Five plots: the relationship between plot and genre in short fiction

Lister, Ashley R. (2018) Five plots: the relationship between plot and genre in short fiction. PhD thesis, University of Bolton.

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Abstract

This thesis explores the notion that, in short fiction, plot is a component part of genre. Using original fiction, and with reference to classic and contemporary examples from a broad range of short stories, the thesis investigates this relationship through an examination of the semantic and syntactic features found in a variety of genres. The thesis begins with an examination of horror, romance and erotic fiction, three of the five supergenres examined and the genres that are perceived to have the strongest focus on character, and on characters’ inter-relationships. The thesis then moves on to consider plot-focused supergenres, such as the mystery and the adventure, arguing that the whodunit, fantasy and science fiction are basic level genres, subordinate to either the mystery or adventure supergenres. The thesis concludes by discussing further original, and somewhat experimental fiction that has come from this approach to the notion of plot being a component part of genre. It is hoped that this study will be of value to writers on both theoretical and practical levels. From a theoretical perspective, this material demonstrates one writer’s approach to analysing genre fiction, which should prove a useful model for other writers to use or appropriate. From a practical point of view, the contents of this thesis should prove an aid to writers, who will be able to see what it is that makes their fiction successful, or not, from a genre perspective.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: Electronic version of thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Bolton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Divisions: University of Bolton Theses > English
Depositing User: Tracey Gill
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2018 14:28
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2019 09:26
URI: http://ubir.bolton.ac.uk/id/eprint/1970

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