The Author Survey

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What kind of author are you?

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Total Votes : 106

The Author Survey

Post by The Ghost Writer on Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:13 pm

The Author Survey

The question is relatively simple: What kind of author are you?

To help clarify the type of response this survey is looking for, please choose from the list of predetermined "kinds" of authors in the poll. You are always free to expand upon this/these decision(s) (multiple choice is enabled for all of my complex authors out there) and explain why you made your selection. If there is a kind that you believe you would classify yourself under that is no available in the poll, please feel free to say so in a reply. While the above poll does cover most, it can't come close covering all. This why I've enabled multiple choice, so you can mix and match to best describe the author that you are. I have nine options left for the poll (I can only have a maximum of 30 options), so if truly unique kinds are suggested (and by that I mean: not ones that you can create by combining what is already provided), I'll attempt to add them until the poll options are full.

For instance, I would classify myself as a modern, military, political, religious, fiction, teen, and coming of age author. Most of my works of fiction usually involve some sort of military conflict where the protagonist is typically a young male or female in their early twenties. An even younger character, a teenager, is typically involved because that's the age group that I work with outside my professional job in the military. As someone that can talk to, lead, and counsel youth in their teenage years, I can safely relate to them in stories because I like to follow the advise of Ernest Hemingway and "write the truth when writing fiction".

This is also why I'd consider myself to be a political and religious author. I have plenty of experience in the dirty world of politics and, as most people here are no doubt aware, I'm also a man of faith. Almost all of my stories so far have involved a "God" connection somewhere in between all of the lines of ink, even if they aren't necessarily "Christian" or "religious" in genre. And, of course, with most military-based stories, politics plays its part somewhere along the line.

So, how about you? What kind of author do you consider yourself to be, and why?


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Re: The Author Survey

Post by Guest on Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:40 pm

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Re: The Author Survey

Post by Kalon Ordona II on Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:16 am

Darn it, I forgot to pick "Mystery" as well! Now it's inaccurate! Aaah! xD

I picked, in order of appearance:
Fiction
(Mystery)
Science Fiction
Fantasy
Romance
Roleplay
Coming of Age
Self Improvement
Religion
Conspiracy
Philosophy
Poetry
Analysis


Wow, I guess that was a lot. Laughing
Here's how I would rank them for myself, according to priority / ambition / desire / preference, and hopefully--though not necessarily--according to ability. All in degrees of positives. That is, fewer stars doesn't mean negative, just less.

* * * * * * * * * * Fiction
* * * * * * * * * * Fantasy
* * * * * * * * Poetry
* * * * * * * Coming of Age
* * * * * * Analysis
* * * * * * Conspiracy
* * * * * * Self Improvement
* * * * * Philosophy
* * * * * Religion
* * * * * Science Fiction
* * * * * Roleplay
* * * * Romance
* * * * (Mystery)

I included romance even though I wasn't sure whether it was meant as romance in and of itself or was a reference to the Romance genre. The latter, for me, not so much, but I do like to have romance in my writing. Smile

I put Fiction first, hands down, and Fantasy along with it. I'm in Tolkien's camp, too, with regard to the separation of Earth from fantasy realms. (There was a little thing between him and C.S. Lewis about the inclusion of Christmas in Narnia. xD) If it's Earth-specific, it wrecks the mood for me. I like to make up my own stuff, and I think Fantasy should be a metaphor, more than just an adventure.

I put Poetry next not so much to indicate large amounts of poems but more a general rule of poetic writing. I do write poems, and like to include them in stories, but I more prefer more large-scale, all-encompassing orderly arrangements of things in my stories. From the outline to the final prose, I like things to have an underlying pattern, order and beauty.

Coming of Age because, well, I've been around that general time in my life, and these things have a way of influencing your writing whether you want them to or not. Though in my case, I do want them to, because coming of age is something we all do and everyone can relate to. It's also great metaphorically, since it can speak to changing for the better, maturing oneself, and making wise decisions and life choices.

