Sorry to be so late today! Had to take my herd of children to the doctor's office to get shots and purple cupcake band-aids.
That's one of those things that doesn't really happen in books, isn't it? Literary characters rarely pee, and if they need to, it's always at the most inconvenient times. They never just see the bathroom at the mall and realize, "Oh, I have to go." They also don't wash their faces very often, and they usually only wake up once--inevitably right at the beginning of the first chapter. People in books don't seem to need to do much yard work and their carpets seem to miraculously clean themselves. Frankly, I'm thinking I might like to be a literary character, because other than the potty thing, it sounds like a pretty good deal.
It's funny, because I know a lot of writers who shoot for realism in their books, but is that really an accurate term? Because in most cases, reality is what we're trying to escape from when we pick up a book. I'm not so interested in the adventures of a soccer mom, because I live them. Although if it's a demon fighting soccer mom, then we're on, bay-bee. Totally.
Plus, the so-called "reality" in books isn't really all that real. I think it's more "realistic" than anything else--you're picking and choosing bits of a life that are interesting and leaving the rest out. Yes, your hero probably makes a pit stop after getting into that brawl with the school bully, and then when he gets home, he finds out that his mom bought the wrong brand of underwear, and it's the kind that gives him red marks around his waist, and why can't she remember that, darn it? And then maybe they argue about that a little before he goes upstairs and finds the bully waiting for him in his room.
Most books skip over the underwear and peeing bits in an effort to tell a good story, as well as the driving-places-in-the-car and the getting-vaccinations and the grocery-shopping-excursion stuff. It's all in the quest for a good story, and I don't have a problem with that. But sometimes I see new writers get confused, because they're being told that their scenes need to feel real. I totally agree, but I think that you still need to pick and choose those bits that move your story along and make THOSE as real as possible.
What do you think? Am I making any sense at all here?