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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

14 Comments

  1. Val Kovalin
    Sep 18, 2008 @ 22:27:47

    Hi, Jane, I appreciate you putting the poll alerts to the RSS feed! That’s very helpful.

    I just realized I might have skewed this poll a little: I took “realistic” to mean “believable” (well-researched, well-grounded, detailed) whereas you might have meant it as simply “mundane” or “real-world” and I chose ALL the options!

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  2. Sarah Frantz
    Sep 18, 2008 @ 22:31:17

    Romantic suspense!

    And Ditto with Val on the feeds.

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  3. SonomaLass
    Sep 18, 2008 @ 22:38:37

    I’m with Val — I took “realistic” to mean believable, detailed and consistent. Which I need no matter what the genre or sub-genre or whatever.

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  4. Jane
    Sep 18, 2008 @ 22:41:25

    Polls are hard. I meant what you took it to mean, Val. Basically, alot of ER’s have such wild, improbable settings that it often drives me crazy. I.e., three girls go to a fantasy island of sex.

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  5. Laura K
    Sep 19, 2008 @ 03:19:06

    Ditto above comments — settings need to be internally consistent if they aren’t “real”. And ditto, too, on the thanks for the heads up for feed users!

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  6. Kaetrin
    Sep 19, 2008 @ 06:27:23

    I, too, ticked all options. The stories need to be internally consistent whatever the genre. If a novel’s “world” has a set of rules, then the book needs to obey them. If not, the story will jar with me and I won’t enjoy it. I like to immerse myself in a story. If it doesn’t make sense I can’t do that. It doesn’t have to be realistic as compared to my own world, just compared to its own.

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  7. BevQB
    Sep 19, 2008 @ 06:43:24

    Add me to the list of those that checked all the options.

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  8. Kristen
    Sep 19, 2008 @ 06:50:56

    You mean you’ve never been to a fantasy island of sex? You need a different travel agent.

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  9. JulieLeto
    Sep 19, 2008 @ 08:00:28

    Hey, Kristen…send me that name/number of your travel agent, ‘kay?

    I once wrote a Blaze that featured a restaurant where the customers ate on beds. The copy editor freaked b/c this couldn’t possibly true! And yet, I got the idea from a restaurant in South Beach. That I think is still in business. And I believe there are several in other big cities now. So…one person’s realistic is another person’s impossible.

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  10. MoJo
    Sep 19, 2008 @ 08:28:57

    So…one person's realistic is another person's impossible.

    I’ve run into that before. “That would never happen!” Uhm, yeah, it would. Because it did. I didn’t spin that out of thin air.

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  11. Jane
    Sep 19, 2008 @ 09:16:08

    You mean you've never been to a fantasy island of sex? You need a different travel agent.

    I know! Actually, the one I was referring to had a couple of girls go to this island getaway and one of the first scenes is the whorish friend spotting some guy with a parrot on his shoulder and going over to give him head. I laughed my head off and tossed the book aside.

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  12. RfP
    Sep 19, 2008 @ 09:16:40

    If “realistic” means “consistent” (as in, I can believe in the fictional world once I’m oriented to it), then all of the above. (Except I enjoy surprises–are those the same as inconsistencies? And I can enjoy a weird world, especially if it feels intentional–but how to generalize that “feels” criterion?)

    If it means “detailed” then I want it some of the time for all of the above. (I don’t always require details, and some books even seem too detailed.)

    If it means I believe the scenarios are possible in real life, I don’t know. Somewhere between none of the above and all of the above.

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  13. theo
    Sep 19, 2008 @ 11:37:47

    I too chose all for the same reason. If I have to keep track of all sorts of fantasy places, I lose the story trying to remember them all.

    And Kristen, if you have that travel agent’s number, I’ll take it! :-D

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  14. Angie
    Sep 20, 2008 @ 10:50:39

    IMO realistic settings always matter. Sloppy research or worldbuilding is always a turn-off for me.

    Note that by “realistic” I mean logical and internally consistent, with enough detail to give me a good sense of where the characters are and how what they’re doing fits into the setting, without droning on and on about irrelevancies; there’s a narrow border between “too much” and “not enough.” “Badly done” is a whole other dimension of its own.

    But even in SF, fantasy and other “unreal” genres, the settings can be “realistic” in the sense of being well thought out and believable, of fitting together well and giving one the sense that the writer actually thought put some effort into making it realistic, even if it’s a setting which never has and never will exist in the “real” world.

    Angie

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