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Creative Writing/Literary Fiction?


Hello Brian,

I have a question I hope you can help me with.  I am going to be taking a writing class for people working on a "literary" novel.  I have a novel I am working on, but I am not for sure it is a "literary" novel as opposed to a genre novel.

Basically, the story is of several couples trapped in an elevator. After a few days they decide to make some "deathbed" confessions, if you will, since they feel they are near death.

But after they finish their confessions, the elevator begins working and they are able to escape alive. The bulk of the novel will show how each couple has to deal with repairing their relationship with their spouse after making a shocking confession in the elevator.

Since this deals more with people and their relationships to one another, I feel like it is probably a literary novel, but would like your opinion.  It does not seem to me to be a genre novel that fits into any category such as horror, fantasy, mystery, etc.

Thanks for your assistance.

Hello Robert!

Wow!  It's been awhile since I've heard or used the terms literary fiction or genre fiction to distinguish between broad categories of fiction.  Interesting question.

Quite honestly, my first intuition is that your story sounds very much grounded in the literary fiction category as I, too, would not know what genre to place it in.  In addition, the crux of the story, or even its purpose, does not seem to fit in neatly with any particular genre, nor to necessarily entertain, perpetuate or expand any particular genre, but rather focuses on character, motif and story, it definitely seems firmly in the literary genre to me.

Hope that helps, and good luck with it!  Sounds like a great idea for a novel.

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Brian Connelly


I can answer questions about how to start writing creatively, how to keep motivated to finish a creative writing project or write creatively on a consistent basis, how to come up with creative writing ideas and how to improve creative writing in general.


My university major was English literature, and I've been a (mostly) amateur writer for about 20 years.

Quill Books Poetry Anthology Local Alaskan newspaper

Bachelor's in English Literature (North Carolina State University)

Awards and Honors
Editor's choice award for one short story and one poem Three published poems in national anthologies

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