In  appeared one of the most popular of modern melodramas, Bayard Veiller's The Trial of Mary Dugan... While the situation was one of extreme theatricalism, he courtroom scene itself was treated with minute realism. Ayn Rand's The Night of January 16 (1935) went one step further in this direction by selecting a jury from the audience at each performance and paying them at legal rates. (p. 235)It's amusing, at least to me, to see Rand singled out here for pushing the envelope in the direction of realism. In later years, she was frequently attacked for not being adequately realistic.
I do think a shift occurred in her writing. We the Living is highly realistic, and makes much of the method of realism, particularly in its emphasis on the grinding quality of poverty and oppression. So devotees of realism frequently see it as her best effort.
I grew up as a sci-fi fan,
so I wasn't bugged
by the inventive events
of Atlas Shrugged.