I once read 58 books in 6 weeks. I became a regular at the local used book store, often snatching up 5 or 6 books at a time. Oh, I could have gone to the library instead or (shudder) acquired a kindle, but I have my love of paper to consider. When my overloaded bookshelf begins to take over the rest of the house, I grab my least-likely-to-be-read-again books and re-donate back to the store. The circle of life.
Some may mock my choice of reading material but I have no shame. I adore love stories. The anticipation, the romance, the often ridiculous actions of a character blinded by emotion, and the occasional steamy, deliciously satisfying naughty parts. I love it all. Unrealistic? Idealistic? Overly dramatic? Too good to be true? I don’t care. I might actually prefer all of those things.
I once read an article on writing condemning the use of the word perfect because “nothing real is perfect.” I can think of several real things I believe are perfect — to me. My ideals are likely not the same as yours which makes sense because perfect is subjective. But none of this matters. Even if I believed “nothing real is perfect,” I still would not have a reason to ban perfect from my writing. I write fiction. None of it is real. And that’s the beauty of it.
When I read… when I write… I want a bit of perfect. I seek it out. I crave it. I have plenty of harsh reality in my life… if I wanted more, I would watch the news. When I get lost in a story, reality is precisely what I’m trying to escape. I’ll take realism to the extent that what I read and write usually takes place on earth without magic or unicorns or the ability for humans to float about instead of walk. Beyond that, anything is game — a nasty character, a nice one, a manipulative one, and yes, even a perfect one. Perfect to someone, anyway.