On Writing: What Makes Literary Fiction Literary? By Nathan Bransford

Writers Envy

This article by Nathan Bransford describes the difference between Commercial, or Mainstream, Fiction and Literary Fiction. There are dozens of articles devoted to the differences between the main genres of fiction, but Nathan’s unique definition makes it clear enough to understand.

I think a lot of writers believe “literary” means smarter or intellectual. Maybe so. It may be tempting for some writers to use the thesaurus to find “smarter” words, but that runs the risk of making their writing sound contrived and forced unless they are used to using eleven syllable words in everyday conversation. The brain snuggles with shorter words: six letter anagrams are easier to unscramble than seven letter anagrams. Multi-syllable words are less common and more difficult to use and understand.

Face it: most readers would hunt you down and pulverize you for making fun of them if you used words like floccinaucinihilipilification too often (unless they’re…

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About Anna Dobritt

Anna Dobritt is an independent eBook author and an indie publisher of RPG PDFs and fantasy maps through Cartography Unlimited for RPGs. She loves to read and write, and lives in Michigan. Anna enjoys watching Dr. Who, both the classic episodes from the 1960s-1980s and the current episodes. Anna has three trilogies in the queue: Ravynwyng Chronicles Universe – Volume 1: The Beginning has been released, and Volume 2: Discovery, is going through the editing and revision process, with plans to self-publish in 2016. Volume 3: Truth is currently being written. Two other trilogies are The Archivist — Lenara Lenquil Adventures, and the Guardian Blades Trilogy. Anna has self-published Volume 1 of the Ravynwyng Chronicles Universe titled The Beginning; three short stories: The Hunter, First Raven, Raven Voice; a novelette titled Raven Flight, and a collection of short fiction titled Whispers from Within. Where the imagination soars on glowing wings! May the words ever flow!
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