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Ashleigh
Posted: Thursday, October 21, 2010 5:00:17 PM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 10/13/2010
Posts: 21
Do you feel that a writer can get typecast by their genre?

Many authors will choose to use different pen-names when they write in multiple genres (eg. Stephen King, Iain Banks etc.)

Why do you think this is?

Are readers unable to differentiate, or do you think that an image/expectation can be created by being associated with one genre to such a degree that you need an entirely different name/image in order to publish something different and be respected for it.

How much does the image of the author factor into someone's decision to read a story, and how much can it either add or detract from their credibility in a specific genre?

Eg. If you read romance novels... would you be inclined to pick a romance novel written by Stephen King? Or would you say forget it - that's not his genre and he probably won't know what he's doing.





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DirtyMartini
Posted: Thursday, October 21, 2010 5:27:53 PM

Rank: Rest in Peace

Joined: 10/12/2010
Posts: 3,402
Location: Earth, for now..., United States
Hey AshleighDoll...I think the simple answer is "yes" writers can be typecast the same way as actors, musicians and anyone else who creates anything...
I can see the point of someone choosing different names to write under, whether it is always necessary is debateable, but in some cases I believe it is...
I am not sure the policy as to writing under different names/multiple accounts, but I have a feeling it will come up soon...
Stay tuned for that thread...


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Lisa
Posted: Thursday, October 21, 2010 6:52:39 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 7/12/2010
Posts: 1,045
I wonder whether, despite their success, well established authors still feel insecurities about their talent and if this has anything to do with the decision to use a pen name for a genre outside their comfort zone?

And I would really love to read a romance novel by Stephen King. If only he'd write one!
Guest
Posted: Thursday, October 21, 2010 9:38:56 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 7/1/2010
Posts: 25,639
Some of my writer friends have been asked to use a pen name to see if sales will improve. They can be relaunched as a new product. Kim Harrison originally went by Dawn Cook. Robin Hobb started out writing as Megan Lindholm. Tate Hallaway is really Lyda Morehouse. Sometimes they use a different name for YA titles versus there adult fare. While sometimes it is the author's choice to use pen names, most of my writers have been asked by the publisher to try a new persona. Robin's fantasy books do have a different feel from her titles as Megan. Writers write, but they also have to find a market that will buy there work if they hope to keep getting new contracts. With all the flux in publishing these days, the bottom line is really impacting who gets asked for more books and who is left looking to reinvent themselves.
Mark
Posted: Friday, October 22, 2010 4:20:22 AM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 10/15/2010
Posts: 9
Lisa wrote:
I wonder whether, despite their success, well established authors still feel insecurities about their talent and if this has anything to do with the decision to use a pen name for a genre outside their comfort zone?

And I would really love to read a romance novel by Stephen King. If only he'd write one!


Wasn't Misery a romance novel??? icon_smile
Louise
Posted: Friday, October 22, 2010 6:25:47 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/22/2010
Posts: 285
Location: United Kingdom
Mark wrote:
Lisa wrote:
I wonder whether, despite their success, well established authors still feel insecurities about their talent and if this has anything to do with the decision to use a pen name for a genre outside their comfort zone?

And I would really love to read a romance novel by Stephen King. If only he'd write one!


Wasn't Misery a romance novel??? icon_smile


yeah totally (giggles)

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Louise
Posted: Friday, October 22, 2010 7:57:48 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/22/2010
Posts: 285
Location: United Kingdom
I've been through many a Stephen King stage. I adore his horror type novels but my favourite one of his is a fantasy he co-wrote with Peter straub called the Talisman. I'm also rather fond of his more serious stuff written in the Different Seasons novellas which contain his best movie crossovers -Rita_Hayworth_and_Shawshank_Redemption (Shawkshank Redemption) ,The Body (Stand by Me), Apt Pupil(Movie of the same name) and The Breathing method(which isn't a film). So even though he is known for his horror stories and is tyepcast he is able to do a more serious type of novel.

If you become popular for a particular writing genre people will probably buy your books/read your work based on that. I think as a writer one should try write in many genres as a learning thing. When you feel you can competently write in as many genres as possible then you can choose whichever one you fuels your passion. I suspect if Stephen King wrote a romance novel a lot of people would read it because they know he is a good writer even if it isn't their favourite genre.



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RedSonja
Posted: Saturday, July 20, 2013 12:40:28 PM

Rank: Rookie Scribe

Joined: 4/21/2013
Posts: 9
Location: just visiting this planet, United States
Lisa wrote:
I wonder whether, despite their success, well established authors still feel insecurities about their talent and if this has anything to do with the decision to use a pen name for a genre outside their comfort zone?

And I would really love to read a romance novel by Stephen King. If only he'd write one!


I would probably read that too. King has written several very nice books about writing, and I think I remember from one of them that the decision to publish under a pseudonym was partially motivated by the publisher(s), and partly by a desire to test the waters without the known name. Most of the Bachman books are King-ish, in any case. I wonder how he felt about the differential sales on first release versus re-release under the King name. I suppose he could comfort himself all the way to the bank on that question.
Dreamcatcher
Posted: Saturday, July 20, 2013 8:36:16 PM

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Joined: 3/15/2011
Posts: 3,084
Location: Only my friends know...
I'm not sure the genre would typecast them as much as their style. If the writer generally uses quirky details or switchbacks in their tales then it becomes an expectation of the reader to look for these surprises.

RobertHildenbrand
Posted: Thursday, July 25, 2013 8:06:20 PM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 2/11/2013
Posts: 14
Think of it like this. Would someone who grew up watching startrek want to watch Star Trek with ground battles? Where the series centered around a platoon of soldiers and not a crew of officers onboard a starship?

I think not. At least not five or six years ago. That is why the series failed. They all became the same boring thing, but people who followed it wanted to see the same thing.

Now what would have been cool was having two series played at the same time, a land and space series where the star ships supported the land battles by running supply runs and or laying down surpressing fire.

Sadly no one would want to watch the reality of the federation turning cities into dresdin, just to evict the Klingons, ect.
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