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Realistic Fiction

When reviewers complain that a story element is "unrealistic," their real complaint is usually something else. When they say a handsome billionaire falling for a mousy secretary is "unrealistic," they're really saying that the characters were underdeveloped and their romance was flat and contrived. When they say the pat deus ex machina at the end was "unrealistic," they're really saying that it felt cheap. (In general, when people complain about the ending, the problem isn't the ending. The problem is the middle leading up to it.)

— "Ideal vs. Reality," T. K. Marnell

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