I found the discussion of flat vs round characters in the answer to this post pretty interesting: Example of a fictional story without any characters (the story being 1000+ words). Borrowing this analytical framework, that got me weighing the possibility of a story based on entirely 'flat characters.' Structure might entail something like:

  • characters come in, and exit story never reappearing
  • Presumably, there would be some kind of subject to anchor things (inanimate object/place)
  • Some events would be boring, other events might read as climaxes based on conventional analysis (though I would not treat them as climaxes, no build up, no foreshadowing, no afterthought)

A little something I whipped up to demonstrate

A tyrannosaurus ravaged through the gore of its most recent kill. The Mesozoic sun glimmered brightly in the sky as the eviscerated corpse dried up in matter of hours. In the distance the shriek of a brachiosaurus ripped through the oxygen-dense air. It's painful demise ended slowly between the jaws of a vicious predator moments before the colossal impact of its body pummeled the earth.


And on and on it would go, with only modest transitions or even hard cuts between events. Here is my motivation:
  • I want to pioneer or develop a style "fan non-fiction" where we make things up using what modern science suggests would be plausible. So its definitely not non-fiction in the strictest sense, but I think it would be a simplification to label it as "fantasy."
  • The point is to avoid using conventional plot devices to show mother nature as she truly is, indifferent. Things happen, or maybe nothing happens, time just rolls on.
  • The target publication length would be about 500 pages long.
  • To compensate for the potential boredom that would set in from not being able to relate to any of the characters and/or lack of central plot, I would try to create value in descriptive, engaging, imagery-intensive sentences that are scientifically accurate.
  • Actually, it wouldn't really matter where you started reading the book, since it's the piece is just an aggregate of discrete events, but after reading all 500 pages, I would suspect someone would actually feel like they have witnessed the period of the Mesozoic for themselves.


What are some likely concerns publishers would have, and how might I prepare to address them without compromising the spirit of my non-standard publication idea?

  • 2
    So, just "fiction"? Possibly "historical fiction", depending on how intertwined it is with significant historical events, or just a fictional documentary (à la Walking with Dinosaurs) . The "fan" in "fan-fiction" doesn't stand for "fantasy". Oct 30, 2020 at 15:40
  • Let's summarize - you would write about the nature (ancient or not), there will be no sentient characters and no plot?
    – Alexander
    Oct 30, 2020 at 23:08


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