Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Literary versus Genre

Recently, I've had the opportunity to interact with a creative writing teacher of the literary variety. It has been interesting. Some things I expected. I thought literary fiction likes a lot of description with beautiful metaphors and similes. This is true. I thought literary fiction thinks plot is less important. This is also true.

Some things I did not expect. One thing I've learned is literary fiction really likes ambiguity and subtlety. If the reader can't tell what's going on...that's a good thing. Another surprise was story structure can b e very important. According to a literary creative writing teacher here are the elements of a story:

  • Structure
  • Character(s)
  • Plot
  • Setting

What is the one thing every story must have? Conflict. I agree conflict is very important...but how do you have a story or conflict without a character? I'm still scratching my head about that one.

What do you think?

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