Literary fiction vs. Maintstream fiction

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Q: I see these two terms bandied about on almost every literary blog and Q&A: Literary fiction vs. Maintstream fiction. What are the differences between the two?–Rook V.

A: If I made a list of differences between literary and mainstream fiction, it'd look nearly identical to Janet Paszkowski's "Defining Artless Fiction: 24 Basic Differences Between Literary & Mainstream/Genre Writing," posted over at She gives a neat and straightforward breakdown. Plus, she makes my life easy as I can just link to it instead of writing out the list myself. I can even link to it under any heading I want:

The Literary vs. Mainstrearm Battle Royal
I Spelled Paszkowski Correct. Yeah Me!
Brian is So Good Looking, Just a Quick Glance at Him Makes Me Forget the Question

God I love the Internet.

Brian A. Klems is the online managing editor of Writer’s Digest magazine.

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