There is something about the realist writer that appeals to me. I enjoy reading their stories and books and poems concerning the lives and struggles of genuine day-to-day people. The old drunk on the corner drinking his wine from a paper sack, the man who can’t get a girl to go on a date with him, and the single mom who’s at odds with her teenage, drug-addict daughter, these are the people and stories I want to read. These are the people to which I most relate—the real people.
I gain an immediate connection to these characters when they have the same goals, desires, and heartaches as I do. I want to know about the man working down at the local factory who is facing layoff. How does he cope? How will he provide for his family? What are his options? Take me into the mind of the school teacher turned prostitute. Make me interested in her thoughts and emotions. Make me sense her emotional pain as she lies down with a total stranger for the fifth time in one night. These are the stories I want to read.
I’ve always held the lives of the ordinary men and women in high regard. These “ordinary” people make for extraordinary stories. No magic, no science fiction, just realism. Solid, barebones, storytelling.