By: Helen Scheuerer
From the beginning, every author has a vision of what kind of novelist they want to be. It’s often based on what success they’ve witnessed in the literary world, the kind of books they’ve enjoyed reading, or the education they’ve received.
But as the writer’s journey unfolds, what becomes apparent is that reality is often very different to those dreams and expectations…
This article will delve into the questions you need to ask yourself when deciding what kind of author you want to be, as well as providing advice on how to manage your expectations as an author, as you dive into this crazy writing world.
WHAT KIND OF AUTHOR SHOULD YOU BE?
Since the start of my writing journey, I always had a really clear idea of the ‘kind of author’ I wanted to be. However, it wasn’t until I was doing my creative writing degree that I realized this kind of author was called an ‘author of literary fiction’…
Cormac McCarthy, Anne Enright, Julian Barnes, and Damon Galgut were my heroes. They had crisp, striking prose and clean, blunt dialogue in common and offered great stories, but more than that – they offered a feeling.
These were the authors I wanted to be like. Along with the incredible writing also comes the prestige and respect of other writers. I realized that for some reason, certain people turn their nose up at ‘genre’ fiction.
Another thing I was becoming increasingly aware of was this notion of ‘women’s fiction’ – if you were a woman and you wrote about women, suddenly you were slotted into this genre. And apparently, it was known more commonly as ‘chick lit’. I had to avoid this!
What I’m trying to do here is paint a picture of what influences a writer, and what are conscious decisions and what are environmental factors…
However, as a writer of literary fiction, and an editor of a literary magazine, I’ve learned some important lessons lately in terms of what kind of writer I want to be.
Here are the questions I’ve been pondering, and why I think they’re crucial when it comes to deciding what you want to write and how to write it…
1. WHAT DO YOU LOVE READING?
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If you missed my writing & marketing tweets and retweets yesterday, here they are again:
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