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Level 1 51 posts since
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75. Jan 29, 2011 3:35 PM in response to: walton
Re: Hello!  I'm new here. :)

No, I don't take "humbrage" with classifications of novels, it's pretty much a convenience to writers, readers, publishers, book stores, and librarians...what I do object to is making the arbitrary distinction between spy novels, adventure novels, romance novels, (etc.). and "serious literary novels." The question I asked was "What is a literary novel?" What do agents, publishers, and contests mean by that? If it's a simple distinction beween frivolous action stories (think Ernest Hemingway), and "serious" writers, it's pretty hard to say that classic crime, adventure, and thriller novelists were not serious writers.

Level 5 11,791 posts since
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76. Jan 29, 2011 3:52 PM in response to: easywalt
Re: Hello!  I'm new here. :)

I grabbed the following from Nathan Bransford's blog (Nathan was a literary agent for Curtis Brown for 8 years)

 

What makes Literary Fiction literary?

 

This very question was addressed at a panel at the San Francisco Writer's Conference, and everyone had a different answer. Some people feel that commercial fiction emphasizes plot whereas literary fiction emphasizes characters. Others feel that literary fiction emphasizes unique prose whereas commercial fiction is more straightforward. Still others stick to the "I know it when I see it" defense, and then of course there's the "literary fiction is that which does not sell" definition. Complicating any delineation are genre busters like Cormac McCarthy and Elmore Leonard, who write genre fiction and have plot heavy books but are considered literary. What, dare I ask, are we to make of all of this?

 

Read the rest here: http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2007/02/what-makes-literary-fiction-literary.html

 

 

 

Michelle

----------

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Level 1 51 posts since
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77. Jan 29, 2011 4:00 PM in response to: lipmag
Re: Hello!  I'm new here. :)

Well done, Michelle - it's an arbitrary classification, open to subjective interpretation. Personally, all my work is real literary!

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78. Jan 30, 2011 8:56 AM in response to: easywalt
Re: Hello!  I'm new here. :)

Hi easywalt

 

I agree to the many friends who are of the opinion that the term 'literary' does not apply only to 'serious' literature. For me personally, everything that pertains to literature is (at least it should be) classified aw 'literary. We do not have to go to a dictionary for that. Literature is in itself a vast field. It has 'types', 'genres', 'literary variety', 'variants' and so may other qualties (and defects too!). For me a text, whether it is prose, journalism, fiction, biography, comics, even a copy belong to literature. They are classified thus on a proper library shelf; Isn't it?

If literature can be so immense, then you are terribly right. Every writing is 'literary' in one form or the other. Let us not behave as "more royalist than the king' and put tags on works just to feel 'different'!

We are a rare community of people who, by the sheer force of our pen (PC?), are different from the rest of the world. WE ARE LITERARY! Anyone has an objection there? From the biggest names in writingdom to the newestcomer, every writing is 'literary'!

So you are right easywalt! You work is for the world of literature, LITERARY! You can sleep quietly on that.

The quality of the writing does not make any work more literay than the rest, nor possibly the style! Yes, it IS, according to me, another pretentious term to identify someone as more 'serious' than the others. But even here things get relative. Isn't Hergé (Georges Rémi) serious? Is "The Adventures of Tintin" less serious (literary) because it happens to be a series of comic strips? The popularity and the "universal appeal"around the world of this work has been attributed to its  and its ability to transcend time, language and culture''. So how come it is not serious or 'literary'?

 

I have just thrown an opinion. I belong to the world of literature and for me, every sentence I write foes in the category of literature, thus becoming 'literary'!

 

keep up with your 'literary'work!

 

Princept

Level 3 735 posts since
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79. Jan 30, 2011 9:14 AM in response to: princept
Re: Hello!  I'm new here. :)

I think the words 'literary/literature' were used to distinguish writing of weight and substance from 'pulp' publications--those mindless () works devoted to subjects fit for the undereducated masses. Thus, works by Mark Twain would have been considered literary.

 

I say all this tongue-in-cheek. The world of literature has changed and the rules are different, as is publishing. The opportunity to write and publish one's thoughts and stories should be available to all, and I for one embrace this change.

 

 

Barb

Level 1 51 posts since
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80. Jan 30, 2011 9:38 AM in response to: Galadriel
Re: Hello!  I'm new here. :)

Returning to the original question, "what is literary fiction?," I'm more convinced than ever that it's a totally subjective classification - and insulting to writers and readers alike. The subject came up when I received a recent email from Writers' Digest (boo!) announcing a "self-published novel contest," and the first of several genres was "mainstream/literary fiction," implying that literary fiction required its own designation. Many agents when listing the types of work they accept list "literary fiction" as a genre. I guess I'm on a crusade to eliminate that phrase entirely, and refer to all books as "literary works." The pomposity of any critic or agent to devalue work that doesn't appeal to them by placing it in a demeaning category should be stopped.

