I write stories in a genre I call “emotional realism.” By this, I mean that the situations are contrived, realistically or unrealistically. The scope of coincidence can be as broad as a story requires, without recourse to probability. The story can be fantastic, supernatural, magical, mundane or mythical. Ridiculous or absurd.
What matters, to an emotionally realistic story, is that given the situations and the idiosyncrasies of the characters, the emotional responses of the character are realistic. People react and behave, emotionally, in the manner of real people.
So I write with lots of liberty and great restraint. For me, the balance between the two is a marvelous story style.
Emotional realism has formed a significant part of literature since Shakespeare, through the romantics, into the French and Russian realisms, modern and post-modern works. The one genre that depends on emotional realism is romance. For me, the only interesting story is a romance.