THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FICTION AND REALITY?
FICTION HAS TO MAKE SENSE.
This is something I struggle with in my own writing. I've had my work - novel manuscripts - critiqued by professionals and one of the things the majority of them say, independently of each other, is why. "Why would she do that?" "I don't understand why he did that." "Why would someone react that way?"
To me, it usually makes perfect sense why my characters do what they do but when I step back, out of my world and into the real one, and I look at the story, the characters, the motivation, the stakes with a more objective eye, I see what they're saying.
It doesn't mean things can't happen randomly - they do in real life, all the time - but the actions we take, the decisions our characters make have to be true to the circumstances and to the person. I've read books where the characters do some weird things and make some odd choices - things I probably wouldn't do - but I keep reading because it all makes sense in the story.
Let's get real with our writing today.