Thoughts on Why Realistic Should Not be Reasonable

Imagine I call you and say,

“I got hit by a car today when I was on my bike, man I think it messed up my back.”

Now let us imagine some of your possible responses.

  1. “That sounds horrible do you need anything?”
  2. “That sounds horrible, what is even more horrible is that I feel bad about it.”
  3. “That sounds painful, but not all car drivers hit people.”
  4. “Were you in the bike lane?”
  5. “We all have suffered, I am not sure why you think you are special.”
  6. “Gosh, well at least you got to ride in a car to get home, rather than have to ride your bike. In a way, it was a good thing right!”
  7. “That sounds horrible, but I never did it, so why are you telling me?”


When writing fiction, we tend to choose the most reasonable response because we want to seem realistic.  But is the most reasonable response the most realistic?  Go on twitter or in the comments section of most websites.  You will find that more often than not people do not choose the reasonable response.  They often choose the craziest most convoluted responses they can find.  They get argumentative over nothing and misunderstand things to such a level that it seems almost on purpose.  People troll, and people fight.  Guilt and pride often rule over compassion and critical thinking.  It is important to remember that when creating characters, we embrace this part of humanity.

What are some of the “reasonable” things you have seen characters do that is simply unbelievable?

Or “unbelievable” things humans actually do in real life?

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