Fiction and reality, or TSTL

Sometimes I will read a novel and feel that the protagonist is behaving in a way that doesn’t make sense. TSTL means “too stupid to live” and is a common abbreviation when talking about heroines of  romance novels. If the heroine is TSTL, I am not interested in reading about her.

Sometimes I wonder about some of my students. If I were reading a novel, I would have trouble believing that someone who really needed to pass a course would miss ten percent of the class by coming late almost every day. Who would sympathize with such a character?

If a character reads in the syllabus that “Late homework will not be accepted for any reason,” would he expect it to be accepted because he missed class? I would be annoyed if I was expected to identify with such a character in a novel. I also wouldn’t understand the character who claimed he needed to pass the course, but didn’t do the homework.

Novels tend to be more logical than life. I expect characters in novels to be logical and have at least average intelligence. Too bad that people aren’t like that in real life.

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One Response to “Fiction and reality, or TSTL”

  1. dante668 Says:

    This is true. Things happen in real life that in a novel would be considered “implausible”. Fiction needs internal logic. Characters must do things that make sense. Real life is just weird, and the people in it do some really frapping stupid things.

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