Analysis. I, Do, This, All, The, Time. People say I over analyze things. xD I do greatly enjoy writing essays and treatises and things. I often get insights into things and can think of effective ways to express concepts so that other people can understand. It's quite enjoyable for me, and it does and hopefully will make up a large amount of my writing or writer-y-ness.

Philosophy and Religion follow in the same vein as Analysis. Deep thinking, expounding principles, and delving into and explaining theology, are all important to me in my writing.

Science Fiction comes here because, while I like it a lot, I like all the preceding items more. ^_^ What I like about Science Fiction is, well, the gadgets and technology for one thing. I like my sci-fi to be either a whole different planet/universe, or the advancement of humans due to as-yet-undiscovered technologies such that our way of life is fundamentally and completely changed. Star Wars and Mass Effect, respectively, are good examples.

Role-play already makes up an enormous chunk of my writing, so I suppose it must be pretty well ingrained. I doubt I could leave this out even if I wanted to. xD

Romance. I don't like stories where it's just that and nothing else. Romance novels aren't my thing. It needs a higher structure or over-arching purpose. However, romantic that I am, I do tend to want to work it in somewhere. ^_^

And mystery. I don't think I've ever written a mystery story, but I do like them. I don't think I'd ever write a Mystery mystery genre novel thing, but having mystery in my writing? Definitely. There's an artistic beauty to mysteries. I think of a mystery as something unknown which it is critical to know. I suppose, in a way, mystery is at the core of most stories.


So yeah, guess that's it. ^_^
Great topic, Ghost! Clap

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Re: The Author Survey

Post by Shadow Moonseye on Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:29 am

So for me my choices were:

Science Fiction
Fiction
Horror
Military
Politics
Religion
Fantasy
Poetry

Now, breaking those down by section:

First and foremost I am a science fiction author. Most of my stories take place in the far flung future. I love my aliens, don't get me wrong, but in recent years I have found a growing fondness of exploring mankind's intricacies against the galactic backdrop. Whether mankind is at its peak of shining tech and glory or is tearing itself apart in a gritty war-torn era. As Frank Herbert believed: *"Science fiction was the only genre whose subject matter attempted to define what it is to be human. We use contact with aliens or alien environments as impetus or backdrop for human interaction. Science fiction characters solve their own problems--neither magic spells nor gods come to their aid--and sometimes they have to build some intriguing gadgets to save their skins." I also share this belief, and whether I'm traversing these aspects of mankind as we take our first shaky steps into space or when we have scattered out across the stars I find myself enjoying every moment of it.

Secondly, I chose Fiction because I tend to dabble in many things that don't quite fit into one genre or are a blend of several(never fantasy and sci-fi though. Those two just don't mix well in my eyes). I'd say most of my shorts and "oneshots" fall under this category. Usually these are set in modern or near modern times and written in first person. Lots of fun, but I don't take them very seriously.

Third is Horror, mainly because I have a love of all things zombie. In fact, if its zombie short fiction, there's a damn good chance I've read it. I haven't really dabbled with much other horror, but I think I might like to try my hand at some other creature horror. Maybe a blend of sci-fi and horror. Something dark and gory and delicious!

Fourth is Military, just because it seems to crop up in some manner in a good portion of the things I write. And not always in the most pleasant of light either, but what's the fun in only showing one side of many?

Fifth and sixth go hand in hand for me: Politics and Religion. Ever since I read Frank Herbert's Dune (you all tired of hearing me go on and on about it yet? Razz) I've wanted to try and tie them into my works. I can only hope to work them into a story as beautifully as he was able in his many works one day.

Seventh is Fantasy. I used to write much more fantasy than I do now. Now I find that its too....easy to write. Magic can just explain any and everything away. However, that's not to say that I never write it. On occasion I do write it still. Just not your typical high sword and sorcery. Usually it is dark, it is brutal, and magic is not something to be trifled with.

