There’s no such category as “realistic fiction.” I know this cause I’ve spent some time in bookstores.

When you think about it, and I hope you’re thinking a LOT about how books work, fiction has to be believable, not necessarily realistic.  Is it realistic that Jack Reacher always wins fights? No. Do I believe he does? You bet.

And more important: I don’t read novels to get a dose of reality. That’s what I have the New York Times for. I read novels for lots of different reasons but reality isn’t on that list.

What does this mean for you? Don’t over-think category. It’s really ok to call your work a novel and leave it at that.  If you write genre novels, use the broadest category you fit.  Don’t try to be clever.

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