mbranesf (mbranesf) wrote,

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The "Literary" nature of my NaNo book may be getting less so

The premise of my NaNoWriMo project is one that has been stewing in my head for a long time, and so I decided that this would be a good time to try to finally get it written. I was imagining it all along as a sort of mainstream or "literary" story because it did not seem to have any sort of spec fic elements in it as originally conceived.

I don't normally read a great deal of what is usually called, by critics and publishers, contemporary literary fiction. But I have lately been trying to work more of it into my reading diet so that I would have some extra flavor of the genre on my palette as I launched into trying to tell this story. And it is a genre with its own expectations and conventions as much as any other genre. One of those expectations is that the stories seem to be generally of a rather a small scale and rather narrowly focused on the inner lives of a small cast of characters, and set in a time period that is more or less "now" or some reasonably recent period. Plot is rather secondary or even incidental, and the stories generally do not involve any sort of big adventures or events on an epic scale. They also generally lack speculative elements (though there are a good many example recently of such novels that are exceptions to that rule).

And that's where my NaNo story is starting to get a lot different than originally planned and probably a lot less like the little lit story that I thought it needed to be. Spec fic elements are creeping in. They are not taking over the foreground or really turning the whole thing into an sf novel, but they are becoming more important. Also, my small-scale plot grew a little subplot last night which has now turned into larger subplot and which is now taking on the shape of...EPIC ADVENTURE. I'm not noting these developments out of worry. I'm quite comfortable with the way it appears to be developing. I think my story is adapting itself into one I am better suited to tell. The process is interesting and I think is a direct result of the NaNo schedule. Since I am being forced to comply with this one-month schedule, my process of working through what I want to say is being compressed and is becoming more visible to me at the same time.
Tags: nanowrimo

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