Am I Becoming More Literary?

Posted: February 3, 2013 in Reflections, Writing
Tags: , ,

I’ve taken two writing workshops so far at school, with the goal of becoming a better writer. Have I become a better writer? I like to think so; none of the stuff I’ve produced since my first meeting in the workshop last semester has gotten a “yay” or “nay” as far as being published, but I think that same stuff is a little bit better.

However I may also be a little more literary in my writing voice. This is because the workshops I take emphasize literary fiction, mostly because of the character development aspect of it, but also because some critics believe that genre fiction is predictable (I’ll admit that’s sometimes true, but quality genre fiction can do the same old shtick several times and each time make it seem original and utterly compelling, so there’s no reason to put it down). Because of this emphasis on literary fiction, I’ve had to write my stories with more of a literary verve than before, and I’ve definitely had to critique and merit the stories based on how good they are, both as literary fiction and as fiction in general.

Because of all that, my style might sound a little more literary than before. I mean, today at the library, taking a break from homework and school pressure, I started writing a story about a character contemplating suicide. Before, that would’ve had a more thriller bent. But now, I’m wondering how to draw out his character, how to make it seem natural and realistic, how to get people invested in the character. And I find myself drawing on everything I’ve written and read for these workshop classes I’ve been taking, and I find myself thinking, “I’m becoming something I swore I wouldn’t become.”

What I swroe I wouldn’t become was an author of literary fiction, which I feel for the most part is boring and slow and too realistic for my dark tastes. And even though I’ve resisted, some of the elements of literary writing have rubbed off on me. Am I sad or angry? I’m not sure. Maybe a little worried. I mean, I like genre fiction. If I write in a more literary style, will people stop liking my work as genre fiction? Or is the fact that I’m a bit better at writing realistic stories with character development only going to aid me in the future?

I have no clue. And truthfully, I won’t get a clue for a while, at least not until I’ve published a little more work and seen how people react to it.

What’s your opinion? Do you think having some literary aspects to your creative process and to your writing is a good thing, or a bad thing?

  1. I’m a literary writer by nature, but I know it doesn’t come that way to all writers. I’m glad it’s creeping into your work! I wish more some of the darker, paranormal stuff you speak of will drip into my work! Switching it up attests to our skills as writers.

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