The Formulas of Popular Fiction
Elements of Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance, Religious and Mystery Novels
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)
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Bibliographic Info: 5 photos, tables, charts, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Chronology of Works Discussed vii
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
Chapter Notes 201
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.