Many--perhaps most--teachers of fiction writing do not accept manuscripts in genre, and I believe there's good reason for this, which is that wereas writing litary fiction can teach you how to write good genre fiction, writing genre fiction does not teach you to write good liteary fiction--does not, in effect, teach you "how to write," by which I mean how to be original and meaningful in words.--My textbook
I stumbled across this quote from the back of my textbook while glancing through it (finally arrived yesterday, much to my relief). Ironically, the professor mentioned the difference between genre fiction and "literature" in class today. Her points boiled down to:
1. Genre writing is plot-based, literary fiction is character-based.
2. Genre fiction does not have pyscological realism.
3. Genre fiction relies heavily on large, often unrealistic events.
At least, that's what I heard.
1. How do you show character except through events? Also, if you cannot take out the specific character and replace him without the plot collapsing, doesn't that imply a certian degree of character-basis?
2. To quote G.K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy/:
The fairy tale discusses what a sane man will do in a mad world. The sober realistic novel of to-day discusses what an essential lunatic will do in a dull world.
3. In certian worlds, big events may be quite reasonable.
And examples for all three (All from Doctor Who for consistancy)
1. The Doctor may enage in many adventures, but those adventures often stem from/are complicated by his nature. One episode that grows directly out of the Doctor's character is "Amy's Choice."
2. While no one now alive is responsible for the genocide of their home planet (we think), the Doctor shows the scars of that action even when he tries to hide it. One of the first things mentioned about him in the revived series comes in conversation with the Nestene Concious,
That's not true! I should know, I was there. I fought in the war. It wasn't my fault! I couldn't save your world! I couldn't save any of them!
3. In the Whoniverse, it is perfectly reasonable that aliens invade Earth (especially on Christmas) and are scared off by a screwdriver, because they know who they are facing.