Hatrack River
Home   |   About Orson Scott Card   |   News & Reviews   |   OSC Library   |   Forums   |   Contact   |   Links
Research Area   |   Writing Lessons   |   Writers Workshops   |   OSC at SVU   |   Calendar   |   Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Writers Workshop Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » What kind of writer are you?

   
Author Topic: What kind of writer are you?
Disgruntled Peony
Member
Member # 10416

 - posted      Profile for Disgruntled Peony   Email Disgruntled Peony         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Last night, thanks to the WotF forums, I discovered "David Farland's Daily Kick in the Pants". It's directed toward novel-writers, but can be interpreted for any other kind of writing with ease. I've quite enjoyed perusing the backlog thus far. One article in particular caught my eye in particular; it discusses the usefulness of analyzing what kind of writer you want to be.

The questions he recommends asking are as follows:

  • What kind of writer am I?
  • What do I want to achieve that is similar to some of the bestsellers of all time?
  • How am I going to carve my own unique niche in the world?
  • As I write this coming book, how will it help reach that goal, or does it take me off in the wrong direction?
  • What kinds of goals do I want to reach with this novel?

This jumpstarted my brain and got me really thinking about some of the projects I'm trying to start/continue. I also thought this might make for interesting discussion and/or exploration of each other's writing interests, which is why I'm posting them here. Feel free to post your answers to these questions, or your thoughts on the questions/article. I'll post my responses to the questions later tonight (I have to get ready for work at the mo).

Posts: 722 | Registered: May 2015  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Disgruntled Peony:
  • What kind of writer am I?
  • What do I want to achieve that is similar to some of the bestsellers of all time?
  • How am I going to carve my own unique niche in the world?
  • As I write this coming book, how will it help reach that goal, or does it take me off in the wrong direction?
  • What kinds of goals do I want to reach with this novel?

Questions much on my mind and presently intensely focused while I prepare a statement of purpose for a PhD application.

I am a subversive social reform writer, a post Postmodern William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Joan Didion of crossover categorical genre, a C. J. Cherryh and Jonathan Franzen of noteable quarrel and dissent, a George Orwell of societal prescience, and a Ray Bradbury of technological and cultural contention, of Magical Realism.

I am achieving my goal of the outsider empowerment Cherryh and Franzen portray as a responsibility as much as a right. Freedom's not just another word for little else to do, al la Janice Joplin. Freedom, liberty, empowerment -- words that represent self-involved selfisness come with attendant accountability, responsibility, obligation, and duty to the common good, not just right, entitlement, and privilege luxuries that take from the common good by any individual and group association. The bestsellers of all time achieve their intended ends from Socratic methods that persuade transformative social adjustment for common good.

I carve my niche through skewed, slanted even, approaches. Pose a villain of a piece as the hero, raise socially controversial topics and answer their problem questions, poetic justice distorted by realistic, real-life, mitigations through self-enacted legislation that legitimizes corrupt bribery, extortion, coercion, and oppression. Imply that cooperation for the common good is the human condition ideal that narrative so often misses, that my narratives celebrate through opposite effect, corrupt success comes from overly serving selfishness.

This coming book: surprise events, settings, characters, and complications and conflicts, and moral human conditions portray classic vice and virtue interpreted presently to be passé in favor of luxury at the expense of common good. Villains are the heroes, no non-villain angonists. Everyone self-involved and morally corrupt.

The goal of this novel and all my writing -- prose, critical analysis, method of discourse poetics -- is persuade a more civil society than the present contentious society to emerge, period. Orwell and Bradbury. Access Bradbury's meaning through Orwell's perceptive prescience from a Socratic approach. "Soylent green is people." Spirulina Arthrospira maxima. A cannabis grower substantiates water and power consumption of an illegal "medical" grow operation under cover of an algae and shrimp farm. Everyone's a villain-hero.

Posts: 5098 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Grumpy old guy
Member
Member # 9922

 - posted      Profile for Grumpy old guy   Email Grumpy old guy         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
  • What kind of writer am I? I'm a storyteller
  • What do I want to achieve that is similar to some of the bestsellers of all time? Make people examine their own attitudes to the people and society around them
  • How am I going to carve my own unique niche in the world? By the words I put down on the page
  • As I write this coming book, how will it help reach that goal, or does it take me off in the wrong direction? It will be what it needs to be, not what I want it to be
  • What kinds of goals do I want to reach with this novel? Finish it


I tell stories; long and tall with some grain of truth somewhere. I'm not interested in fame and fortune, my goal is to change the way people look at the mundane things around them and help them see both the magic and the drama. I want them to look inside themselves and see my characters staring back at them, prompting them to try and understand the world in a new and perhaps better way.

Good luck with that! I say.

Phil.

