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Indie books far from becoming extinct


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In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jan 2013 15:39:33 GMT
First and foremost, literary fiction is not really a genre. Genre's are defined by content (subject matter). Literary fiction is, broadly speaking, a style of writing where style takes precedent over content.

If I look at #1 in Amazon's literary fiction new releases we get "Rocked Under" by Cora Hawkes.

Falling in love isn't always easy or pleasant. The intense and angst-filled story of Emma and Scott is a painful, gut-wrenching and exhausting portrayal of how hard it can be to let go...

Starting over in the USA, Emma starts college with her cousin, Ashley. She is finally free to do and live how she wants and no man will ever rule her decisions or emotions again.

That is until Scott Mason walks on stage...

"Intense, bad boy Scott is the lead singer in a local and popular rock band. Ladies man and Ashley's longtime friend, Emma is instantly drawn to him, even though he is everything she hates and needs to stay away from in a guy. He treats females like he does a cigarette; light it, use it, and lose it.

For her cousin's sake, she makes an effort to get along with Scott. She soon discovers that there is more to Scott which makes him even more dangerous in her eyes. Underneath the fašade of friendship; jealousy, obsession, fear and insecurities, fester and battle it out as she fights her attraction and history from repeating itself.

One thing she knows for sure is that if she breaks her rule, it may destroy her."

To me, this sounds like a romance . . . maybe it's a romantic thriller? I've no idea, I haven't read it.

Posted on 16 Jan 2013 15:56:16 GMT
I Readalot says:
There is loads of literary fiction being published. It isn't a genre because it can technically be any. although unlike genre fiction it doesn't follow a formula and usually transcends the idea of genre anyway. Literary novels usually tell more than one story, the one on the surface and the one beneath. In order to write successful literary novels the authors need to have more than a basic grasp of language. It may not be PC to say it but it is very rare to find a successful literary novelist who hasn't been down the uni route. They always have a deep knowledge of literature, its history and development and are trying (sometimes unsuccessfully) to move the novel forward and challenge readers ideas of what the novel is and what it can do beyond simply telling a story.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jan 2013 16:07:12 GMT
Tinca says:
Hello Michael,

I'm assuming that you are quoting the blurb for "Rocked Under", and it demonstrates one of the problems in this area of 'literary fiction'. Because, if I happened to be looking for some L. F. to read and I came across that blurb, I would not download it. I wouldn't even turn to page one for a free look. That style of blurbing is not literary fiction... "angst-filled", "gut-wrenching", misplaced semi colon (yes, I'm tragic), cliched content, attitudes and values - the list goes on and on.

We've been somewhere like this before and don't need to do it all again. It might be at the top of a list but it sure as eggs isn't literary fiction. Though I'm intrigued by the idea of fighting history from repeating itself...

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jan 2013 16:13:31 GMT
An interesting response . . . however, I believe it's pretentious garbage.

I don't write (or read) literary fiction. Nevertheless, I often write huge sections of of text which appear to be about one thing when really they are about something else. Ultimately the story is about what the reader wants to believe it's about. I insist on telling more than one story at a time because I have an extremely short attention span. Does this mean I write literary fiction - no.

Like most struggling authors I write a load of stuff that the public don't get or are not interested in - why moan?

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jan 2013 16:35:56 GMT
Hello Tinca,

The story must be about *something* . . .

I'm going to break the forum rules . . . I wrote a novel "Absolution" it's 175k. It has drugs, murder, kidnapping, prostitution - it even has a car chase! Trust me . . . it's entertaining urban fiction! Having said all of that, one of the sub-plots conspires beneath the surface. Every media device shows an escalating conflict between America and China. Subsequently the apparent 'main-plot' doesn't have time to reach its conclusion. - Does this make it literary fiction?

In Fibonacci's Child there's a Pinocchio Doll in chapter 1. In later chapters a character embarks upon a journey because she wants to be 'a real girl'. (Traditional shadowing). However, in chapter five George performs an emergency tracheotomy on a cheerleader (Modern shadowing, Save the cheerleader, save the world) - Does this make it literary fiction?

