Structure in the Body


“The reader of literary genre fiction should feel the structure in her body, particularly with short stories. It’s a recognizable rhythm, it’s a shimmering in one’s veins as one moves from opening scene to well-placed background information to the next, more tense scene to that special, oh-so-revealing flashback about the time our protagonist ran over his rubber horse, or the time he knew he was in love with a real horse, or the time he — oh you see what I mean. In the genre of literary fiction, this structure must lead to a moment of revelation, suggested but never explained.”

The Millions has gathered a great list of some literary fiction signifiers (the above is Scene, Exposition, Scene, Flashback, Scene, Cue Epiphany), including The Long Title and Adultery.

Tell us: what else would you add to the list?