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« Blue Collar, White Collar, No Collar | Main | Too Old for Allegory? »

May 06, 2011


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Ben Rubinstein

An author is confident if they wear pants they definitely shouldn't. But in slightly more seriousness, I'd agree that it's a marketing buzzword. I don't think it really means anything. If I HAD to give a real answer, I'd venture that the author has convincingly/successful pulled off some seemingly difficult piece of plotting or structure. Nahh. All marketing.


I love this post. To me, a confident piece of writing is one in which the author has made obvious decisions and stuck to her guns. One of my biggest pet peeves is writing that lacks this; authors who seem to occasionally veer off course, as if they couldn't quite decide which character they really wanted to focus on or what they wanted him or her to do. Another example is the use of the hypothetical in fiction - such as in the recent "The Fates Will Find Their Way." It just doesn't work for me! I want authors to tell me a story - an actual story, one of which has clearly decided details.

Books are my Boyfriends

Great question! Tough to answer, but very provoking and cool to think about. I don't think it's just a buzzword, I do think it is a real thing and can always tell when I'm reading confident writing. Here's what I'm going to throw out there. A confident book doesn't ask you to like it or want it or need it, it's not trying to be like any other book, it makes no apologies or excuses, it trusts itself to get the job done. Confident books are more than a little bit sexy :)

Books are my Boyfriends

I hate to fall back on that old, hoaried cliche about pornography "I know it when I see it," but that's all I can say about author confidence. I know when it's there, sometimes it's bold, risktaking, bombastic prose, sometimes it's spare, subtle, quiet prose, but I always know when I'm reading confident work and I always know by page 2, usually by paragraph 1.

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when I'm reading confident work and I always know by page 2, usually by paragraph 1.

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