"Part of writing realistic fiction, for me, is giving my characters hope. Even if the ending isn’t always the happiest ending, there has to be hope and happiness somewhere in the book for me as a writer to really feel good in writing it. I want to enjoy the process of writing it, and I want my characters to be okay. I’ve created them; they’ve lived in my head; I’ve rewritten them and rewritten them. At some point, I come to love them, so I want them to have some sense that the world is okay out there.
The things that are happening to my characters are at once larger than life and are everyday minutiae — those small moments in people’s lives that can make readers feel like they have their ears pressed against the door or are spying wwith binoculars. Some parts of the characters are familiar, and it makes readers’ own lives feel more real. That’s what I think I bring to it when I’m sitting down to write. When I read books that are realistic fiction, I find myself in them.
I think as readers, once we see ourselves in the pages of the book, we are allowed a certain amount of legitimacy, and that legitimacy empowers us.”
-Jacqueline Woodson, from teachingbooks.net