By Joel Gordonson, Author of The Atwelle Confession
Anyone who has contemplated the time and effort needed to become a serious writer of fiction undoubtedly has wondered whether he or she has the right stuff to be good. After all, competition is stiff. A brief wander through bookstores or online leaves an aspiring author with an overwhelming sense of the daunting challenges ahead.
First, there’s the challenge of being good enough to obtain an agent, publisher and publicist—or justify the process of self-publishing. Then once you’re published, you are competing with the likes of Mark Twain, Dostoevsky, and Nobel laureates for literature. There are some 30 million books already in print. What are the odds of someone buying your book?
Can you become a successful writer of good fiction? It’s a prudent question to ask.
Here is a three-step acid test for a preliminary idea of whether you might have the right stuff. It’s not a complete or a sure-fire indicator of success. This acid test for some (Mark Twain, for instance) will show clearly the ability to tell fictional stories. And some writers might fail, yet still become world-class fiction writers. (Dostoevsky maybe? I’m guessing he would fail Step 1.) Nevertheless, these three steps might help you test and assess your potential.