1. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Do I need to write a serious book to be taken seriously as an author?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Link the Writer, Nov 22, 2011.

    Let's say I wanted to write a book about flying ninjas with katanas. They're meant to just be fun, hilarious stories one can read on a summer day. Sure, the ninja people might be involved in a war or have to deal with racisim in one adventure, but that's not the theme of the book.

    Basically, could a writer write a silly, hilarious book and still be taken seriously; or would they have to deal with hot-buttoned issues to be taken seriously?

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    this is a question I have asked myself too. I'll be following this thread for the replies.
     
  3. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    It depends what you mean by taken seriously.

    If you mean in terms of interest from publishers, selling the book, etc. I'd say no. There are plenty of books built around comedy and silliness. Just look at Terry Pratchett. He seems to have cornered the market on daft, comedic, fun reads. Yes, serious themes (or hints of them) work their way into his books, but it's always clear that the main point of them is to be enjoyable, not profound.

    If you can do it well, then I can't foresee any reason why it should be a problem.
     
  4. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    this is the first time I have of serious writing.
    I think you should write for pleasure first then for your reader.
    labelling things is restricitve and does not allow room for free flow writing.
    you have to bear in mind that not everyone is looking to read ''Serious''
    the audience out there, meaning the reader, is flexible and opened to suggestions and ideas.
    there a market and a trend for everything.
    it does not stop you from starting your own trend of readers tomorrow.
    no one wants to be serious, I think there is enough seriousness in life to go around.
    I am pretty sure poeple will literally everyting and anyhting because reading is fun.
    it is up to you to get one reader to notice you thenanother will and so on.
    the best thing to aquire that is to write as you and for you and not like him or her because they happen to have written Harry Potter.
    you would be surprised toknow that JK Rowling is not liked by everyone.
    hope this helps.
     
  5. Bob Magness
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    Bob Magness Senior Member

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    Douglas Adams
    Terry Pratchett
    Christopher Moore
    Joseph Heller
    Bill Bryson
    David Sedaris

    And those are just the ones from my personal reading list. Despite writing funny or downright ridiculous books they are certainly taken seriously as authors. Sure, there will always be your pure literature readers who turn their noses up at such writing but screw them and their boring tastes. :)
     
  6. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think the purpose/subject/theme of the book really matters - it's how well you write it.
     
  7. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    You need to write well to be taken serious as an Author. The content and genre is irrelevant.
     
  8. Dante Dases
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    Dante Dases Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd agree with this. So long as you've got a high standard of writing, there's nothing to stop you being taken seriously.

    Link, I'd have you think for a second about my last two years of university. I was taken seriously as a bar student because I worked hard and produced quality work as was asked of me. The context of that work - generally done lounging round in the law library flirting with whatever girl had taken my fancy, or winding up one member of the bar group or other - didn't matter one jot so long as it was of the required standard.

    But don't take yourself too seriously. That way madness lies.
     
  9. FoxPaw
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    FoxPaw Senior Member

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    The first example that comes to mind is Dr. Seuss. He wrote many children's stories with silly concepts and even sillier made-up words and yet he's still a well-known children's story author. I loved growing up to his works.
     
  10. AmsterdamAssassin
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    AmsterdamAssassin Contributing Member

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    You shouldn't care if anyone takes you seriously as an author, as long as you take your writing seriously.

    And I'm into koryu bujutsu myself, so I wouldn't enjoy your ninja fantasy very much, I'm afraid. So don't expect any validation from me... :eek:)
     
  11. Jetshroom
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    Jetshroom Active Member

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    There is a series of books.

    The day my bum went psycho.
    Zombie bums from Uranus.
    and, Bumageddon.

    These are not only published by a well known, often published author, but they're popular.

    It really doesn't matter what you write about.
     
  12. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    You really need to qualify "serious" for this to have any value...if by "taken seriously", you mean published, then yes, as people have noted, publishers will do anything for money, even release books called Zombie Bums From Uranus.

    But if you mean "taken seriously" in a cultural or canonical sense, then there needs to be more to your book than mere entertainment. Merely entertaining is fine if you want to be popular, but not if you want to be important.
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    to be taken seriously as an author you only have to write a book that sells in serious numbers!

    it has nothing at all to do with the content being 'serious' or not...
     
  14. Eclipse~Illusion
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    Eclipse~Illusion New Member

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    Personally, I think a writer is supposed to write for theirself first. However, can they get a lot flack from some reviewers? Hmmm. Maybe. It all really depends. However, write for you first.
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if you write for fun then of course you should 'write for you'... but if you write to be published, you must write for your target reader market, plus meet the standards of the publishers you hope will buy/publish your material [if you really love to write, even that can be fun]...
     
  16. leafmould
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    leafmould Senior Member

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    Stephen King's books? Serious?

    Hardly!!!

    I heard an interview with him on BBC radio. I think a question was:

    "Who do you write for?"

    His reply:

    "I write for me. I have a blast!"


    He's a serious writer, though. He takes writing very seriously indeed.

    Some love his books, others hate them, but nobody should accuse him of not being a serious writer.


    Here's the link to that SK interview. You can legally download it:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/desert-island-discs/castaway/706f13bc#p0093ttz
     
  17. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    I write comedy, too, so I'd like to follow this thread, but I can't find a link to let me follow it without posting.
     
  18. ScreamsfromtheCrematory
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    ScreamsfromtheCrematory Member

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    Terry Pratchett says "no".
     
  19. Colin Ruggles
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    Colin Ruggles Member

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    I believe that any subject however crazy or outlandish it is can be written about.
    The important things to remember are, youi have to enjoy writing it, your reader has to enjoy reading it and it has to be written well.
    Even the most stupid subject if written well can be read and enjoyed.
    I would love to see some of your work to see how you are getting on.

    Good luck and happy writing.
     

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