Last, but not least, is Poetry. I don't write poetry very often, but every now and then I'll have the random strike of inspiration. Usually what I do write is either very personal or very weird or just plain out there. The best stuff comes at around three am, I've found. I'm also quite fond of what I call Prosetry. Blending poetry and prose. The end result can be quite lovely.

Interesting topic Ghost Writer, I approve!

*Quote taken from the forward to the Road to Dune, written by Bill Ransom
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Re: The Author Survey

Post by Blackrock on Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:58 am

Very interesting thread indeed.

However, before I list my own preferences, I have to say that I consider there to be one serious flaw in the poll. Philosophy. I think that should be included by default, seeing as almost every book would have some sort of philosophical basis to it. In fact, I'll go as far as saying that any person who doesn't include philosophy in their writing is no writer, but merely an author of facts at best. When you take away the soul of a story - the analysis, the philosophy - what are you left with? A couple of facts, made up or real?

Bear with me for a few more minutes, as I explain this. Have you asked yourself - why do I write? People have always answered me differently, but the most common ground I can see is: "I want to tell a story", "I want to share my ideas", "I want to see my imagination spring to life". And then we inevitably have to look back in history, back to ancient times, when people first began to put their oral stories to paper. (or clay tablets, should we say?) What was the point of that? To leave a lasting, permanent foundation which future generations could use to come of age and to help in their self-improvement.

What I'm trying to get at, philosophical writing isn't just a "type" of writing, it is writing. Notice all these key words I've been throwing around? Yeah, that's because most of these options are, in themselves, part of the philosophical cycle. Analysis, thesis, antithesis, synthesis. The foundations of any good story. They can, roughly, be seen as: exposition, climax, resolution.

Coming of age, self-improvement (the goal of every philosopher)...again, these are all philosophical subjects. Politics themselves are based on some philosophy (how it is actually applied is a different matter entirely), politics leads to military conflict and it is these two that shape history. See how, ultimately, everything is intertwined? And if you want to dabble in the different threads of this gigantic web, you have to dip your toes in the murky waters of philosophy.

Fantasy, Poetry, Sci-fi, etc...now these are genres and, more often than not, these are the "types" of writers that are out there. What I'm trying to get at - regardless of what tools you choose, the core of your story will still be philosophical in nature. That's the great thing about writing in the past century or so; even average joes like us, who lack the titanic schooling of men such as Plato or Aristotle, can try our hand at solving some of the (philosophical/spiritual) issues which have plagued mankind since times immemorial.

Bottom line, I'll just say that a writer is pretty much a prism - refracting the light shining from the society he or she is part of.

Now I'll STFU, essay time over; let's return to the topic at hand.




I'd class myself as a fantasy and sci-fi writer first and foremost. I've tried my hand at mixing the two of them with limited success in some of my writings (which will most likely never see the light of day), but I greatly enjoy delving into these two genres separately. Fantasy - High, Low, Dark, it doesn't matter - because it allows you to paint a picture similar to our own past and explore various themes and problems in there. At the same time, it provides this without any link to Earth's past and, inevitably, politics (which cloud people's objective judgement of a book, more often than not). Sci-fi because it is pretty much a flight of your imagination, you can stay in the familiar horizons and boundaries explored by previous writers, or you can put your own spin on the classics. Or do something completely different. There's no limit to what you can do.

The most common theme I'd use is a military one. Whether it is some wandering mercenary or the captain of a space-ship, most of my characters are always part of some armed force. Or are themselves warriors/fighters/soldiers. I admit, I am a child of the last 100 or so years - two World Wars and a myriad of smaller ones here and there have had an effect on my interpretation of the world.

Politics is the thing which follows next for me, mainly because it has an effect on all our lives, whether we realise it or not. Intrigue, backroom deals, betrayals and fragile alliances - I love those and everything else this motif provides. That is why my characters will often be politicians themselves, trying to hide from it or have been fucked royally by it. Or a mix of that.

