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When is a fiction story a literary art form?

Literature is written stories considered superior and of lasting merit--an art form. Fiction portrays imagined events and people. If you're a writer, you can't know what stories from today will be the literature of tomorrow, but you can write the best story possible using the techniques of past writers who've reached literary status: Austen, Flaubert, Chekhov, Homer, Tolstoy, Melville, Hawthorne, Woolf, Henry James, Babel, Twain, and the like--in the main, they have common, basic elements of story construction that may mature into meritorious longevity.

Who cares? Many will say,"Fiction writers continue to evolve and their works may very well be literature." But in reality, literary fiction stories structured for artistic characterization, meaningful purpose, and enlightenment about the human condition, are infrequent and are increasingly difficult to access when they are available; the "literary fiction" of today mostly masquerades as memoir, autobiography, "creative" writing, and the literature-of-self. How can literary fiction regain distinction? Here are important literary story elements contemporary writers should master:

First, expert CHARACTERIZATION is the essential of a great literary fictional story; well-formed character traits reveal desires and motives that drive meaningful plots. Equally important is STRUCTURE with Aristotelian principles that allow transfer of ideas and images to enlighten readers, usually about the intricacies of human existence. DICTION must be clear and well-written to vitalize prose and story. Lyricism--when story-specific and character enhancing--can enrich story effects without diminishing essential importance of in-scene action and dramatic narration.

Most important? Great literary-fiction stories as art are IMAGINED and CREATED, not just remembered and described. True, memory stimulates imagination evoking reflections on life and living, but a self-important writer believing events and characters described from personal experience are equal to imagined and created stories fails to reach maximum potential as an artist.

And what is an art form?
ART, in literature, is expressed by human creative skills and imagination that produce beauty and emotional power. Beautiful stories emerge by character uniqueness, a narrator's reliability and perception of the human condition; the creation of accurate story related imagery and metaphor; reader engagement to sense story is happening rather than being told; and from writers concerned about their art, not their wealth or fame.

Literature-of-self. A confessional memoir and autobiography as fiction for catharsis or forgiveness rarely reaches the threshold possible with imagined and created fiction. The literature-of-self is created from the author's world view and experience. Great literary fiction comes from the author's broadest possible worldview, experience, and compassionate understanding of humanity, and often enlightens about those pesky metaphysical questions that plague us all-- who are we? why are we here? what is justice? what is love?

You can read SIX imagined and created SHORT STORIES (FREE) and a NOVEL, examples of literary stories that explore the complexities in the facets of LOVE.

"ON THE ROAD TO YAZOO CITY"
http://storyinliteraryfiction.com/original-stories…
"THE GIFT"
http://storyinliteraryfiction.com/original-stories…
"THE PERENNIAL STUDENT"
http://storyinliteraryfiction.com/original-stories…
"THE AMISH GIRL"
http://storyinliteraryfiction.com/original-stories…
"THE NECKLACE"
http://storyinliteraryfiction.com/original-stories…
"THE MIRACLE OF MADAME VILLARD"
http://storyinliteraryfiction.com/original-stories…
"THE SPIRIT OF WANT" (novel)
http://thespiritofwant.com/

Thanks for reading!
storyinliteraryfiction.com
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Posted 4 days ago

When is a fiction story a literary art form?

Literature is written stories considered superior and of lasting merit--an art form. Fiction portrays imagined events and people. If youre a writer, you cant know what stories from today will be the literature of tomorrow, but you can write the best story possible using the techniques of past writers whove reached literary status: Austen, Flaubert, Chekhov, Homer, Tolstoy, Melville, Hawthorne, Woolf, Henry James, Babel, Twain, and the like--in the main, they have common, basic elements of story construction that may mature into  meritorious longevity. 

Who cares? Many will say,Fiction writers continue to evolve and their works may very well be literature. But in reality, literary fiction stories structured for artistic characterization, meaningful purpose, and enlightenment about the human condition, are infrequent and are increasingly difficult to access when they are available; the literary fiction of today mostly masquerades as memoir, autobiography, creative writing, and the literature-of-self. How can literary fiction regain distinction? Here are important literary story elements contemporary writers should master:

First, expert CHARACTERIZATION is the essential of a great literary fictional story; well-formed character traits reveal desires and motives that drive meaningful plots. Equally important is STRUCTURE with Aristotelian principles that allow transfer of ideas and images to enlighten readers, usually about the intricacies of human existence. DICTION must be clear and well-written to vitalize prose and story. Lyricism--when story-specific and character enhancing--can enrich story effects without diminishing essential importance of in-scene action and dramatic narration.

Most important?  Great literary-fiction stories as art are IMAGINED and CREATED, not just remembered and described.  True, memory stimulates imagination evoking reflections on life and living, but a self-important writer believing events and characters described from personal experience are equal to imagined and created stories fails to reach maximum potential as an artist. 

And what is an art form?
ART, in literature, is expressed by human creative skills and imagination that produce beauty and emotional power.  Beautiful stories emerge by character uniqueness, a narrators reliability and perception of the human condition; the creation of accurate story related imagery and metaphor; reader engagement to sense story is happening rather than being told; and from writers concerned about their art, not their wealth or fame.

