At our monthly dinners, we have often discussed the differences between literary and commercial fiction. While we have shared many ideas, we haven't been able to pin it down and come up with a satisfactory explanation.
I would like to share Brian Henry's explanation which he gave at Saturday's editing workshop.
He started by asking the question: Is your writing closer to that of Margaret Atwood or Danielle Steel? These authors represent the extreme ends of the continuum.
He then went on to explain the difference between the two types of writing.
Literary fiction deals with deeper and more accurate psychological coverage. There is also more original use of language. The reader gets to know the characters very well.
Commercial fiction has fast-moving plots and the writing is seamless. The author does not want the reader to stop and think about it. She wants the reader to continue reading and not be able to put it down.
Written by Joanne Guidoccio·