Tipps von den Großen - Greg Bear

Ja, richtig geraten: Ich hab wieder mal einen der etablierten Autoren angeschrieben. Und diesmal war Greg Bear so nett mir zu antworten. Wie gehabt zuerst meine Fragen und danach Mr. Bears Antworten:

Style: Many young writers are full of enthusiasm. They read for example Tolkien for the first time and suddenly their imagination flicks on lights, never seen bevore. And so they start to write "like Tolkien" to keep that lights shining. But what's the best way to switch from "writing like ..." to writing one's own style? Or is that even desirable?

GB: That usually happens in a writer’s youth. The energy and enthusiasm—and the imitation—gradually lead to a discovery of one’s own voice, and then a growing freedom from past influences. But the power and example remain.

Readers: How can unknown writers get some fame? How can they get the attention of publishers? How do they get teir books on the shelves? Is it a good idea to join writing-clubs, literature-groups and online-forums? Or is it better to break some rules? Or should one try to keep independent? Write for a small audience, offline or online?

GB: Keep in touch with the professionals at conventions, writers’ workshops, and so on—that always helps. And keep up to date on the current business trends in publishing. But the best way to attract attention is to write excellent material—and keep writing it.

Do those questions sum up? I think the central question is how one can get to a better understanding of oneself as a writer. What is a writer today and what should she or he try to do? Is it for the entertainment? Or to change the world? Or to change oneself? What is writing all about?

GB: Knowing one’s self is important, but most important of all is not being too critical all the time—that can ruin a writer’s reserve of creativity. Think of your writing skill as a perpetual child in development. Always nudge it in the right direction, but never condemn it as a failure—otherwise it could wither and die. And even when your career is full of rejection slips, remember this: some of the finest novels and stories have been rejected by very astute editors!

Writing is about contributing to the world’s raging debate about what it means to be alive. Writing is self-examination, but it’s also a loving and yet critical examination of others—and that can make it rude and even dangerous. If your writing isn’t a little dangerous, doesn’t rile people up just a little, then maybe you haven’t yet found that one theme or idea that will really set you off.

Also hört nicht auf zu schreiben und euch selbst kennen zu lernen. Das ist manchmal schwierig und man möchte es ganz sein lassen, aber andererseits: warum sollte man?

Was ich so lese