Level 5 14,279 posts since
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81. Jan 30, 2011 10:13 AM in response to: easywalt
Re: Hello!  I'm new here. :)

Earlier you said you did not take umbrage (it's my typing not my spelling) with classifications of novels. Well, if you put all the genre categories on one side, what's left is literary fiction. Yes, you can infer a hierarchy from that. But every art form as it, and every artist has to deal with it.

 

When you go to a bookstore or the library, do you take advantage of the categorization of books, or would you prefer simply having them in alphabetical order?

 

Walton

 

Mechanics & Punctuation free, 20 page guide to everything punctuation Build Your Book free 98 page guide to designing your book Contact for graphics, design, and typesetting help GIMP tutorials, GIMP, GIMP Help, excerpts from GIMP Supremacy

Level 1 51 posts since
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82. Jan 30, 2011 10:33 AM in response to: walton
Re: Hello!  I'm new here. :)

Sorry, but that argument borders on silly...of course, there's a huge difference between categories (based upon distinguishing characteristics) and subjective classifications based on presumed seriousness. I don't like the idea that any work doesn't qualify as literary because a critic doesn't believe it measures up. I don't like the idea that a carefully researched and well-written novel can be passed over as mainstream pulp fiction, and a massive piece of crap like Atlas Shrugged is a literary masterpiece. The genres are not only beneficial, but for libraries and book stores, they're necessary. All I'm saying is eliminate "literary fiction" as one of the genres.

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83. Jan 30, 2011 12:07 PM in response to: easywalt
Re: Hello!  I'm new here. :)

Fiction is good enough for me; if by "Literary" is meant, "More highbrow than Elmore Leonard," it's barking up the wrong pair o pants-legs. IMHO.

 

I'm working on getting two very different novellas published, along with accompanying short stories, since there seems no market for novellas alone, oh well. Anyone else in the same boat? - JohnnyMack

Level 0 16 posts since
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84. Jan 30, 2011 12:24 PM in response to: Ninian
Re: Hello!  I'm new here. :)

Hi Everyone,

 

I'm definitely a newbie.  My name is Dina (aka TartanFrog in the blogosphere).

I received a message from someone saying they had problem viewing my excerpt.

I just looked and it seems to me that it opens onto a random page, not the beginning.

 

If anyone would share tips about these ropes I'm apparently unskilled at climbing, I'd be so grateful.

Also, ANY FEEDBACK on the excerpt would be amazing!

 

https://www.createspace.com/Preview/1076389

 

Many thanks & good luck to all those in the Amazon contest!

 

Dina

Level 0 1 posts since
Feb 2, 2011
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85. Feb 2, 2011 11:51 AM in response to: Craela
Re: Hello!  I'm new here. :)

Hi Kate,

I'm brand new to this createspace, and have been anxious to publish my book for years. I've investigated Xlibris and now this.

Hope to hear from you.

Carole

Level 5 13,403 posts since
Mar 8, 2009
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87. Feb 2, 2011 1:16 PM in response to: poetess13
Re: Hello!  I'm new here. :)

No contest - CreateSpace.

 

Seal

http://www.stevenwjohnson.com

Level 1 51 posts since
Aug 20, 2008
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88. Feb 2, 2011 1:47 PM in response to: Seal
Re: Hello!  I'm new here. :)

I have to echo that sentiment...createspace has been great. I've got 2 novels published with them and nary a complaint. (I wish I could say that about any other business I deal with). It's a straightforward process that even I was able to conquer, and besides the fact that createspace is very good about returning calls and helping with any problems, all the members seem eager to help also. Good luck.

Level 0 7 posts since
Jan 16, 2011
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89. Feb 2, 2011 4:02 PM in response to: Craela
Re: Hello!  I'm new here. :)

Hi - I'm a newbie here too, with a couple of disparate novellas and a dozen or so short stories done - dunno if I  have a novel in me, oh well.

 

I'm a semi-retired English prof, been writing all my life, fiction of various kinds, was kicked into this by a son who put together my earlier novella - about the Hundred Years War - on CafePress, and then after a bad experience with them on my second novella - on gangsters, sex, drug-smuggling -  found CreateSpace, and this is you n me. Hi there.

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