You may be familiar with literary fiction which is a genre of fiction that doesn’t fall into types of genres, such as crime and romance. You should note that literary fiction is considered to be a complicated genre. The good news is that there are many readers who like reading literary fiction books. But before you decide to write a literary fiction novel, there are a couple of things worth considering. This post provides the tips to help you to write a literary fiction novel.
The importance of plot
Most authors think that it’s not usually plot that makes many readers want to finish reading a novel. Instead, they believe that characters that are realistic and vivid are what make a book more appealing. The truth is that vivid characters can help your readers to relate to the story, but it’s the plot that gives them the sense of satisfaction. A good plot can give your readers a sense of reading a rounded story with a defined start, middle, and end.
Remember that there is a difference between the plot that is in regular genre novels and the plot in literary fiction novels. A literary fiction’s plot is often character based while a genre novel’s plot is action based. A regular genre novel tends to focus more on the things that happen, also called the external plot, while a literary novel has a plot that focuses on the person it happens to, also known as the internal plot.
You can use several ways to construct a plot. This includes inciting the incident, which is the event or incident that can set the story in motion. You can also have plot point 1, which is when the protagonist can make the wrong decision in the story, and plot point 2, when the protagonist usually makes the correct decision toward the end of the story, leading to the resolution.
It’s crucial to have characters because they are the ones through which your readers can experience your story. Regardless of the point of view you utilize to tell the story, your readers must connect with your characters. With a literary novel, which has an internal plot, there are various side characters that can be in the story.
You can have a major secondary character that goes with the protagonist throughout the story. Also, you can have minor characters that can appear in an episodic faction, meaning they can appear when they are needed.
In most cases, each character in your story can have a character arc. Literary fiction novels usually have several characters that may have their arcs and stories that relate to the theme. But you can only bring together so many ideas and themes into one theme. You should also keep in mind that you need to make sure that these complement one another. Also, you should avoid using too many of them since you need to handle a theme in a specific way to leave your readers satisfied.
For instance, if you intend to handle difficult themes, such as rape and domestic violence, ensure that you offer them their due. Otherwise, most readers who may have experienced these unfortunate things can be left feeling unfulfilled or even worse, misunderstood or hurt.
Take note that the characters and their vividness in literary novels take the second position to what these characters may represent. You should also know the importance of their role. Ideally, if a character fails to add to the story, that character should not be in the literary fiction novel. Therefore, you need to know what you are attempting to say with every character. Then you must offer these characters their back stories and stories as the story progresses. This is especially true when it comes to the major secondary characters.
A character driven plot
As explained earlier, with a literary fiction novel, the plot can usually be character driven. Your novel should have an inciting incident, plot point 1, and plot point 2. You should bear in mind that the inciting incident can happen in the middle of your first act. The plot point 1 happens at the end of the initial act while the plot point 2 comes in at the end of the second act. The last or third act of your novel is the resolution. On the other hand, a genre novel has an inciting incident as well as plot point 1 that comes a lot earlier, and most of the book tends to focus on the 2nd and 3rd act.
But a literary novel has a plot that is driven by character instead of action. This means that the two plot points and inciting incident can be completely internal. The focus is on the result of the action in the protagonist. Therefore, you must send the protagonist on a journey of the mind or spiritual journey. While this journey can be influenced and caused by external events, the root of your plot needs to focus on the things the protagonist has learned in this journey.
Prose and fine writing
With literary fiction, you need to deliver what you promise. Therefore, if you intend to call your book literary fiction, then you must offer prose and fine writing that appeals to your potential readers. There is no definite definition of what fine writing involves. In most cases, appreciating prose and fine writing tends to be quite subjective.
Many authors can consider it to be poetic writing, though this doesn’t mean that you have to get several ways to describe it. A genre novel can involve writing in a simpler way, but the literary fiction author needs to pay attention to the way they construct paragraphs and sentences.
For instance, literary fiction novels can have a lot of metaphors and characters that may speak in a certain way that is intelligent and engaging, yet profound and deep. You can also ensure that syllables of various words complement one another to enable a sentence to look excellent. Your potential readers often look out for these things to help them figure out how good you are as a writer.