Why I want to be a WriterCause I want to be a writer
There You Want to Be A Writer.....
This is a set of nine papers with advices for prospective authors, initially authored in 1988-1990, released in various French magazines and posted on the Internet in 1999. It is the first part of a set of essays I did for several French magazines in 1988-1990; some of them may be outdated, but I think it should still be of use.
So You Want To Be A Writer...." should make clear what the show is about. So I assume that you, the readers, want to be a writer of the fictional world, probably especially in the SF/Fantasy category; that you want to be professional and earn your living with it; and that you are not so obsessive about one particular point of view that you cannot consider another.
Many of my suggestions will not be true if you want to compose non-fiction literature. When you want to compose for comics or novels, a lot of what I say won't be true - but a lot will be, because some of the fundamentals are the same for all literature. If you intend to create great art and don't care about your business performance, you won't care about any of it.
So you want to be a writer. Even in a fanzine. There' is a widely held belief in sci-fi random that fanzine writers find it a great way to improve their literacy abilities, get an audiences and finally catch the interest of important people, so if you want to be a writer, you should begin to write for them.
Also, there are those who say that publishing your story on the Internet attracts readership who refer it to traveling copyists who will then buy it from you. That does not mean that there were no French authors who achieved glory and wealth as professionals, for there were many of them.
But that wasn't because they learnt their skills in creating fictional fans - on the contrary, they only made it because they wouldn't let themselves be held back by it! Anyone who can put together a related phrase can have a novel written in a novel. They can even be released if they are willing to publish their own "zines" (as many do) -- either print magazines or e-zines.
Therefore, publishing in a French or ezine does not show that you have a gift for creating clichés. Publishing in a magazine, however, brings you an audiences. It' not necessarily a lot of one, since the number of copies of French and German websites is usually quite small, but an public.
When you' re doing something for a fan that's good at all, or anything unusual or even conflicting, you'll probably get a response in the'zine letter' section. "You know, folks are noticing you. But it doesn't really tell you how good your work is.
There are different standard for franzines. The reader of a fan magazine is more interested in whether one has an entertaining idea than in quiz questions such as styles, characterisation and clearness. "That does nothing to make the letter better. Mm-hmm. But, you ask, doesn't it get the tale out there where folks can see it so that your name becomes known, and publishers look upon you with favour when you condescend to file with them?
First, the number of persons participating in fanfanzine fandom is relatively small. Tens of thousands of Europeans are just not a crowd-pleaser. To be known in random does not mean that there are a significant number of possible sells, and the main interest of an editorial staff is possible sell. Besides, the taste of the fan community is not as similar as the general public writers want; if it were, everyone would be reading a fan - I don't just mean everyone in fanfang.
In other words, the journalists are not struck by the fanzine's appeal - if they even know what they probably are not. Doubtful that most writers have enough free reading space; most writers are terribly overworked. Also, the writers know how simple it is to make a name for yourself in random music, because some of them did it back then; it took more stamina than talents.
The web is so big that the web publishers won't even know where you are. While there are literally a hundred e-zines and displays, there is no editing staff to view them. The most important thing is that the journalists don't look at the name but at the name.
"But, " you ask, "doesn't fanzine typing offer the necessary exercise? "Well, yes, you could - but because the feedbacks are practically useless in almost all franzines, you don't get more insights than if you write the story and don't write it to franzines, just show it to your friend, mail it to the market and so on.
You will receive much less feed-back and less invaluable feed-back than if you participated in a good authoring seminar with at least one professional. So, I say, French publications are useless - but they are relatively innocuous if a great risk is avoided. It'?s an addiction to write for fanciers. And, if you are a good author, if the editor knows where to find you, you will probably have a constant flow of people.
They' re gonna be sending you "zines," in hopes of comments. Secondly, journalists will ask for news items or tales. If you don't have total self-control, you'll give in to them and write LoCs and zinc writings for endless periods of time if you could work on a novel, a Analog novel or even just a cover for your favorite paper - something for a pro trade!
When I was writing the full story, I should have worked on the third novel in the Ethshar show, but instead I did this stupid Low Orbit for you! View a shortlist of the winner of the fan author Hugo, put together by a brief look through the prizewinners until 1975, and leave out those I've never known:):
At first off, you will note that most of these will not continue to be great name professionals. Besides, when was the last year that Tucker or Carr or Panshin last did their work? Carr and Tucker have written really first-class literature - but very little of it. Maybe if they hadn't had so much to do with random, they would have found the spare writing more.
It' s too latefor Terry Carr; Bob Tucker and Alexei Panshin could do even more than that, but somehow I don't think so. Let us be honest, even if you start your professional life as a writer, you are not necessarily wealthy and well known. Sci-Fi and Fantasy Worlders of America, Inc. now has about twelve hundred members, and there are many authors (such as Harlan Ellison or Piers Anthony) who are not members of the SFWA.
Selling one or two novels, you'll probably just be a face in the masses, another mid-list author who publishes outer-space opera or elves and unicorns. In the end I was told that the mean yearly salary for a released pro writer was $7,800. However, if you can post a lot of pro material, it's simple to make a big spin in random, to be a big name fan; it' much simpler to come by ecoboo at the beginner stage.
It' s terribly enticing to be a big one in a small pool instead of a small one in a big pool - especially when those fan magazine writers keep asking you for news and correspondence..... But the more one spends with fanfanzines and random, the less free space one has for professionally written work.
So, if you want to be a professional writer, you' re a writer, take part in a workshop, study Writer's Digest and all the how-to guides, take classes if you have to - but don't spend your precious free day with franzines and wezines!