|March's lighthouse: |
Le Phare de Kermorvan,
(Original photo by McPHOTO.)
As I flick through my Novel and Short Story Writer's Market, I can't help but notice the word 'experimental' littered throughout the section on literary magazines.
Okay, now everything I do is experimental, but in the literary sense, if there's one thing I'm not (yet), it's experimental. I'm a traditionalist through and through.
Yes, it's true. I'm a round lighthouse.
In defence of the unoriginal, consider the basic expectations of a reader. The Daily Writing Tips website lists the following:
- at least one sympathetic character with whom we can identify and root for;
- a story with a clear beginning, middle, and end;
- a narrative style that draws us into the fictional dream;
- language that conforms to standard rules of syntax, meaning, and punctuation;
- typography that conforms to printed conventions regarding margins, etc.
And what about all those expectations of genre, a word usually preceded by the word 'no' in the section on literary magazines?
- a romance is expected to contain flowery scenes;
- a Western is just not a Western without the manly man with the six-shooter;
- a suspense novel is generally plot driven.
And so, again I ask, are you a round lighthouse, or a square one, or something else altogether? Hexagonal, perhaps?
* For those geometrically sensitive people, are you a cylindrical lighthouse or a cuboid one (or another 3-dimensional shape altogether)?