Religion, history - those are next up on the agenda. I think history is important, very important. If only people paid more attention to it, without the layer of propaganda that has been carefully applied, humanity would be much better off. I don't often include real historical events in my writings, but I try to have similar happenings. Not only that, when making a world, I always strive to make it as historically rich as possible. Religion....I know this a sore point for most people, but I like dabbling in it. I'm an atheist myself and most of my characters are as well. However, it cannot be denied that religion is one of the most defining pillars of society. Just look at the difference between the, say, Christian and Muslim world - where is the line drawn? Yeah, religion. Hence, it features in my writings, seeing as such a powerful force cannot simply be left to the side.

I also tossed in self-improvement, coming of age and analysis in there. As I already mentioned above, I don't consider these to be genres in themselves, as much as problems which the characters have to face and overcome. It may not be the main character, but I often have a youngling around who's trying to get out of their idyllic childhood dreams and into the real, cruel world. Self-improvement is also a common theme, as many of my characters have some flaw which they strive to come to terms with.

And of course, I like analysing all of this once the basics have been put in place. More often than not, it will be done from an in-character point of view, as I'm not a fan of the omnipotent narrator thing, but it features in my writings regardless.

Phew, this came out longer than I intended. Enjoy your wall of text, folks.
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Re: The Author Survey

Post by The Ghost Writer on Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:47 am

Well I do agree with you in just about every wall of text you have their, Blackrock, and thanks for the response. However, I chose those "kinds" of authors based on what how you would normally sort them out in a bookstore. Sections that are labelled Philosophy will normally include (in the words of my old debate coach) "old, dead white guys". And a section labeled "Self Improvement" or "Self Help" will normally books like Chicken Soup for the Soul. So that's how the poll is actually set up; more so by political category, not philosophical... er... aspect (for lack of a better word)? So the best question to first ask yourself, I suppose, to best answer this particular survey is perhaps "Where would my works be found?"

Another thing- I've noticed that several who have answered so far (both in this survey and a similar one on another forum) have included religion in their responses as one of their choices. To be honest, I'm actually quite surprised by this. Most role players I've met are either atheist or agnostic, and whenever a discussion arises concerning religion they typically make their beliefs well known to the other participants. Not saying all of them do this, but several also give the impression that they condone such thought. So it actually quite intrigues me that many have chosen this kind or style of writing as a response to the survey. While I completely understand it in Blackrock's case, I'm curious how the others that have selected the option are incorporating the style into their writing in a manner that they would feel inclined to have done so.

As for me, when it comes to religion in my writing, I'm more of the Christian Inspiration author (this is usually one of the largest sections in any library or bookstore, but I chose to replace it with just "Religion" instead in order to offer respect for all of the religions out there, not just one "banner" of sorts). A lot of my CI writing is done in the first person narrative, mainly because I find it difficult to express my faith through the voice of another, or at least that's how I feel about it. If I say "I" rather than "He", then I that what I've written is more personal and truly comes from what I believe. Furthermore, I love to incorporate the "Teen" option in with my CI writing. I mentioned it slightly before, but outside my duties to my country I love to counsel the youth of today. I enjoy spending time and leading lessons with the teenagers at my church, and had started guest speaking for another church shortly before my current deployment. Back at Lackland AFB, though they were not teenagers anymore, I still counseled young Airmen as they went through their eight weeks of BMT by working with the Airmen for Christ organization on base. I take all of the lessons that I've personally learned, and all of the experiences that are unique to me, and incorporate them into my CI (or "religion") style of writing. And to finally make something a little more related to the reader, and not make them feel so separated, I always add a bit of fiction.

I add in the fiction in order to create that middle ground between reader and myself; to level things out. Writing from a straight-forward CI novel, something like Max Lucado, isn't my cup of tea and I feel like I'm simply preaching and thumping someone over the head with a book. Of course, this is not to say that Mr. Lucado, as I quite enjoy reading his works, but it's just not my style of writing. My experience lies in fiction; so that is the style I choose to blend in with my "religion" style. I'm currently working on a role play at another forum that would be the result of this combination of the fiction, religion, and teen poll selections (with history also added to the mix!).

