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I was sitting in a cafĂ© during my morning break, staring out of the window, with my notebook open., and I decided that it might be fun, and a change of gear, to write something non-genre. A straightforward contemporary story. I don’t like the term Literary Fiction, which makes the books sound as though you need a degree to read them. This would be something like an Ann Tyler novel. An ordinary person- that is, a character who doesn’t think of himself/herself as anything special, and whom society doesn’t class as special, either- undergoing the sorts of problems which you or I might undergo.                 I scribbled airily that I would base the hero on myself around the age of 20, when I began my first job; and that what the hero wants is to get a girlfriend. And that’s all I’ve got- three sentences. I don’t even call it an idea, although it hints at a character and hints at a goal, and hints at obstacles to achieving that goal. Apart from that, I don’t know anythin…

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