QUOTE: “Stories require voices to speak them & ears to hear them. Stories only foster connection when there is both someone to speak & someone to listen.” ∼ Brene Brown (I Thought It Was Just Me)
✍️The most common ways to label WRITERS is by what they write and how they write it, by subject & format, & by their skills & foibles. (From Dawn Field – 2017)
♦️Flag-stakers = These are the rare greats who define how books are written. The very best of all types, they break the rules so skillfully, that they make the rules.
▪︎ the world’s first novel, considered to be Murasaki Shikibu’s Tale of Genji from 1010
▪︎ followed almost 600 years later by the first European novel, Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes in 1605
▪︎ Edgar Allen Poe founded the horror genre, & Stephen King redefined it for modern times
▪︎ Early leaders, such as Jules Verne, helped create the science fiction genre
▪︎J.K Rowling conquered the billionaires’ list for Harry Potter (& fell off it again, admirably, for the extent of her charitable donations).
♦️‘I Hear Voices’ Writers = these say “I didn’t write it, someone else did” or “Characters talk to me, I just write what they say.”
Of course, these authors do put their own name on their works. It’s just that they have very vivid imaginations, as the subconscious & super-creative parts of their brain talk, instead of ‘normal’ voices of daily life
♦️Natural Born Writers = these have a superior ‘ear’ for words. Like musicians, they play words like instruments, weaving great melodies & rhythms. They can distinguish subtleties & subtexts that most people miss. They can’t stop writing, usually starting at a very early age. Many literary greats are in this group, but despite their prodigious talent, most still put huge effort into their art
♦️Obligatory Memoirists = memoirs can be the result of introspection or pressure from a publisher & fans of a high achiever (great writers, celebrities…) to reveal the secret of what formed their extraordinary life
♦️Olympian Writers = Prolific authors either write huge tomes that break coffee tables, or fill shelves with smaller books. EXPs:
⁍Isaac Asimov, with over 500 books & 400 essays, averaging a book every six weeks
⁍Barbara Cartland, with 700 romances
⁍Agatha Christie, bestselling author of all time, with 66 detective novels
PICTURED: Chaucer, Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Virginia Woolf, Toni Morrison, Salman Rushdie.
♦️Reluctant Writers = This is a special category, of those who never thought of themselves as writers, but have a story burning a hole in their soul, often deeply personal.
Whether out of fear, lack of time, or inexperience, many of them sit on a story for years, even decades. When such tales do finally spill, they’re often wonderful, filled with passionate emotions & thoughtful understanding
♦️Secret Writers = These work behind closed doors, or when everyone’s asleep, but never say a word about it, & so can be the last person you’d ever suspect.
They’re very protective of their time & effort. While some lack confidence to show their writing, others want privacy to get the job done, being very sure of the story they need to tell. And some just need time & space to incubate ideas far away from the world’s small-talk
♦️Spill-Your-Guts Writers = These use writing for therapy – to help them make sense of their world, using fiction stories to make thoughts & emotions easier to articulate. It can lead to compelling writing, as it has a raw & authentic flavor. But it can also just be self-indulgent, whiny, or bombastic. Even if they’re also a Verbose Writer, it’s enough. It will also need structure & discipline to be great
♦️Tap Writers = These sociable people have many talents, so can easily fit into a local writers group. While the output is good, their true love is to sit quietly listening to others, tapping into the deeper emotional layers of what it means to be human. They can be the dependable member of a long-term, mature writing group, or the ones who always show up looking for fun, very often providing loads of it as well
♦️Verbose Writers = These are special, & you can hear it when they talk. They gush, often in funny & imaginative ways, cracking jokes, improvising effortlessly. They’re also overflowing with words when writing, like their brains run non-stop without an “off” switch. Not all take to writing, but those who do are likely to be successful.
NEXT: Personality-writing types (2)