Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Will This Story Please Be Quiet, Please?

The issue of stories and novels not selling for being "too quiet" came up a while back over at Literary Rejections on Display.

I’ve heard the same feedback about my story collection.

What does this mean? I’m assuming it means my stories:

  • Are more character-driven
  • Are more internal
  • Do not (usually) feature topical, timely, flashy subjects
  • Do not (again, usually) feature car chases and knife fights and/or bat fights

I suppose the preference for “loud” stories and novels (and films, too) is no doubt a sign of the times. Publishers want a book that will sell.

But where would we be without “quiet” stories and “quiet” writers? No Carver. No Grace Paley. No... who else?


Ravi Mangla said...

where would fiction be without spontaneous bat fights? i think wharton was the best at capturing the ballet of it all. forster wrote some damn good bat fight scenes as well.

Andrew Roe said...

True, true. But my personal favorite has to be the infamous tea party bat fight scene in Henry James' "The Golden Bowl."

Ethel Rohan said...

No William Trevor or John McGahern. Good luck with your short story collection. I know I don't have to tell you to stay true to your stories, quiet or otherwise.