You tell me.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jan 2013 16:37:56 GMT
Last edited by the author on 16 Jan 2013 16:39:02 GMT
Tinca says:
Now, I did say we don't need to do this all again...

Who is moaning? To comment critically on another's writing is not 'moaning' - intelligent people have always done it, and it is a crucial aspect of any society that calls itself civilised. It is a part of what used to be called culture. Neither am I 'moaning' that literary fiction is in a poor old state, self-published or otherwise; if one has any knowledge of literature, one knows full well that this has always been the case, apart perhaps from a golden decade early in the twentieth century. The self-publishing revolution is simply throwing new light on some old questions.

I am also happy to be insulted as long as you can accept the charge 'illogical' - "the story is about what the reader wants to believe it's about". Really? So if I, as a reader, believe that the story of Humpty Dumpty is actually a long-lost Aztec creation myth, then that's what it is, eh?

We do have one thing in common. I also write loads of stuff the public isn't interested in.

Posted on 16 Jan 2013 16:46:51 GMT
Last edited by the author on 16 Jan 2013 16:49:45 GMT
Tinca, we're going to do it all again because it's fun! (You remember 'fun', stuff we used to before life got serious and the bills started coming through the door).

"I am also happy to be insulted as long as you can accept the charge 'illogical' - "the story is about what the reader wants to believe it's about". Really? So if I as a reader, believe that the story of Humpty Dumpty is actually a long-lost Aztec creation myth, then that's what it is, eh?"

What is Humpty Dumpty all about?

Is it about a dictator (king) who grew fat on the his taxation of peasants. He underestimated the effect of tyranny and did not believe that with his great army the peasants could or would ever take him down?

I love it when you get feisty . . . what are you wearing?

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jan 2013 17:04:38 GMT
Tinca says:
I'm wearing my red ones...

And don't worry, I didn't break forum rules by following up your self-promo. Wish I had the nerve just to slip one in like that (actress...bishop...)

Agreed, it's fun. Where has everyone else gone? Party we don't know about?

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jan 2013 17:10:23 GMT
Not the red ones!
Dammit, I need to take a moment.
Back later.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jan 2013 17:20:02 GMT
I Readalot says:
What is pretentious garbage, literary fiction or the fact that successful literary authors are knowledgeable about the subject of literature. If the former, it is all a matter of taste, if the latter it would be interesting to hear some names.

Posted on 16 Jan 2013 18:27:46 GMT
We are often told to let readers decide about the books they read.

"It has drugs, murder, kidnapping, prostitution - it even has a car chase! ... Subsequently the apparent 'main-plot' doesn't have time to reach its conclusion. - Does this make it literary fiction?"

No, Michael, it doesn't. But your choice of description was interesting. This is a reader's take on my book (literary fiction):

"Apparently I'm in a minority. I like this book. Let's see, what does is lack? Car chases, shootemups, explicit sex, explosions, murders, messages, wise-guy cops, riding off into the sunset, etc. It's missing all that. You want that stuff, read a different book.

So, given that, what's to like? Everything. It reads like an easy-going memoir that describes some time in the life of an interesting young woman, told from her perspective, living a life like real people lead, people who live outside the pages of a book. Life is not a continuous thread of tightly related, interwoven events. It has its highs and lows, its fun and its enigmas, its successes and its insecurities, and that's what you find here. With a small, unsolved, unimportant mystery that threads aimlessly throughout the story.

For a guy, reading this book is like peeping into the diary of an interesting girl. Maybe that's why the lady reviewers here don't like it as much as we do.

I must admit, it took me a long time to finish this book. It's not a page-turner, not compelling like a plate of fudge or a Chuck Berry tune. It just wafts along from here to there carrying the reader with it. So, when I found myself with time to spare, I returned to the book and read a few pages.

What is compelling is the writing. We Yanks love the lilt of a young Scottish/English girl's voice, and it comes through loud and clear in this book. I think it was not well-received here because it is not an ordinary book. Which is what I like about it."

Posted on 16 Jan 2013 18:58:01 GMT
Frank Mundo says:
It's much easier to identify literary short fiction.

