The Formulas of Popular Fiction: Elements of Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance, Religious and Mystery Novels

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McFarland, Sep 17, 2014 - Literary Criticism - 224 pages
This book creates a taxonomy for the major bestselling fictional genres: romance (e.g., authors Heyer, Cartland, Woodiwiss and Roberts), religious and inspirational (Corelli and Douglas), mystery and detective (Conan Doyle, Christie and Mankell), and science fiction, horror and fantasy (Wells, Tolkien, Orwell, Niven, King and Rowling). Chapters look at a genre from its roots to its most recent works. The structural patterns in the plot, characters and setting of these genres are then explained. The book also provides a critique of currently popular hyper-formulaic, hack, unliterary writings that have multiplied in recent decades. Special topics such as the publishing oligopoly and the resulting homogeneity among bestselling works and the steady movement from literary to unliterary fiction are also examined.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Chapter 1 Formulaic Fiction Writing and the History of Literary Genres
11
Chapter 2 Fantasy Science Fiction and Horror
45
Chapter 3 Romance
95
Chapter 4 Religious and Inspirational
141
Chapter 5 Mystery and Detective
160
Conclusion
195
Chapter Notes
201
Bibliography
209
Index
213
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About the author (2014)

Anna Faktorovich is the founder and director of the Anaphora Literary Press and the editor-in-chief of the Pennsylvania Literary Journal. She has been a professor of English for Middle Georgia College and for Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. She lives in Hephzibah, Georgia.

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