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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Are More Fiction Authors Turning To Non-Fiction Topics?

One of the most interesting trends in the world of fiction is the recent trend of such authors suddenly turning out non-fiction titles. While some of our most famous authors in the realm of fantasy, such as Daniel Handler, have yet to follow this trend, there are plenty of others who seem determined to do so. While Handler hasn't turned his attention to writing any kind of philosophical manifesto, certain authors have decided to try their hand at this risky business. In many cases, the results have been enlightening or, at the very least, entertaining. Is this a trend that seems destined to become a mainstay? 

What Is The Appeal For An Author To Write A Grand Manifesto?

Is there a special urge to write a grand artistic manifesto that has become more prevalent with the advent of the new century? Do authors in all genres of fiction feel the need to explain themselves to their audience in a way that has never occurred to them in the past? Why all of a sudden are authors from the fields of fantasy, horror, erotica, and even children's fiction suddenly writing philosophical treatises and "How to Write" guides? Is there an overarching trend that explains these frank and confessional works? These are questions that customers and critics alike are scrambling to find answers to.

Is There A Compelling Reason For A Fiction Author To Drop The Mask?

Several authors have recently published nonfiction works that serve as personal manifestos of their artistic intent. Perhaps by explaining to themselves the inner workings of their own private muse, they can better understand how to create - and then deal with - the inspiration that drives them to write. They may, in some cases, even be fishing for a new level of respect and critical admiration, although this is a motive that can hardly be applied to all of these works. Whatever their ultimate motive may be, it is certain that more of these curious productions are on the way to bookstores.

Does A Grand Declaration Of Purpose Have A Cross-Promotional Appeal? 

Perhaps there is a motive that lies closer to home for many of these authors. Baring one's soul - or perhaps laying bare the mechanism that swings into full gear to produce their most popular works - is a sure-fire attention grabber. This attention can swiftly be directed from the spectacle of a nonfiction memoir or manifesto into a renewed appreciation of one's previous fictional works. And here lies the rub: A sense of newness concerning the personality of the author can reflect back on their fictional productions giving them a whole new set of meanings, both obvious and hidden. 

If such is the case, at least for a few of these writers, it's a calculated risk that is well timed to pay off. The prevalence of social media and reality TV has made it next to impossible for even the most minor celebrities to keep secrets. So why not anticipate the rush and perhaps direct it into a channel that can be safely and profitably controlled? The recent spate of nonfiction works may thus have a purpose and aim that enables these authors to control their image and profit it from it via a whole new revenue stream. Are they going to be like Daniel and pass up on this trend or pursue it for a new passion?
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