Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Nuggets, Nonsense, and "What's the difference?"

I'll start with today's Notebook Nugget:

"Discouragement is the devil's tool."

I have no idea where I read that (probably a devotional somewhere) and I don't really have a story to go with it. I'm just waiting (quite impatiently) for a bunch of responses to short story submissions. This is an open opportunity for discouragement--little worries and such that niggle at me and make me think I'm never going to sell another piece. Sigh. Trying to fight it!

Next is something I heard at a writers group recently--the difference between "literary" fiction and "commercial" fiction.

Commercial fiction: The character has a goal (whether they are conscious of it or not). There is a definite plot, during which the character attains his/her goal. Or if the character does not attain the goal, something else changes him/her.

Literary fiction: These are the books we dissect in high school and college English classes. The character has no "goal" and the story is character-driven rather than plot-driven. There may be no real plot at all. The "change" takes place in the reader (whether the character experiences a change or not). I believe what this means is that the story offers insight into a topic or experience that makes the reader reassess his or her opinions, or makes them realize a quality within themselves they were unaware of. A good example is The Picture of Dorian Gray, which highlights the consequences of vanity.

And lastly...Nonsense. If you read my last post, you saw the six lies I told about myself, with one truth tucked in there. Here's the answer, folks, to the real me:

I was not born in Florida--I was born in Texas.

I do not hate chocolate--I'm completely addicted to it!

Not allergic to dogs, thank God. I have a beautiful Shepherd/Lab mix and the sweetest Boxer on the planet. (I am, however, allergic to wool.)

Pink is about my least favorite color. Not a girly-girl, this one, no way!

I've never competed in a marathon, or ever wanted to! I've done quite a few walks for Susan G. Komen, though :).

Of, course, I've been to several concerts, but not for a few years.

Which means....the true statement is that I once won a jalepeno-eating contest. Yep. And the reigning champ was none too happy to be beaten by a girl!

6 comments:

Jose Ramon Santana Vazquez said...

...traigo
sangre
de
la
tarde
herida
en
la
mano
y
una
vela
de
mi
corazón
para
invitarte
y
darte
este
alma
que
viene
para
compartir
contigo
tu
bello
blog
con
un
ramillete
de
oro
y
claveles
dentro...


desde mis
HORAS ROTAS
Y AULA DE PAZ


TE SIGO TU BLOG




CON saludos de la luna al
reflejarse en el mar de la
poesía...


AFECTUOSAMENTE
KAT

ESPERO SEAN DE VUESTRO AGRADO EL POST POETIZADO DE LOVE STORY, CABALLO, LA CONQUISTA DE AMERICA CRISOL.

José
ramón...

Kat Heckenbach said...

OKAY, I had no idea whether or not I should publish the above comment--since I don't speak Spanish, I don't know what it says :P. I ran it through an online translator, knowing the translation would be off, but at least it would show me whether or not there's anything "inappropriate" in there. This is what the translator created:

... bring
blood
of
the
late
wound
in
the
hand
and
one
Sailing
of
my
heart
to
invite
and
give
this
soul
than
comes
to
share
you
your
beautiful
blog
with
a
bouquet
of
gold
and
Carnations
inside ...


from my
BROKEN HOURS
PEACE AND CLASSROOM


TE SIGO TU BLOG




With greetings from the moon
reflected in the sea of
poetry ...


AFFECTIONATE
KAT

Expected to be to your liking Poetize THE POST OF LOVE STORY, HORSE, THE CONQUEST OF AMERICA CUP.

I can go for the whole "bouquet of gold and carnations" thing :). And I particularly like, "With greetings from the moon
reflected in the sea of
poetry ..."

Anyone speak Spanish and can venture a proper translation?

lynnrush said...

jalepeno-eating? Really? LOL

KM Wilsher said...

Wow. What a poetic following - how, fun!

Oh, I was wrong. I never that you'd touch jalepenos LOL. just kidding :)

K.M. Weiland said...

I'm not sure that I agree with the commercial/literary fiction designations. I'll agree that *some* literary fiction seems pretty pointless. But, at its core, the difference is that the commercial fiction puts more emphasis on plot, and literary fiction puts more emphasis on character (which isn't to say that character and plot aren't both vital to each genre.) Also, literary fiction tends to pay attention to lyrical prose.

Kat Heckenbach said...

Ah, I didn't mean to say that literary fiction is "pointless." Just that it is not plot/goal driven. The story can be nothing more than a lunch out with friends. And the person reading isn't looking for "What happens next?" but rather the effect the story has on a deeper level. And yes, the focus is more on imagery and fine prose.

But commercial fiction must have plot, the MC must have a goal whether the result of choice or circumstance--and can do without character if the plot is strong enough (ie, Michael Crichton--page-turning novels with cookie-cutter characters). They're made much, much, much better with good characterization, though!