Did realism in novels get too gritty for readers? Too horrific? Is that a reason for the rise of fantasy, sci-fi, and magical realism? Fantasy and sci-fi create other worlds where suspense and violence are a step removed from the reader. Magical realism, on the other hand, takes place in a real world where magic is as common as clouds.
How do you make the incredible normal? Inevitably, the writer must blur the line between reality and fantasy. Tropes that have been used to accomplish this are telepathy, dead persons as characters, psychological disorder, paranormal phenomena, and a washy way with time.
See more on magical realism on my blog, featured on Columbia II Writers Workshop's website this week.