The demand for fair use rationales for book covers has generated a discussion among wikipedians and also WP:NOVELS members. See the discussion here it has some potentially very important ideas to consider and possibly contribute to.
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What is a novel? What are the elements that must be found in any piece of writing for it to be considered a novel? I think it fair to say that traditional definitions of the word “novel” work along these lines: A novel is a fictitious prose story of book length. In my view, a novel has six basic elements: 1) It must have a society of characters; 2) They must be undergoing transformations; 3) And those must be in the course of a sustained prose narrative; 4) The sustained prose narrative must be impelled by a plot; 5) And it must be unified by clearly discernible central themes; 6) And to the extent possible, it must be universalised by a complex architecture of allegorical and symbolical sub-strata. If I write those six basic elements into a single definition, I come up with this: A novel is a society of characters, undergoing transformations, in the course of a sustained prose narrative, which is impelled by a plot, unified by clearly discernible central themes, and universalised by a complex architecture of allegorical and symbolical sub-strata.
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