Posts: 1605 | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Disgruntled Peony
Member
Member # 10416

 - posted      Profile for Disgruntled Peony   Email Disgruntled Peony         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
  • What kind of writer am I? I'm not going to lie, one of my biggest goals is to be an entertainer. I do, however, also want people to learn things from my stories. I've found that a prevailing theme in a lot of my story ideas is the underlying question of what it means to be human. The stories I enjoy telling are primarily sci-fi and fantasy. I've discovered through years of tabletop roleplaying games that my friends and I are very fond of urban and historical fantasy with elements of horror (more specifically, dread/suspense). Since my friends are essentially my target audience, I feel like that's a good place to get started.
  • What do I want to achieve that is similar to some of the bestsellers of all time?I want to captivate my audience and show them what it's like to live in someone else's shoes for awhile. I want to help them gain a greater sense of empathy for the world around them by exposing them to situations and viewpoints they may not have understood before.
  • How am I going to carve my own unique niche in the world?I want to weave compelling character-themed tales that take the reader on an emotional journey. I'm probably going to stick with urban and/or historical fantasy to start, although I would like to branch out eventually.
  • As I write this coming book, how will it help reach that goal, or does it take me off in the wrong direction?My favorite historical time frames, story-wise, are situated in the late 1800's (post-Civil War, for example) or the early 1900's (weirdly enough, my example here is the Great Depression). I'm currently in the pre-writing stage of a novel set in 1880's Texas, so I think I'm on the right track.
  • What kinds of goals do I want to reach with this novel?Honestly? I want to finish it. That, in and of itself, would be a massive achievement for me right now. We'll see where things go from there.

Posts: 722 | Registered: May 2015  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robert Nowall
Member
Member # 2764

 - posted      Profile for Robert Nowall   Email Robert Nowall         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm iffy about Question Two: "What do I want to achieve that is similar to some of the bestsellers of all time?" Seems to imply I'm trying to write bestsellers. I was trying to emulate the works I fell in love with, which, when I started, were by and large science fiction. Some sold well by the standards of the day, but most of them weren't bestsellers by the standards of the bestseller lists.
Posts: 8716 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Disgruntled Peony
Member
Member # 10416

 - posted      Profile for Disgruntled Peony   Email Disgruntled Peony         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm iffy on that one too, honestly; I don't expect any of my stories to end up on bestseller lists. I do want my stories to be as good as those of my favorite authors someday, though, and that's what I think the question is meant to encourage.
Posts: 722 | Registered: May 2015  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Having followed Wolverton for some time and noting his blog writing is, shall I say, awkward at times, I found question two to mean novels that generated buzz -- popular or critical or both -- in their time or through the ages.

The number one all-time bestseller novel is Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, for example, at four hundred million plus. J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit a distant second at two hundred million. L. Frank Baum's Oz franchise hit high marks; more than a few twentieth century novels hit multimillion copy marks, the Potter and Katniss and Bella Swan phenoms notwithstood.

Too little lifetime, too many novels: I stay with buzz generators mostly to see what the hubbub is about and stay abreast of the culture. An occasional sample here and there of other matter, maybe a full read here and there. I recently sampled an ex-classmate's self-published nonfiction books, hmm, not my tastes. The classmate learned how to market, not write with flair. Same with other ex-classmates -- market not write significantly. Tel est la vie de escritur.

Anyway, yeah, I'm not "iffy" about question two. I know the singular feature of bestsellers, buzz generators, and noteworthy award winners: socially significant, controversial, redeeming, lively, vivid portraits of the moral human condition.

Posts: 5098 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scot
Member
Member # 10427

 - posted      Profile for Scot   Email Scot         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:

  • What kind of writer am I?
  • What do I want to achieve that is similar to some of the bestsellers of all time?
  • How am I going to carve my own unique niche in the world?
  • As I write this coming book, how will it help reach that goal, or does it take me off in the wrong direction?
  • What kinds of goals do I want to reach with this novel?

1. A bildungsroman schleuderer. One who is struggling for time.
2. Pay off student loans and make some readers stay up too late because they want to finish my book.
3. One 20-minute editing session at a time.
4. As long as I'm getting words on the page (or the wrong words off the page), I don't think it can take me in a wrong direction.
5. Establish a relationship with an agent and publishing editor. (Whadya know - that one actually sounded serious.)

Posts: 114 | Registered: Jun 2015  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LDWriter2
Member
Member # 9148

 - posted      Profile for LDWriter2   Email LDWriter2         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
A little late to this party and I have read many of David's "kicks" but don't think I have read these questions before.


What kind of writer am I?
What do I want to achieve that is similar to some of the bestsellers of all time?
How am I going to carve my own unique niche in the world?
As I write this coming book, how will it help reach that goal, or does it take me off in the wrong direction?
What kinds of goals do I want to reach with this novel?


By the seat of my pants-slinky writer. I don't do outlines, even though sometimes I do have certain scenes in mind. By slinky I mean I go back over previous scenes as I write, something comes to mind and I go back to fix it or add something I should have when I wrote that scene. So I can go forward, go back a chapter, forward, back just a couple of pages. go forward more.

I don't think I am any type of reforming writer even though I do many times add details I think are important in a social context. But the idea is get out my story in a way people will want to read.

What I want to achieve? By a writer someone can't put down.

How am I going to curve a niche. (Shoulder shrug) by coming up with my own unique ideas, twists, style and writing well.

How will this next book help me? (Again shoulder shrug) By practicing what I have learned about writing and getting the reader deep into the story. By having an unique fusion of genre put together well.

What type of goals? Practice what I have learned, and express my tale.

Posts: 5227 | Registered: Jun 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2