I have been toying around with the idea of writing an abstract Novel. I was thinking about what it would be like if I were to write a book that did not follow standard plot devices, nor the norm in conflict. Maybe the characters would not be what you would expect, and later the strangeness of it all would grow on the reader, eventually making more sense than the reality of other books due to the fact that the reader was there from the beginning to learn how how everything interacts first hand Via full immersion.

would a writing of this type be considered abstract?

  • 1
    Not an answer to your question, but I'd be concerned that if you make your story too obscure or abstract people won't stick to it long enough to get to the full immersion.
    – CLockeWork
    Oct 25, 2013 at 15:39
  • Do you understand "abstract novel" to be a category of some sort, or are you asking about the adjective "abstract" in a more-general sense? If the former, could you add some information about what you mean by this? Like a definition, examples of the genre, etc? Oct 27, 2013 at 19:36
  • 1
    RTFM(odernist canon).
    – micapam
    Oct 28, 2013 at 6:08

1 Answer 1


I've never heard of an "abstract" novel and I'm pretty sure you haven't either (otherwise you would already know you are writing an abstract novel). So I think it's impossible to answer your question.

I would just advice you to go and write it. You don't need to know the genre of your novel to do so. In fact, that's a good thing. It means your creating something which can't be labeled, so it's very likely for it to become an original work.

I warn you though, that too many abstract elements can overwhelm the reader (just as CLockWork said).

The closest thing to what you are describing are surreal novels. I recommend you The Wind Up Bird Chronicles by Haruki Murakami. In the novel, he breaks many standard plot devices and things get pretty surreal (naked women appear out of nowhere and wells act as passage to the realm of dreams). But somehow he does all this without making you feel anything supernatural has happened. And even stranger, he makes you feel as if everything were connected. Some people also label this magical realism.

So who knows, maybe that's something similar to what you're striving for.


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