Misconceptions about Books
Misconception: Authors put meaning behind every word; every part of the book is there for a reason
The Truth: While books aren’t random compilations of words, and while every part of the book should fit together, there isn’t meaning lurking behind every word or detail. Sometimes details are just there there to paint a more vivid picture for the reader and are not metaphors for a deeper theme. When an author sits down to write a novel, they do not spend hours carefully choosing words that convey theme and carefully planning out every description so that it connects to the message. They are simply telling a story with central themes and ideas in mind. The themes and ideas do show through in the author’s word choice, but that does not mean that every word is there for a deeper reason.
Don’t believe me? Read this
Misconception: There is no meaning in the book outside of the author’s intended meaning
The Truth: The author’s intended meaning is important, but it is not the only meaning to be found in the book. Often, readers find meaning that the author didn’t even notice was in their novel. Time also plays a role in meaning as with a greater historical perspective, new themes can emerge from a novel. Also, the reader’s personal interpretation is important as everyone perceives things differently and will connect with a novel in their own way. Just because the author didn’t write the book with all of these messages in mind doesn’t mean they don’t exist/can’t be found in the novel. Moreover, how can you even know what the author’s intended symbolism was? Unless you’ve asked them and they’ve given you a clear answer, it’s all just speculation. And even if they did tell you – is the author’s intent even relevant?
I found an interesting article on a similar topic which you might like to read
Misconception: Author’s choose their own covers and have control over publication details such as the date of release.
The Truth: Authors have little to no control over how their covers look and sometimes don’t even like the covers of their books. They also have absolutely no control of how their novel is marketed or promoted. They have no control over whether their book gets turned into an audio book and if their books get opted for a movie, they rarely get a say in the final product. They don’t even get say in whether they will be able to write sequels or not because if the series is not selling well, the publishers will not publish any more books. The only thing an author has control over is the novel itself. It’s sad, but true.
What do you think about these misconceptions? Do you know of any ones I missed? I’d love to hear from you!