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Some Further Thoughts on Realism in Slash - Mo's Journal
January 29th, 2007
02:00 pm

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Some Further Thoughts on Realism in Slash

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From:mofic
Date:January 30th, 2007 04:34 pm (UTC)
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What I prefer is neither fantasy nor realism. All I demand is that it doesn't break suspension of disbelief or consistent characterization.

I think that relates a bit to etrangere's point above that there are different kinds of realism, and that different ones are important to different people. What breaks suspension of disbelief for me is going to be different from what does for you. My usual example is that in any real :-) sense, a guy who can kill people with his eyes is a lot less realistic than a sexually active MSM not thinking at all about HIV in early 21st Century North America, but I'll gladly go along with the ride for the former and not for the latter. It's quite individual. OTOH, within a given fandom, you're only going to have people who accept certain kinds of unrealistic elements (e.g. if someone is going to say "Gawd that whole mutant powers thing is so bogus I can't bear to read it" she's not going to be in X-Men fandom), so where people differ will be in some of the other issues.

Each story builds a different tone, and so there are different amounts of craziness you can get away with. For example, comedic episodes of a show might have stranger things happen and less consequences occurring than do in a serious episode of that show, but it is quickly established going in what level (and kind) of realism is present, so that you can adjust your expectations to that level.

And then there's always the "And the whole past year was a dream" gambit, which some can take and others can't.
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From:thirdblindmouse
Date:January 30th, 2007 05:41 pm (UTC)
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My usual example is that in any real :-) sense, a guy who can kill people with his eyes is a lot less realistic than a sexually active MSM not thinking at all about HIV in early 21st Century North America, but I'll gladly go along with the ride for the former and not for the latter.

Well, a reality that has killer eyebeams is one of the things you have to expect reading X-Men fic. Whether this reality is going to deal with real world problems such as HIV or the rising cost of energy bills is up to the fanfic author and the level of grit they want to invoke.
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From:mofic
Date:January 30th, 2007 06:03 pm (UTC)
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Yes, I think I said that in the comment you're replying to :-). I said: "within a given fandom, you're only going to have people who accept certain kinds of unrealistic elements (e.g. if someone is going to say "Gawd that whole mutant powers thing is so bogus I can't bear to read it" she's not going to be in X-Men fandom), so where people differ will be in some of the other issues."

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From:thirdblindmouse
Date:January 30th, 2007 06:16 pm (UTC)
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so where people differ will be in some of the other issues

But it's not just a reader-by-reader thing, it's also (for some of us, anyway) a story-by-story thing. An X-Men fic that worries about broken plumbing and energy bills but doesn't worry about unprotected sex is problematic in the inconsistency of its level of realism.
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