Realism vs. Perceptions

» Posted on Oct 23, 2005 in Blog | Comments Off on Realism vs. Perceptions

When do we as writers ignore our research and write something we know isn’t true according to what we have discovered? On a loop I am on we have discussed what the popularity of shows like CSI has done to the public’s perception of what is possible at a crime scene or shortly thereafter. To get DNA results back fast just isn’t done in the real world–even a high profile case could still take weeks. But on TV shows we see almost instant results, not just from DNA tests but others as well. What CSI personnel have the time, money and manpower to comb large areas for evidences as we often see in the TV shows? The way the shows portray CSI personnel often they accompany the police to talk with suspects, etc. Again this is usually not done in real life.

Recently I researched a book about hostage negotiations. Some of the ones I’ve seen on TV and in the movies would make a real negotiator cringe. On one show the FBI agent went barreling into the hostage situation with no regard for herself and ultimately the victim. That just isn’t done in real life.

So I am back to the question: how far do we tamper with the research to make our story work?