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What is literary fiction? Is anyone writing it?

Forums Fiction General Writing Discussions What is literary fiction? Is anyone writing it?

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  • #158006
    Jess R. Plowman
    @toljamedia

    Part 1

    I’m always a little nervous to bring this up – there always seems to be someone who gets defensive about the whole concept, as if by saying I want to write literary fiction, what I’m actually saying is that I think I’m better than them.

    Also, no one seems to have a good definition of the term, so people tend to bring their own prejudices – positive or negative – into the discussion and often end up talking past each other about different things.

    I can’t perfectly define literary fiction myself yet, but I feel it would be absolutely devastating to throw out the term altogether (as I’ve heard some suggest on other forums). Without it, I would have no way at all to describe my aspirations for my writing. Because I do believe “literary fiction” is more than just *~quality~* or *~prestige~* …it has to be! Because I believe a concept can be inherently literary fiction, in the same way a fantasy concept is inherently fantasy, before it’s ever drafted or polished.

    Part 2

    Does anyone else feel like they’re trying to write literary fiction? (Even if it also has a speculative element – I confess mine sure does) Why do you feel that way? What do you get out of literary fiction and how to do you distinguish it from non-literary fiction books, personally?

    Also, can we start a genre forum like the fantasy guys have (she asks into the void)?

    But there is a spirit within people, the breath of the Almighty within them, that makes them intelligent.

    #158008
    Abrielle
    @abrielle

    @toljamedia

    I’d never heard of literary fiction before, but the definition I found on the web says that it is character driven instead of plot driven, which sounds so cool! I recently wrote something that was kind of like that (although it was also kind of sci-fi) and I’d love to write more in that genre. Have you got something you’re working on right now? Have you got a favorite book in that genre? It seems to me that a lot of the classics would fit that description (by which I mean Dickens, I haven’t read many others) as well as maybe Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson? Correct me if I’ve got a totally wrong idea; like I said, I didn’t even know it was a thing before today.

    Do not be anxious about tomorrow; tomorrow will be anxious about itself.

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