A great number of people have spent their lockdowns writing stories and unlocking their potential when it comes to expressing their creativity through literature. There has also been a number of high caliber authors such as Paolo Boffetta, who have been using their social media to help budding authors to realize their potential with tips and advice. Today we are going to follow on from what many authors have been discussing, and take a look into what exactly it is that makes a great author.
To those of you who wish to pursue this as a career, here is what you should be aiming for.
It is important to remember here that authors do not simply sit down and have ideas flowing out of their heads, they have to do background work first. The very best authors are those who carry out the best research, because it adds more depth and credibility to their work. If you are writing a story about the legal system or about nurses and doctors, you have to know what you are talking about. Even if you have worked in these fields, there is still work to be done in order to deliver the most accurate information.
Interestingly, whilst many would suggest that you would first have to be a great writer in order to be a great author, it is in fact storytelling which is much more important. Being a good writer is required of course, but even if you are a high quality wordsmith, lacking storytelling ability will ensure that you are never a great author. Conversely, there are those who cannot write perfectly, yet understand the pace and the rhythm which is required in order to be a great storyteller.
In order to get the reader to buy-in to the story, it has to be something which they can relate to. This is what readers are looking for in all stories, no matter whether they are about martians or architects. Great authors truly understand their audience and they are able to design their tales in such a way that instantly asks for the buy-in from the reader.
And finally, one of the true hallmarks of a great author is one who is able to bring characters to life. Character development is essential to every story, it is what makes the story believable and what drives it forward. Following on from the need to make a story relatable, this is often achieved through the use of characters and the depth with which they have. To use this previous example, a well thought out martian character can be relatable if they have similar personality traits or struggles as the reader. The importance of characters cannot be understated and the best authors are able to create iconic and relatable characters in their stories.
These are the key aspects of what and characteristics which make a great author.