A writer is a person who uses written words in various styles and techniques to communicate ideas. Writers produce various forms of literary art and creative writing such as novels, short stories, poetry, plays, screenplays and essays as well as various utilitarian forms such as reports and news articles. Writers' texts are published across a range of media. Skilled writers who are able to use language to express ideas well often contribute significantly to the cultural content of a society.〔 (compilation of the bibliographies and short biographies of notable authors up to 1974. )〕 The word is also used elsewhere in the arts – such as songwriter – but as a standalone term, "writer" normally refers to the creation of written language. Some writers work from an oral tradition.
Writers can produce material across a number of genres, fictional or non-fictional. Other writers use multiple media – for example, graphics or illustration – to enhance the communication of their ideas. Another recent demand has been created by civil and government readers for the work of non-fictional technical writers, whose skills create understandable, interpretive documents of a practical or scientific nature. Some writers may use images (drawing, painting, graphics) or multimedia to augment their writing. In rare instances, creative writers are able to communicate their ideas via music as well as words.〔Nobel prize winner Rabindranath Tagore is an example.〕
As well as producing their own written works, writers often write on ''how'' they write (that is, the process they use); ''why'' they write (that is, their motivation);〔See, for example, 〕 and also comment on the work of other writers (criticism).〔Jonathan Franzen, for example, criticised John Updike for being "exquisitely preoccupied with his own literary digestive processes ... and his "lack of interest in the bigger postwar, postmodern, socio-technological picture" 〕 Writers work professionally or non-professionally, that is, for payment or without payment and may be paid either in advance (or on acceptance), or only after their work is published. Payment is only one of the motivations of writers and many are never paid for their work.
The term ''writer'' is often used as a synonym of ''author'', although the latter term has a somewhat broader meaning and is used to convey legal responsibility for a piece of writing, even if its composition is anonymous, unknown or collaborative.
==Types of writers==
Writers choose from a range of literary genres to express their ideas. Most writing can be adapted for use in another medium. For example, a writer's work may be read privately or recited or performed in a play or film. Satire for example, may be written as a poem, an essay, a film, a comic play or a piece of journalism. The writer of a letter may include elements of criticism, biography or journalism.
Many writers work across genres. The genre sets the parameters but all kinds of creative adaptation have been attempted: novel to film; poem to play; history to musical. Writers may begin their career in one genre and change to another. For example, historian William Dalrymple began in the genre of travel literature and also writes as a journalist. Many writers have produced both fiction and non-fiction works and others write in a genre that crosses the two. For example, writers of historical romances, such as Georgette Heyer, invent characters and stories set in historical periods. In this genre, the accuracy of the history and the level of factual detail in the work both tend to be debated. Some writers write both creative fiction and serious analysis, sometimes using different names to separate their work. Dorothy Sayers, for example, wrote crime fiction but was also a playwright, essayist, translator and critic.
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