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Lit Fic
Lit Fic - short for "Literary Fiction" - is a nebulous, broad term which emerged during the 1960s. Though it is usually contrasted with Genre Fiction ("Speculative Fiction", Mystery Fiction, Romance Novel, and so on), there's more to it than "any non-genre fiction"; in some respects, it is a genre unto itself, characterized by an aspiration to literary merit and a greater focus on style, psychological depth and character - as opposed to the focus on plot and narrative typical of genre fiction.

From this you might infer that this is typically not the kind of work that provides one's daily fix of vampire-hunting, magically-transforming, banana-bending, mecha-piloting, super-powered, time-travelling teenagers beating the odds. A touch of Magical Realism might be allowed, but never to the point where it becomes the focus of the story. Rather, a piece of Lit Fic is much likelier to be about everyday people doing everyday things, dealing with everyday problems and eventually coming to realizations or personal transformations. A family struggles with cancer. A man struggles with death. A couple struggles with alcoholism. A child struggles to become an adult. Critics who dislike the genre may summarize most plots as "a middle-aged college professor contemplates adultery".

In some sense, this induces an instinctive aversion to this genre in some readers' eyes; There is very little escapism or Wish Fulfillment in Lit Fic, and if one believes that the point of fiction is escapism and speculation, they will likely see the genre as a glorified contradiction in terms. A great many people find Lit Fic to be boring or pretentious, while others find it to be very relatable. There is, of course, a flip side to the above: Lit Fic, more than any other genre, invests itself in real-life situations and real-life people. This is, generally, a good investment; in the end, even in the wackiest and most speculative adventures, the touch of real life - characters and their believable faults and struggles - is what ties everything together, carries the Willing Suspension of Disbelief and keeps the Eight Deadly Words at bay. One might say, at their very base level, genre and Lit Fic are Not So Different, they just emphasize different aspects of storytelling. Driving that point home, it's worth noting that there is plenty of Lit Fic dealing with less slice-of-life situations such as war and famine, and some even straddling the line between genre and literary.

Ostensibly for this reason, Lit fic defines itself as the mainstream of fiction, regardless of market share and despite the fact that genre fiction is more popular among the general public. The genre really only began to appear towards the end of the 19th century, when the corresponding genre fictions began to crystallize.

Archetypal authors in English include:

Examples of Lit Fic with pages on this wiki include:

LegendLiterature GenresMagic Realism
Works By Stephen KingLiteratureMilitary and Warfare Literature

alternative title(s): Literary Fiction
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