Given that I call myself ‘NextGenNovelist’, I should think it would make a fair amount of sense to talk a bit about… well… the Next Generation of Novelists/writers. And since I’m an aspiring Fantasy author, most of the content in this post will reflect that.
First, let’s establish what is meant by the ‘Next Generation of Novelists/writers’. I mean, what kind of name is that? Why not just say: ‘new writers’? Or, ‘Writers of the Future’?
Well for starters, neither of them are specific enough. ‘New writers’ can be applied to anyone. My nan could be a ‘new writer’ just because she hasn’t actually penned a story of any sort for decades. My 11-year-old brother could be considered a ‘new writer’ just because he hasn’t written an actual story before.
And besides being equally as vague, ‘Writers of the Future’ is also pretty much taken.
‘Next Generation Writers/Novelists’ fits, because it’s specific. It refers to the next generation of writers. Not potential writers from all ages, a very specific age group: those within the youngest/upcoming generation. It’s as simple as that.
As one of these people, I find myself intrigued by the question: who are the next generation of writers?
Just to clarify: I’m aware of young writers. I’ve found the forums and the critic circles/groups. I know they’re active and out there. But my real curiosity is, of those few who take it seriously (learn the craft/business) how many of them will in fact be the next George RR Martin, J.K Rowling or Stephanie Meyer?
Though, it’s probably best to just acknowledge them as the first of themselves rather than try to compare them to others. But since people are going to do it anyway, I’ll just indulge in it a bit longer.
Also, chances are most of the aforementioned authors will still be around for a while, but that doesn’t stop me from asking the question: who will be the first big names of my generation? I mean, consider the fact that some of them could still be babies!
Now, there’s a reason why this topic has cropped up in my brain.
I love to watch author interviews/panels (mainly fantasy authors, of course). I enjoy seeing them interact with their fans and talk about life/writing like human beings… though given the insanity of the world of writing, how ‘human’ any author is, is questionable. However, a commonality I’ve noticed is the understandings between many of them regarding non-writing matters. Geeky things specifically.
I’ve noticed a good number of them talk about things like D&D (Dungeons and Dragons, for the uninitiated), and I have absolutely no idea what they’re on about half the time.
Table-top games? Pen and paper RPGs? What madness. The moment someone says ‘RPGs’ to me-missile launchers aside-I’m thinking of Final Fantasy and Dragon Age. That being said, we do in fact have our own versions of those. I recall playing ‘Top Trumps’ when I was in primary school. I also know of many others (not including myself) who would play ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ and loved collecting trading cards for various franchises. So, it won’t be all that different.
I can’t wait to see what the next generation of authors reminisce over. Will we sit there and talk about the everlasting console war? Will we share a fondness for the same games too? When we’re asked: “what book got you into the genre?” how many of us will we respond with: “The Hunger Games”? and “Harry Potter”, rather than “Lord of the Rings” or “Earthsea”? How many of us will share a hatred for the cursed love triangle? How many of us won’t? What will commonly be beheld as ‘classics’ in fiction? How many stories will be shared about the turmoil caused by searching out rare collectable cards?
What will define us?
And naturally, the next aspect which intrigues me is writing. Just what the heck are we going to be writing about? Right now, a lot of us are in the years where many older authors truly began. It’s also the time when most of them wrote their worst work. How many of us will write something salvageable right now, and how many of us are just in training for that future book that will hit all the right nails on the head?
What kinds of trends will be created? What issues will the genre face? Currently, there’s complaints about diversity in cast and setting (particularly in Fantasy). Will that be a thing of the past? Will fiction be so varied, that (like YA) it will be almost pointless to pigeon-hole it?
Will traditional publishing remain a viable route (I don’t see why it wouldn’t but… I’m hardly an expert)?
And then, the fans! Of course, where would any published writer be without their fans? They too will share in the glory. What will readers want and expect of their fiction? How will the standards shift?
The best thing about all of this is, I have no answers for any of it! I just think it’s an interesting point to ponder. And of course, this is all under the assumption that the world doesn’t end first! 😀
Anywaaaay, I think I’m going to end this now, before I end up rambling for a gazillion pages.
So, that’s all I’ve got to say, and I’m out!