Rejection from The Carve Magazine’s Short Fiction Contest
Oliver “Shiny” Blakemore
157

Oliver!

Hey, congrats for trying anyway. Competition is always stiff and excellent.

My honest, honest opinion is that I had determined that the story wouldn’t be good at the first sentence. I couldn’t read it all the way through.

Hmm. I don’t know what you mean by ‘realistic’ fiction. As someone who is a huge fan of Raymond Carver, and judging from your words of ‘boring’ and ‘real’, and your more than minimalistic summary of Carver, I’d venture that you haven’t read him much or at all and neither in the realm of literary fiction. In my opinion, what you wrote was an ancedote, not literary or ‘realistic’ fiction. Being able to capture the (actually complex) mundane in a manner that adds nuance and so dignity to the human condition is an art form. (Seinfeld did this actually with observational comedy).

‘Literary’ fiction, as opposed to mainstream, shines a spotlight on character. Action happens through character development.

But I think it’s great that you tried to write out of your more normal or comfortable genre.

Carver was a little more than the philosophy of ‘get in, get out, don’t linger’. As he continued to write, his form became longer, actually, and more true to the human condition. My memory is a little fuzzy but he has 1 story “A Small, Good Thing”. A couple is excited for their child’s birthday party and calls a baker for a cake. But what happens is that the child is killed by a hit and run, and the baker will not stop calling the grief-stricken couple to pick up the cake. It is cruel and almost nightmarish as the phone continues to ring, but the nuance is that, of course, the baker is a business and doesn’t know.

This is talent.

I feel as if all fiction is ‘literary’, realistic, because people, characters, are always real, but the genre changes according to what comprises the literary environment. Is the character developing through interaction with a spaceship or their family members? Kinda the same s**t. I love fiction, more so literary, but it’s all escapist to me.

If you don’t really respect a genre or understand it’s underpinnings tho, you might not be good at it.

Like what you read? Give Kindra J. F. a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.