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All good novels, whatever the genre, should have a theme.A theme runs beneath the surface and is essentially what the novel is “about.” As readers of fiction, we like to be entertained by the surface plot.
The genre novelist is confined by the conventions (or “rules”) of their chosen category of fiction.
If readers of crime novels, for example, expect a body to appear within the first three chapters, your own crime novel had better not disappoint them.
But if a literary novel receives some positive word-of-mouth buzz on social networks, or even wins a prestigious award, sales can be huge. If you go into a bookstore, you can usually tell the genre novels from the literary ones instantly. Whereas the genre novels have eye-catching covers – handsome men on the romances, dripping blood on the horror novels – literary novels are more subtle, more “arty.” Literary novels sometimes have stickers on the cover, too, saying that the book was short listed for the Booker Prize or won the Orange Prize (or something similar).
What sets literary fiction apart from genre fiction? Genre fiction is usually sold in the “mass-market paperback” format (unless you happen to be one of the big, household names and are published in hardback first).
This exploration won’t take place literally (literary novels are still novels, not academic papers).
Literary Essays Written By
Instead, it will run “beneath the surface” of conversations, of a character’s thoughts, or of the events themselves.This means publishers are less likely to take a gamble on them, but you shouldn’t let that put you off writing them.Also, publishing your novel independently has become not just viable but (arguably) preferable.They’re simply different products serving different needs. Each of the genres is aimed at a specific group of readers who take pleasure from reading those types of books… It’s simply fiction aimed at a specific group of readers who like what literary novels have to offer – not least, this emphasis on character over plot.This isn’t to say that genre novelists aren’t concerned with deep characterization.(True, literary plots are not very likely to consist of car chases and explosions but, hey, things still “happen.”) So it’s really just a difference of Sooooooooo much literary fiction I get in the old query inbox is plotless.It’s just a character musing about the vagaries and eccentricities of everyday existence.Depending on your point of view, that either makes it moving and profound…or as dull as reading the dictionary (because “nothing exciting happens”). Just as the best genre novels are populated by well-crafted characters, so the best literary novels have page-turning plots.But we also like a deeper experience, one in which the novel’s events “say” something about what it means to be a human and what it takes to get by in this world.(We might not notice this happening explicitly, but we’ll sense that we’re having a richer and more rewarding reading experience, even if we can’t quite put our finger on we are.) Anyway, just as a literary novelist has more time to characterize in depth, so they have more time to explore the issues and ideas and insights running through their novel.