can’t describe it other than to get super cheesy and say, I’m not alone! The connection may only last one line, but for that one line, I’m holding hands with that person. Maybe this isn’t as weird as it sounds. Perhaps it’s weirder. I don’t care.
At times, I admit, I’ve been accused of Lily doing or saying something that no one would ever do or say. Far from realistic fiction. To them, I say, no. Because I have done or said the thing in question and Lily is me! Let me clarify. In some cases, it’s something I would do or say.
So when I started this book, I knew I wanted to write something that was simply real. Normal people doing normal things. Tyler isn’t all that normal, but you get the idea. I also wanted scenarios that are easy to picture and imagine actually happening to you. That’s what I like to write, and that’s what I like to read.
Let’s not forget how much easier is it to write about the “every day.” Don’t get me wrong. Writing is hard and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. But in realistic fiction, I don’t have to invent elaborate settings of undiscovered worlds or creatures we’ve never heard of before. What I focus on the most is trying to capture emotion. Too much fluff can overpower the emotion. So I lose the fluff.
I’ve always been known as the quiet one. I almost feel like I’ve been preparing to write a novel my whole life, that I’ve spent years watching people and listening to them. I’m not the center of attention; I’m the one on the sidelines, taking it all in. I think that personality trait of mine has helped me write better. My point is, it comes naturally to me to write something realistic. I don’t have to think too hard. And that’s always a good thing. 🙂
I doubt I will ever branch out of this genre. But that’s OK. I don’t want to.