1. Dragon Boy
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    Dragon Boy Member

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    Novels about writers.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Dragon Boy, Feb 2, 2012.

    Are there a lot of novels out there where the protagonist is a writer? ( I'm pretty sure there's a term for this but I forgot about it ). I was interested in starting such a project, but I wanted to make sure it has not been overdone.
     
  2. jc.
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    jc. Contributing Member

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    I have yet to read a book like this, but I would if I knew any titles. I know there's a popular video game called Alan Wake that's in the POV of a writer (and it was actually very good) so I'd gladly read a book if you or someone else wrote it.
     
  3. Anniexo
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    Anniexo Member

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    There're are lots, this genre is called 'Real life' (People who have had a really hard life that they have gotten over or are still dealing with) Most the ones I've heard of and read have been about women who have been sexually abused as children, (No safe place is one I've read) mothers who hated their own children and treated them like shit (A boy called 'It') and women who have been tricked in to prostitute (Mummy come home), I'm sure there are other subject people have written about like this, but these are the ones I have read. I'm sure most book shops sell books like this.
     
  4. Dragon Boy
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    Dragon Boy Member

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    Alan Wake was awesome indeed and I liked how the game was divided in chapters. The ending was a bit disappointing though and it looks like Alan Wake's american nightmare which is coming out in a month won't be as story-driven as it's predecessor (which is such a shame).

    That game is actually what gave me the idea, although my story wouldn't involve shadow zombies and flashlights that run out of batteries every 10 seconds.
     
  5. jc.
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    jc. Contributing Member

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    LMAO! True that about the batteries. Drove me nuts.

    I'm sad to hear about the changes they have made, but I guess the writing thing didn't bode well for the people who play games and don't like to read a lot. I guess you should write the book so you can fill the void AW left us. ;)

    I say do it, and keep me posted! I would gladly beta read it for you, if you need someone to.
     
  6. Dragon Boy
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    Dragon Boy Member

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    Thanks for the offer! I will let you know once it is finished.
     
  7. SplashPlane
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    SplashPlane New Member

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    There are quite a few.. I though I wouldn't go as far as to say it's overdone. I think it's a great niche anyway, since there is a huge audience for writers or people who want to someday be writers. And that's not to say others won't be interested in them either.. if it's done well of course a book can appeal to anyone who appreciates good literature.

    If anyone's interested, I really loved The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. They're both part of an unofficial ongoing series on the "Cemetery of Forgotten Books," though they can both be read separately in any order you like (I preferred The Shadow of the Wind, his first book). They're both just great reads, highly recommended. Also, G-Max, it might give you a better idea as to what writers are doing with this particular genre (if you want to call it that) nowadays. They're both relatively recent.

    Also, if you're into classics, also check out James Joyce's The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses. Kurt Vonnegut also comes to mind (in Breakfast of Champions and Slaughterhouse-Five).
     
  8. picklzzz
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    picklzzz Senior Member

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    Often, Stephen King (and I think Dean Koontz) have MC's that are writers. I think if you have your MC as a writer, have a good reason. My novel I'm planning has the MC in another profession but as an aspiring writer as well. The reason is so that she comes to this town begging her brother-in-law to help her get experience and becomes an investigative journalist for the local paper. This gives her an investigative role in the community. This would then lead naturally into her wanting to uncover the truth behind what's happening without it personally happening to her or her family. She's like an observer of events without actually being personally involved.
     
  9. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    In James A. Michener's "The Novel", not only is the central character a writer, but writing and publishing are at the core of the what the book is about. Also, Michener's narrator in "Mexico" was a magazine writer.

    In Brian Morton's "Starting Out In the Evening", a grad student gets to know an aging writer she is studying. He has been largely forgotten and has been struggling to complete what he knows will be his final novel. In Nevil Shute's "Trustee from the Toolroom", the main character is an engineer who writes for a hobby magazine. In Alfred Jose Estrada's "Welcome to Havana, Senor Hemingway", the narrator is an aspiring writer chasing down the origins of a story involving his grandfather and Ernest Hemingway. In Tom Rachman's "The Imperfectionists", most of the characters are writers.

    Hope this helps.
     
  10. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Thomas Wolfe's work is autobiographical, tracing over four long books his development from boyhood to novelist. Herman Wouk's Youngblood Hawke is a novel about a writer thought to be based on Wolfe. Anthony Burgess said of Wouk, "No writer has ever written with such authority about the trials of the writer himself: Youngblood Hawke ... is the only novel we have which brutally gives the facts about profit and loss accounts, the hard graft of writing, the Balzacian details of the sordor and the literary life."
     
  11. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Minstrel, I've read several of Wouk's books, but not "Youngblood Hawke". Must put that on the list. Thanks.
     
  12. ManOfSteel
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    ManOfSteel Member

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    Yes, it's one possible device of metafiction.
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Then write it. Don't get your shorts in a twist about how many have been written before. That is completely irrelevant. Just write your story, and write it well.
     
  14. joanna
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    joanna Active Member

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    It sounds like what you're describing are autobiographies, something else entirely.

    No matter how many times it's been done, you can still do it well yourself.

    My favorite was Misery by Stephen King, about a writer who is kidnapped by a psychotic fan.
     
  15. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Antonia White's novel 'The Sugar House' has a writer setting up house, putting aside all her time to write--but she has writer's block and never actually gets anything done. I strongly identify with both that, and her first novel, about a girl at an English Catholic boarding school who ends up getting expelled :(
     
  16. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    not near as many as there are movies, probably... but as noted above, even if there are, you shouldn't let that stop you, if you have a good story to tell...
     
  17. Monosmith
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    I was going to say Stephen King, and I suppose I just did, but I see someone else beet me to it so the novelty is gone.

    But basically, yes, I've seen plenty of novels where the main character is a writer. A lot of them that I have read I have really liked, if only because I relate to the writer because I am one. It definitely puts me into the mood of "This is a story. And I am going to enjoy it as a story." and the characters are often enjoyable because no one enters writing unless they have a bit of personality to run off.

    Though at the same time I myself have tried to avoid making writers my main characters, since I want to write about something outside of myself.

    Monosmith
     
  18. EdFromNY
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    The latest addition being the very enjoyable "Midnight in Paris".
     

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