Fiction is arbitrarily sliced down the middle as literary and popular. The exact definitions are wavering but some writers take pride in being firmly in one camp. The literary types frown upon those writing plot driven books that get bought by their thousands. The popular fiction clique wonder what the point is in writing books no one reads, or in some cases can't read because of their literary merit that excludes all from understanding except the author.
The battle rages with Dan Brown's current book The Lost Symbol. Phillip Pullman criticised Brown's book saying it was "flat, stunted, and ugly writing". John Grisham,one of my top ten favourite authors, has come to Brown's rescue. Quoted on Telegraph .co.uk Grisham says that he doesn't understand "literature".
"For me, the essential component of fiction is plot. My objective is to get the reader to feel impelled to turn the pages as quickly as possible. If I want to achieve that, I can't allow myself the luxury of distracting him. I have to keep him hanging on and the only way to do it is by using the weapons of suspense. There is no other way. If I try to understand the complexities of the human soul, people's character defects and those types of things, the reader gets distracted."
Again as I often come down to in my blog- do we write as a job, to put bread on the table or do we write to see how far we can push the art? For me I'm a pendulum- swinging first one way and then the other. What about you?