Literature-of-self. A confessional memoir and autobiography as fiction for catharsis or forgiveness rarely reaches the threshold possible with imagined and created fiction. The literature-of-self is created from the authors world view and experience. Great literary fiction comes from the authors broadest possible worldview, experience, and compassionate understanding of humanity, and  often enlightens about those pesky metaphysical questions that plague us all-- who are we? why are we here? what is justice? what is love?

You can read SIX imagined and created SHORT STORIES (FREE) and a NOVEL, examples of literary stories that explore the complexities in the facets of LOVE. 

ON THE ROAD TO YAZOO CITY
http://www.storyinliteraryfiction.com/original-stories-william-h-coles/on-the-road-to-yazoo-city/
THE GIFT
http://www.storyinliteraryfiction.com/original-stories-william-h-coles/the-gift/
THE PERENNIAL STUDENT
http://www.storyinliteraryfiction.com/original-stories-william-h-coles/the-perennial-student/
THE AMISH GIRL
http://www.storyinliteraryfiction.com/original-stories-william-h-coles/the-amish-girl/
THE NECKLACE
http://www.storyinliteraryfiction.com/original-stories-william-h-coles/the-necklace/
THE MIRACLE OF MADAME VILLARD
http://www.storyinliteraryfiction.com/original-stories-william-h-coles/the-perennial-student/
THE SPIRIT OF WANT (novel)
http://thespiritofwant.com/

Thanks for reading! 
storyinliteraryfiction.com

Glen Rossi, Chanell Lynn Kuykendoll and 23 others like this

View previous comments

Jeremy W. SymingtonRead!

3 days ago   ·  4

Missy JoyceGKChesterton wrote that, certainly many authors "borrowed" from other authors. " If Shakespeare borrowed, says Chesterton, he jolly well paid back."

3 days ago   ·  8

Dave WilliamsTo me, the enjoyment of reading is reading what I like to read not what others say I should read.

3 days ago   ·  6

John NelsonFor me, a well defined character is a priority. That and a well thought out scenario will transport you into their world

3 days ago   ·  3

Ifak StammThanks for the lecture on literature

2 days ago   ·  1

William SpradleyMost of those writers used their personal experiencesto create their stories. I doubt if any one ever wrote pure stories that never existed before.

2 days ago

2 Replies

Bea BurtonVery interesting thank you 😊🌹🦉

2 days ago   ·  1

Marianne SchlegelmilchGreat artcile and I have long said that writing is art--at least it always has been for me.

2 days ago   ·  3

Sally Del RosarioExcellent information💛💛

2 days ago   ·  1

Craig TarreThank God I was able to instill the joy of reading in my son. He is all the richer for it.

2 days ago   ·  2

Barry LoughYes characterization is key, but I've found whether I'm reading or watching a play/movie I also have to care about at least one character. So they can be brilliantly portrayed but for me that must include being able to care about what's happening to or with them.

2 days ago   ·  2

Patrick TrimbleI think that art ultimately challenges us to think & feel in a new way. It takes us to a,different place, but we must fully interact with that world. Kafka can write about a man turning into a cockroach but unless we have a shared feeling or a thematic sense of purpose, it will not be art. Kafka is. But reading for escapism is both fun & formula driven. It seldom challenges us, the feeling of superiority comes not from understanding but recognizing the formula & feeling good about ourselves. It is not as complex nor as challenging & therefore pretty easy to forget. Nothing in J.J.R.Martin's work really haunts us or makes us think about our real personal lives. The characters have some interest but they are not lifelike or real. Gatsby is a man destroyed by his own false illusions. Like the characters in Martin, he also is killed by outside forces, but his real death comes waiting for a phone from Daisy Buchanan that will never come. Ned Stark is a victim of circumstance & dies a noble death. Gatsby's death means nothing except what the reader can gleam from the story. There is nothing wrong with reading any book, but art is not about popularity but insight into the true human condition. As a former literature teacher (can't you tell?), I always recommend diversity in what anyone choices to read. The more we challenge ourselves, the better readers & thinkers we become. That is what literacy is all about.

1 day ago   ·  1

1 Reply

Lp JohnsonVery nice. I agree.

22 hours ago

John 'Ole' OlsonTales From The Wild Blue Yonder My own contribution...

14 hours ago

Teresa MyersOne of the first challenges that was taught by Ms. ZIMMERMAN high school English Lit. teacher was to challenge myself by finishing a story that she created. Diversity i believe. You will eventually find your nitch. Of course as my daughter's will tell you i am "older than dirt " and brought up using a maual brother typewriter so what do i know? Lol

11 hours ago   ·  1

Sarah Naomi ConroyWhen a populace learns to read.

8 hours ago   ·  1

Ronald Fuchs4th grade sister told me to learn to spell before I try writing. I never did learn to spell🤣

5 hours ago

Laura GrossGreat thoughts

2 hours ago

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