Fiction Writer Job Description: Salary, Duties, & More (2023)

Table Of Contents

  • Fiction Writer Job Duties
  • Fiction Writer Job Requirements
  • Fiction Writer Skills
  • Fiction Writer Work Environment
  • Fiction Writer Trends
  • How to Become a Fiction Writer
  • Advancement Prospects
  • Job Description Example

Fiction writers are responsible for creating the stories that readers enjoy. They create characters, settings, and plotlines, then write them down in a way that’s engaging and entertaining.

Fiction writers may work on their own or as part of a team. In either case, they must be able to come up with compelling ideas and develop these ideas into full-length stories. They also need to have strong writing skills so that their stories are well-written and easy to read.

Fiction Writer Job Duties

Fiction writers have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Writing novels, short stories, or plays according to specific guidelines provided by publishers or producers
  • Developing new ideas for novels, plays, or other types of literature
  • Reviewing publishing trends and identifying niche markets to target with new fiction titles
  • Preparing outlines of plots, themes, settings, characters, and other elements of a story, then writing the text of the story
  • Collaborating with editors, illustrators, and other artists on the development of a book’s content
  • Conducting research to accurately portray time periods, settings, historical events, and cultures
  • Identifying target audiences and tailoring writing style to specific groups
  • Developing ideas for storylines, characters, and settings based on existing material or inspiration from everyday life experiences
  • Focusing on creating believable characters and dramatic conflict that will engage readers’ interest

Fiction Writer Salary & Outlook

Fiction writers’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the type of fiction they write.

  • Median Annual Salary: $66,500 ($31.97/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $106,000 ($50.96/hour)

The employment of fiction writers is expected to grow slower than average over the next decade.

Demand for television and film scripts will largely determine demand for fiction writers. However, because many television shows are produced in other countries, the growth rate for these writers may be tempered somewhat by outsourcing.

Fiction Writer Job Requirements

To become a fiction writer, you may need to have the following:

Education: Most fiction writers have at least a bachelor’s degree. Some writers choose to major in creative writing or English, while others major in journalism, marketing or another discipline. Regardless of the major, a bachelor’s degree in any field can help a fiction writer get their first job.

Training & Experience: Many fiction writers learn the specific skills and techniques of their trade while pursuing their degrees. Some also receive on-the-job training in entry-level positions, such as editorial assistant or copy editor.

Certifications & Licenses: While not necessary, fiction writers can obtain professional certifications to show their competence and dedication to their field.

Fiction Writer Skills

Fiction writers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Creativity: Fiction writers must be creative to come up with new and interesting storylines, characters and settings.

Storytelling: Fiction writers must be able to tell a story in an interesting and engaging way.

Editing Skills: Fiction writers must be able to edit their work for grammar, spelling, punctuation and syntax errors, as well as for flow and overall readability.

Narrative Structure: A good fiction writer understands the principles of narrative structure and how to use them to create an emotionally engaging story. They know how to control the pacing of their story, introduce new plot points at the right time, and build suspense until the climax.

Dialogue: Good dialogue can make or break a fiction piece. A fiction writer must be able to write realistic conversations that move the plot forward and reveal character traits. They must also be able to keep track of all the different conversations taking place in their story and ensure that each one advances the plot in some way.

Fiction Writer Work Environment

Most fiction writers work at home, in their own private offices or studios. They may also work in public libraries or in coffee shops. Some fiction writers teach in universities or colleges, and a few work in publishing houses. Fiction writers usually work alone, and they may work at any time of day or night, depending on their inspiration. They may work for long periods of time, or they may take frequent breaks. Some fiction writers work on more than one project at a time, and they may work on several projects simultaneously.

Fiction Writer Trends

Here are three trends influencing how fiction writers work. Fiction writers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of Self-Publishing

The growth of self-publishing is a trend that is changing the publishing industry as we know it. With the rise of digital publishing, writers are now able to publish their work without the help of a traditional publisher.

This trend has led to an increase in the number of self-published authors, which means there is now a larger pool of writers competing for readers’ attention. As a result, writers need to be more creative and innovative in order to stand out from the crowd.

More Attention on Literary Fiction

As technology advances, so does the way people read. In recent years, there has been a shift towards reading literary fiction, which is defined as writing that focuses on character development and plot rather than action or genre.

This trend is good news for fiction writers, who can now focus on writing stories that appeal to this new audience. By understanding what makes literary fiction unique, writers can create works that resonate with readers and set them apart from the competition.

A Greater Focus on Diversity

Diversity is becoming increasingly important in the world of publishing. As readers become more diverse, they are looking for books that reflect their experiences and cultures.

This trend is having a significant impact on the types of books that are being published, as publishers are looking for authors who can provide a different perspective. Writers can capitalize on this trend by focusing on diversity in their own work.

How to Become a Fiction Writer

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It depends on your goals, your experience level, and the type of writing you want to do.

If you’re just starting out as a fiction writer, it’s best to start by reading lots of books in your chosen genre(s) and trying your hand at writing short stories or novels yourself. This will help you develop your own unique voice and style. You can also join online writing communities where you can share your work and get feedback from other writers.

Once you have some experience under your belt, you can consider submitting your work for publication. There are many different ways to do this, so research the options that are available to you and choose the ones that best suit your needs and goals.

Related: How to Write a Fiction Writer Resume

Advancement Prospects

Fiction writers can advance their careers by writing articles and books that are well received by the public and by critics. Good reviews can lead to more book sales, which can lead to advances from publishers for future projects. In addition, well-received articles can lead to more assignments from editors, which can also lead to advances. As writers become more well-known, they can command higher fees for their work.

Fiction Writer Job Description Example

Are you a wordsmith with a knack for spinning tales? Do you have a vivid imagination and a gift for creating characters that come to life on the page? If so, we’d like to hear from you.

We’re looking for a talented fiction writer to join our team. As a member of our editorial staff, you’ll be responsible for writing original short stories and novels for our publication. We’re looking for someone with a strong command of the English language and a knack for creating plots that keep readers engaged from beginning to end. If you have a passion for writing and a portfolio of work to show for it, we’d love to hear from you.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Write original fiction stories, including novels, novellas, and short stories
  • Develop characters and plots for new stories, as well as revising existing ones
  • Edit and proofread your own work, as well as the work of others
  • Research story ideas, locations, and historical periods to add realism and depth to your writing
  • Stay up-to-date on literary trends to ensure your work is fresh and relevant
  • Attend writers’ conferences and workshops to network with other professionals and learn new techniques
  • Query literary agents and editors in an effort to get your work published
  • Promote your work through social media and other channels
  • Give readings and talks about your work at bookstores, libraries, schools, and other venues
  • Teach creative writing courses at the college level
  • Serve on panels and committees related to the literary arts
  • Write grants and proposals to secure funding for literary projects

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in English, creative writing, or related field
  • Minimum 5 years professional writing experience with a strong portfolio of published work
  • Exceptional skill in writing compelling fiction stories
  • Ability to work independently and with a team to meet deadlines
  • Excellent organizational skill and multitasking ability
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, and Adobe Acrobat Pro

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in English, creative writing, or related field
  • 10+ years professional writing experience
  • Experience teaching creative writing courses at the college level
  • Familiarity with standard style guides for fiction writing
  • Working knowledge of content management systems, WordPress, etc.

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