The whole idea of realism in fiction is, well, a bit phony, as most fiction writers would agree. I sometimes wonder, though, what it’d be like if more writers (and filmmakers) really bit the bullet and tried to make art that looked just like life, with all its boring pauses and incoherent dialogue and unattractive people and bad lighting and so forth.
Also, if you’re really dedicated to realism in fiction-writing, you should probably consciously resist even doing things like letting the fictional events reflect any awareness on your part of readers’ expectations of those events. For instance, a long-awaited new character should not first appear by striding into a room of expectant onlookers.
(This is not to say that real life is always boring, as my planned musings on Genghis Khan in next month’s Book Selections entry shall remind you all.)