Friday, November 6, 2009
What's the difference?
As I'm starting to pour over the hundreds of listings in my Literary Agent's directory, I'm struck with the dilemma--is my work commercial fiction or literary fiction? What's the difference? I always thought of James Patterson or Nicholas Sparks as commercial fiction and the classics (and contemporary novels like them) as literary fiction. In querying agents, I have to identify my "genre." In researching these terms, they're beginning to blur for me. Apparently, literary fiction can be fiction that addresses social issues, which is the core of my novel. Are Jodi Picoult novels literary fiction or commercial fiction? I feel as though to define myself as "literary" requires a certain hybris. Then again, assuming that people want to read what I write requires a certain hubris, doesn't it?