Writers of Tomorrow* is a Slice of Culture series where we will strive to highlight our writers of tomorrow — aspiring novelists, song writers, fanfiction writers, playwrights and more. 

As you may know in this series we’ll be highlighting the writers of tomorrow and their different genres.

In this installment, I spoke with writer, Allison Goldstein, 34, who lives in Jersey City. She does Contemporary Fiction. 

According to book-genres.com, Contemporary Fiction contains stories that are made up, though they could happen to real people in real settings, including informal dialogue during conversations or even regional dialects.

These reality-based stories typically have strong characters and are set in the modern era, so futuristic and science fiction novels are scarcely included in this genre.

What got you interested in writing?

“Well, on a personal level I always liked putting pen to paper. I always liked English in school, and that’s what I did through college. My love of writing came from a love of reading.” 

Like Goldstein, many writers’ passion for literary art comes from a love of books and often an interest in creating their own scenarios.

With writing, often times an author will have a favorite part of the process — for some it may be the research, others the character building, or perhaps something else altogether.

My next question to Goldstein was about her preferences.

What do you like most about writing?

“Exploring your ideas, I think I like exploring ideas I’m unsure about.”

While some writers often stick to what they know, others will actively seek out information as they explore different ideas and angles while they create their stories. Some even go as far as to venture into previously uncharted territory if they are adamant enough about including some idea or other within their works.

Just as writers have their favorite parts of the writing process, there are also parts that authors may find quite vexing, though not all authors have the same trouble in areas.

I questioned Goldstein about it.

What’s your biggest problem when writing?

“Putting my butt in the chair, that’s the biggest struggle.”

With many writers, they find their greatest problem is simply sitting and beginning to write, which is harder than it may seem.

They just can’t seem to force themselves to sit and begin.

For some, once they starting putting down words, everything flows out of them, while for others they sit, consider and discard ideas until they find that they have broken into a rhythm they are comfortable with.

Some writers may use friends or family as sounding boards. 

Often times, friends or family could be the first people to express their disapprobation of an author’s work, which is not always a bad thing as it is widely known that it is utterly impossible to please everyone, and no matter what, someone will always dislike your work for one reason or other.

A disapproving family may, in fact, prepare an author more for any disapproval they may face. 

Do you think that your friends and family support your writing?

“Yes, I do think that. Especially my friends and my fiance, he’s very supportive, though I think my parents were a bit worried in the beginning.”

That’s understandable.

Despite the joy, some may find in their work there is no guarantee that a writer would be able to make a decent income off of their work.

With many factors like audience, demographics, advertising, and more, an author has no set income, and often cannot rely on their works to finance their living.

Of course, there are some writers who do very well for themselves for a number of reasons — one may be because their stories appeal to the masses or because their work is controversial and often sparks debates, which cause people to seek out the works in question to see what the fuss is about.

Sometimes authors have a long time to prepare for these things and do ample research at their leisure, depending on when they first began writing.

Other times they may learn as they go about the publishing process. 

How long have you been writing?

“Oh gosh, I’ve been writing since second grade.”

Though some may see that as a bit young, a great number of authors began writing when they were very young — though those works most likely never made it to publication —  writers in general, especially those who have started young, may find that being a writer changes their view on life or who they are.

How do you think being a writer affects you?

“I think it makes me a more empathetic person.”

Some writers claim to be able to see things from multiple points of view in their writing.

Fiction authors are able to see and understand, not only the hero and or heroine’s point of view, but the villains as well. It allows them to go in-depth and add dimension to their characters creating a better reading experience for their readership. 

With everything going on today, I had one last question.

How has the pandemic affected your writing, and or inspiration?

“I would say that it cleared up my schedule, but it hasn’t really changed my inspiration.”

Stay tuned for our next “Writers of Tomorrow” piece to see what the next writer is working on.

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