experimental fiction

Experimental Fiction

A genre consisting of defying the literary norms and conventions established by traditional realist works within literature’s principles.
The writers of this genre focus on using innovative storytelling techniques that are playful, bizarre, risky, controversial, or sometimes even incomprehensible.
When the lines between protagonist and antagonist blur and it becomes difficult to define who is who or the hero and anti-hero both waver in terms of morality, you’re obviously experimenting away from traditional fiction. For instance, you may write a story with a main character that has no recoverable qualities – a villain rather than a charming protagonist.

The genre tropes are also challenged, often in unexpected ways. We, readers, expect tragedies to have unhappy cathartic endings; works of crime fiction to end with solving the mystery whereas romance stories will lead us to a happy-loving ending. Instead of writing a crime novel where the mystery is finally solved, you would pile the reader with more loose ends. A tragedy may suddenly include traces of comedy.
An innocent love story might turn to something sinister and dark, or a police murder mystery may become progressively obscure and creepy. The possibilities are endless!

Traditional plots have a linear structure: exposition, internal/external conflict, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution, all of which can be restrictive to experimental writers. Exactly what Aristotle advocated: the plots should be structured logically and in a manner that follows a beginning, middle, and end.
In experimental fiction, you can break the chronological order of plotlines to produce non-linear and unexpected stories. That said, you may start at the end of your narrative and move backward in time to narrate and explain to the readers the inciting event that led to that particular end.

It is indeed quite complex to establish the techniques and tropes of a genre that adheres to the lack of all of the above. Hence, it is easier to describe what experimental fiction attempts not to be rather than what it actually is.
However, one thing is sure with experimental fiction: readers are kept hyper-aware of how the words are presented on the page, the meanings ascribed to them, and the structuring of the overall story.
The genre is undeniably, intellectually challenging as it constantly clashes with the readers’ expectations, making them incomprehensible, frustrating, and even unsettling.