February 1st, 2017

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Writing Excuses 12.5: Literary Fiction

Writing Excuses 12.5: Literary Fiction

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2017/01/29/12-5-literary-fiction/

Key Points: Literary is a modifier, that can apply to mainstream, science fiction and fantasy, or other genres. Literary means quality of form, marked style. Genre is a set of tropes and archetypes that readers are familiar with. Literary fiction pays attention to some aspect of the craft and tries to do something new with it. Windowpane prose, that is transparent, or stained glass windows? Embrace your style of writing, whether that's transparent windowpanes or stained glass.

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[Brandon] So, I'm going to call it here. But I will use my powers as director to add just a little footnote at the end. It is okay to embrace your style of writing. I am a windowpane writer. I can enjoy a stained glass window writers, but, for me, I've stylistically chosen a certain thing. I want to do it really well. The thing that Mary Anne said that I really love is that… And I think some professors lose sight of this… Is that you can challenge with more than just the prose. You can challenge, as Kurt Vonnegut did, with the themes. You can challenge… You can take your genre, and you're like, "I want to write dragon books. I want to write really fun dragon books. I want to write them in a way that stands out." That you can push in that direction. You can learn from literary fiction how to do that better, I feel. This is not… We don't have to be antagonistic, as we so often are. I think we can all learn from each other a lot better. I'm really glad and excited to have you on the podcast this season, Mary Anne, because I really feel like you're somebody who has been in both camps…
[Chuckles]
[Brandon] And can like cross the aisle, right. In a way that's going to be really good for our listeners. I'm going to let Wes, because he didn't get to talk as much on this one… Sorry, Wesley.
[Wesley] I am not literary.
[Brandon] I'm not either. So it's okay. Let's go ahead and let you give us a writing prompt.
[Wesley] Okay. So, I actually read this on a website yesterday. Creeped me out. So here it is. You drive your spouse to the airport and watch her fly away on a business trip. Then you drive home. Go back to your house, and find her working on the computer. Go.
[Brandon] This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses. Now go write.