I came across an interesting blog today. It's called 'TOMORROWVILLE' and it was created by David Isaac, author of Shock and Awe.
In his post titled 'Less Characterization, Please?', David talks about how certain generalizations are made, like one that says: “Literary novels are mainly about character; commercial novels are primarily concerned with plot.”
Like David, I don't agree with this statement. I think commercial fiction can be told through the character's journey, and in fact, that is how my novel Whale Song is told. It's a story told through the eyes of Sarah Richardson, a young woman whose past is haunted by a tragic event she can't quite remember.
Whale Song isn't literary fiction, yet the story is mainly about Sarah and her growth and journey from 11 years old to 26. But it is the plot that grips you as well. There is action, adventure, tragedy and an inspiring message.
I think this all goes back to 'show, don't tell'. Show us your character...AND your plot, and then it'll be a novel worth reading. At least, that's what I try to do.
I invite you to read David Isaak's blog.