Posted on 16 Jan 2013 18:59:44 GMT
Last edited by the author on 16 Jan 2013 19:01:02 GMT
carocaro says:
By definition literary fiction is a written story not based in fact.

I saw an alien, he see'd me.

Wow, a work of literary fiction.

Fiction is structured into genres, grouped into loosely themed sets and subsets. A work of
literary fiction can fit one, two, or twenty genres...if it is new and unique and fits no known genre. It can have a genre defined to fit it into.

A work of literary fiction does not necessarily depict its quality or its quantity, but is often assumed to be of a high standard.
Literary
adj.
1. Of, relating to, or dealing with literature: literary criticism.
2. Of or relating to writers or the profession of literature: literary circles.
3. Versed in or fond of literature or learning.
4.
a. Appropriate to literature rather than everyday speech or writing.
b. Bookish; pedantic.

Fiction

1.
a. An imaginative creation or a pretense that does not represent actuality but has been invented.
b. The act of inventing such a creation or pretense.
2. A lie.
3.
a. A literary work whose content is produced by the imagination and is not necessarily based on fact.
b. The category of literature comprising works of this kind, including novels and short stories.
4. Law Something untrue that is intentionally represented as true by the narrator.

Nothing could be plainer or simpler.
It doesn't even mean it has been edited or not!

Posted on 16 Jan 2013 19:03:23 GMT
carocaro says:
Hi Frank

I saw an alien, he see'd me. It couldnt be much shorter or such an awful piece grammatically.

Hope you are well sir:)

Posted on 16 Jan 2013 19:07:38 GMT
Shelagh, I see a veiled plug.

Frank, shortened literary fiction is lit-fic.

Carocaro, I see two explanations both saying the same thing.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jan 2013 19:09:04 GMT
Frank Mundo says:
Why is it awful? Because it has bad grammar? Actually, that story tells us quite a bit.

Posted on 16 Jan 2013 19:14:06 GMT
carocaro says:
Michael...veiled plugs I would define as definitely erotica

I would agree with your lit fic.

And Carocaro, precisely...precisely!

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jan 2013 19:20:25 GMT
Maybe literary fiction is a style of writing beyond the comprehension of the minions.

"Papa, belly-aching of Mama's cooking, passed at the dining table. He died of the consumption."

Is that literary fiction?

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jan 2013 19:23:54 GMT
Frank Mundo says:
Write a romance or thriller genre short story in 2 cryptic sentences.... You guys are being unfair.

Posted on 16 Jan 2013 19:38:07 GMT
Ethereal says:
Who said "murder your darlings"?
Perhaps literary fiction writers don't.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jan 2013 19:40:10 GMT
Last edited by the author on 16 Jan 2013 19:40:58 GMT
Frank Mundo says:
I think that was the great ...genre writer William Faulkner.

Posted on 16 Jan 2013 19:40:31 GMT
carocaro says:
Michael, passed...to move or cause to move but what, which or whom did he pass?

There is some component that seems to be missing to make into a work of literary fiction but it could just be a difference in the meaning or understanding of a word...passed for example.
Now if what you tell me has actually happened then it would not be fiction but fact.
If however, you made this up then you have a piece of literary fiction. Again I say nothing of quality or quantity.

Posted on 16 Jan 2013 19:44:24 GMT
carocaro says:
The shortest piece of literary fiction I know of is by Ernest Hemingway

Baby shoes for sale. Never worn.

Romance, Horror and Thriller in one

Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived!

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jan 2013 19:50:35 GMT
Interesting . . . you picked up on a totally different word; not the ambiguous words placed by the writer. Your choices were 'belly-aching' or 'consumption'.
- Ergo, it must be lit-fic.

Posted on 16 Jan 2013 19:55:26 GMT
Frank Mundo says:
Micro fiction and flash fiction are legit forms of writing, especially in the twitter age. Not my cup of tea, but I won't dismiss it entirely because I don't get it.
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Discussion in:  fiction discussion forum
Participants:  12
Total posts:  247
Initial post:  10 Jan 2013
Latest post:  25 Jan 2013

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