Duties and responsibilities
A novelist is a writer who writes books of fiction, creating characters and plots that may be imaginary or based on real events. Their typical duties and responsibilities include:
- Developing story elements (characters, plot, theme, dialogue, and style).
- Developing creative ideas for stories.
- Editing pieces from other writers.
- Conducting research to include factual information in stories.
- Presenting drafts for editing in a timely manner
Generally speaking, novelists will need a degree in English or communications. Either of these degrees is will teach aspiring aspiring biographers the key skills they need. Aspiring novelists should aim to complete degrees that focus on creative writing.
Skills and relevant work experience
Novelists need to be creative and have a good imagination. As well as this, they will need skills such as:
- Passion for the subject, so that they can create interesting and engaging stories that people will want to read
- Research skills, as novelists will need to spend a lot of time researching the ideas behind their novel to ensure they make sense
- Thick skin, as novelists are likely to receive criticism and they must be able to rise above this
- Persistence, as writing is a competitive field so novelists need to be able to keep working hard and marketing themselves
Some novelists will work part time and have another job on the side. Others will work full time. Most biographers will work regular office hours so that they can stay in contact with sources and editors, but many set their own hours.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for writers in the United States was $63,200 in May 2019. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $33,660 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $112,450. Novelists can expect to earn in this range too.
More often than not, novelists tend to work for themselves. They can progress in their career by building a reputation and publishing best selling books. Alternatively, many writers will eventually become editors.