In this episode, Leslie and Clark critique “Let’s Call This What It Is,” a literary short story by David Austin. They discuss plot- and character-driven stories (and the need for both elements), experimenting with the opening of your story and where to start it, brand names, and reviewing your year.
Here is a great post from Now Novel with a list of tips that genre or commercial writers can learn from literary writers.
In this post, Nathan Bransford weighs in on what defines literary fiction.
Editorial Mission—Always Learning
It’s easy to keep reading the same type of books, same genres. We can learn a lot from stepping outside our reading comfort zone, however. Innovation is a key, but it’s also gives you a different context to notice different techniques and aspects of story.
Find a book from a genre you don’t write in and ordinarily don’t read—then read it. You might look for a book that is representative of the genre or an that is a crossover in that it fits squarely within genre fiction but is considered to have literary qualities (for example, books by Ursula K. Le Guin, P.D. James, Colson Whitehead, Orson Scott Card—wild card: listen to the Serial podcast). After you’ve read (or listened to) to your selection, think about what you liked and didn’t and why. Look at what worked and didn’t. Consider what you can learn and apply in your own writing.
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