The Formulas of Popular Fiction

Elements of Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance, Religious and Mystery Novels

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SKU: 9780786474134 Categories: , , , , ,

About the Book

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.

About the Author(s)

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.

Bibliographic Details

Anna Faktorovich
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 224
Bibliographic Info: 5 photos, tables, charts, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7413-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1585-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Chronology of Works Discussed  vii

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


Book Reviews & Awards

“a fascinating read…very highly recommended”—Midwest Book Review; “Anna Faktorovich has written an impressive study of genre writing. It is comprehensively informative and enticing on an intellectual level and simultaneously encouraging and useful to those embarking on a writing career. Formulaic authorship is not as creatively rewarding as producing Lolita or King Lear, but those future Luke Skywalkers and Harry Potters will pay the rent.”—Robert Hauptman, editor, Journal of Information Ethics.