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Post 11 and 13: Realistic Fiction VS. Fantasy and SciFi

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Realistic Fiction

Do you read realistic fiction? I do. I read a lot of things, actually. But if you would like to know the inside scoop as to what falls under realistic fiction, keep reading:

Realistic fiction deals with day-to-day events that are universal to all people. While cultures and the way of life may be different from person to person, it is all realistic (based on reality). Things like the way teens talk, to the reflection of a school day, etc, are all normal. Normal issues are the key areas of conflict in YA books.

Themes emerge naturally based off of these conflicts. Puberty, sex, friends, etc, are all things that happen naturally in a person’s life, and these issues naturally become the themes of the books. There is usually one main theme with one or two other smaller themes in the same piece of writing. For example, in my upcoming novel, “The Thread that Keeps Me,” Jesse has to deal with poverty while taking on a sexual relationship and the role of mother to her little sister. The main theme is poverty but the other two themes tie in with it.

The book RELATES to the reader. That’s the biggest key. While it may not relate directly (as we do not all experience the same things,) readers know enough about the situation to develop empathy as they read. They can also relate it to similar experiences in their lives. Various topics, as mentioned before, are addressed, such as: death, love, sex, family and family changes as well as body images.

 

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Fantasy and SciFi

Fantasy is my number one favorite. Here are the essential elements of fantasy and sci-fi that you need to keep in mind when writing:

As long as it cannot really happen, it’s usually fantasy. In other words, unfortunately, we cannot fly on brooms. We cannot truly cast spells, or live in space – that would all fall under “violating the laws of physical reality” (Perry). For example, animals cannot talk back to humans. Animals cannot drive boats. Humans cannot read other’s minds (though I wish I could).

Sci-fi (science fiction) fits in the realm of fantasy, but not all fantasy is sci-fi.

Even though the story falls under fantasy, the story and world still must be established and developed in such a way that it is believable. Are there rules? It has to be solid and consistent so that there are no holes. The characters must also be believable and relatable. Are they searching for friends? Are they trying to survive some kind of even the way we allegorically try to survive certain issues in our lives? Is your writing believable enough that readers can get past the parts that are impossible? Do you make it seem as though it could really happen? If so, good. Are you still tying in themes that underly children or young adults? Remember, doing so helps your readers care about your characters and story more than any plot ever would.

These are things that I know fairly well as a writer and that I am continually mindful about as I write. As I read I will be evaluating the books as to what category they fall under. Sometimes books blend, as kind of mentioned before. Keeping mind of these elements will be really helpful when recommending books to picky readers!

Hope that helps!

#yabooks #childrensbooks #fantasy #sci-fi #writing #writinglife

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