I really appreciate all of the responses so far guys! Keep 'em coming! Very Happy
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Re: The Author Survey

Post by Guest on Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:51 pm

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Re: The Author Survey

Post by The Melancholy Spirit on Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:17 pm

Aside from all the education what-not, I agree completely with Silvone of why I add religion into my writing (I've no voted on this or anything, yet, but still!).

Silvone, you keep answering all these questions too damn well! lol Very Happy
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Re: The Author Survey

Post by Notebookface on Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:39 pm

I consider myself, above all else, a comedy writer. Every single one of my radio plays, or role play threads, or what have you started with me saying, "Hey, wouldn't it be funny if...?"

I write to make myself laugh, first and foremost. Whatever suits my mood--be it a short skit about soap opera tropes or an 18-episode series about steampunk superheroes in an alternate universe Syracuse, New York. Shoot, my last two roleplaying characters were a timid young man who had an imaginary friend/split personality who was a fiery redheaded woman and an assassin who grew bored of killing and became a librarian instead.

Everything else comes secondary with me, in terms of genre. If it fits in with the idea I have in mind, then I'll use it.

I tend to stay away from philosophy and religion when writing. I also look for every excuse possible to avoid writing romance, unless its doomed to fail in the most spectacular fashion possible.
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Re: The Author Survey

Post by Kalon Ordona II on Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:11 am

My books would be found in the [sings]Faantasy sectiooon![/sings] *choir* Boogie
I'm planning on keeping this alias as my actual pen-name, and what's nice about that is the O sections on shelves will finally see some love. ^_^ It's a silly dream important, driving, vital, rallying ambition of mine to fill up that sparse O section until I have as many books as all the other O authors put together. I shall become a "whole shelf" author. Very Happy


For me the Religion category has multiple manifestations. I do hope to write some theological books someday, for one thing, so I guess that counts as a section in which to find my books. But it's one of my goals in fiction as well. I have a lot of fictional religions in my world-building, one reason being that religion is a prime source of non-compromise, which can lead to stronger-than-average conflicts of all sorts, which is great material for stories and histories. More than this, though, I want to tell stories that have a good world-view and carry important moral lessons and truths. Not only that, but I want my stories to make readers think deeply about things along the way. All whilst being entertaining them in a riveting but wholesome manner. A pretty tall order, I suppose, but there it is. ^_^
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Re: The Author Survey

Post by Moon Ray on Mon May 28, 2012 10:58 pm

I love writing for children. It's hard for me to write any story without thinking about who my audience is. And with an extended family roughly the size of New England, it's easy to think of the tiny people that always need to be distracted lest they overtake us. Plus, children are less critical. They're less likely to try to see through the story to an author's tortured mind.

And have you noticed? The quality of children's books is -on a whole- superior to teen and adult books. I find a lot of dross in the adult sections, in every genre. But it seems to easy to find a well-thought-out, well written children's book. People expend the extra effort to write to malleable little minds. And maybe they see the same appeals as I do in that audience. I'd love to be included among those authors.

Fantasy goes hand in hand with that, really. I love lying to children. I love pushing the line to see how gullible they really are. And there's so much fantasy in my brain that extracting the truth to write non-fiction is a real effort. I'm not sure it can even be done. I imagine many kids have the same problem, as they struggle to make sense of the big confusing world.

And romance is my other choice. I don't mean Love, though it's not entirely off the table. I mean flare, and beauty, and emotional gestures, and chivalry, and destiny, and world-ending stories. My stories have an element of grace and nobility to them. My heroes might not be paragons of virtue, but they're certainly going to be rated on that scale. And Good might not win, but there will be a very specific reason why, if it doesn't.

Romance is my ideal. If there's one message I'd want to impart to the minds of the many frightening tiny people, it's that they should live like protagonists in a heroic romance. Whether they fight with swords or tazers, magic or steam. With any luck, that will make them a little safer to be around.
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Re: The Author Survey

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