4 Great Fiction Books That Have Fictional Authors As Their Main Characters

4 Great Fiction Books That Have Fictional Authors As Their Main Characters

In this post, we explore excellent books that have fictional authors as main characters.

Read the other four in the series here:

  1. 3 Great Fiction Books That Have Real Authors As Their Main Characters
  2. 3 Great Books Set In Book Clubs
  3. 4 Great Books Set In Libraries
  4. Great Books Set In Bookstores

In our final blog about ‘Books That…’ we’re taking a look at Books That Have Fictional Authors As The Main Character’. One of the very first pieces of advice a newbie writer receives is ‘write what you know’. And, what do you know more intimately than the life and habits of being a writer? Right?

Here are 4 books in which writers have channelled what they know best.

4 Great Fiction Books That Have Fictional Authors As Their Main Characters

Misery by Stephen King

As writers we all know that our muse isn’t always having a good day. Misery is not the first book in which King has made the main character a writer, or one wielding an axe! This one has the added horror that not only is your muse is also your greatest fan, you’re injured and at their mercy, thanks to the snow being too thick to escape through even if you could, and she’s also wielding an axe. When she tells you she doesn’t like your latest book, things really go pear-shaped!

This is definitely a horror story. And yet… picture the scene; A writing buddy is complaining to Stephen King about deadlines, editors, and a lack of inspiration.

WB: The book’s due in two weeks. I’m fresh out of ideas and enthusiasm.

SK: I know what you mean. I’m drawing a blank as well.

WB: This editor is on my case all the time! She’s killing me, man.

SK: Well, at least she’s not threatening you with an…axe. Gotta run! Good chat.

The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing

This is the story of the fictional writer Anna Wulf, but the similarities to Lessing are strong. Wulf has recorded her life story in 4 different coloured notebooks. Each one is a colour that represents a part of her life. But as life is complicated, the notebooks overlap, fall out of sync, and interact with each other.

The black notebook describes Wulf’s life before and during World War II in Southern Rhodesia. The red notebook, unsurprisingly, talks about Wulf’s experience as a member of the Communist Party. Yellow roses signify friendship, so perhaps it’s logical that the yellow  notebook relates the painful ending of a love affair that Wulf endured.

The blue notebook is less a tale as the other three have been, and more Wulf’s personal journal in which she records her dreams, emotional life and memories.

The Golden Notebook of the title is the book in which Wulf is attempting to tie the other four together. It’s a convoluted, intriguing, and tricky work. 

The World According To Garp by John Irving

The World According To Garp is, in a sense, a piece of revenge. Having never met his biological father, when his mother refused to tell him who it was, the author, John Irving threatened to make it up. She told him to go ahead. Something she may later have regretted.

In the words of one of the characters, the book is full of lunacy and sorrow. There’s a rape, abuse, mutilation, sex, wrestling, a twisted mother, a transgender character, and of course, writing.

After being published  in1978, the book was a bestseller for several years, a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction in 1979. The paperback edition won the Award the next year. In 1982 Robin Williams stared in the film adaptation. In 2014, BBC Radio 4 broadcast a three-part adaptation featuring among others, Miranda Richardson.

The Bestseller by Olivia Goldsmith. Finally, we have what has been called an extremely satisfying romp. Highly entertaining, this behind-the-scenes book set in New York’s publishing industry pokes cynical fun at it.
Five new authors will be published at one of New York’s most prestigious publishing houses, Davis & Dash. But only one will be a bestseller. Having worked long and hard on their novels of romance, drama and murder, the competition to secure the right agent, the perfect editor, and leading the bestseller list, the level of vicious revenge, and romance, must be seen to be believed and laughed at.

The Last Word

If you’re looking for a story with fictional authors as main characters, try one of these great books.

Elaine Dodge

by Elaine Dodge. Elaine is the author of The Harcourts of Canada series. Elaine trained as a graphic designer, then worked in design, advertising, and broadcast television. She now creates content, mostly in written form, for clients across the globe, but would much rather be drafting her books and short stories.

More Posts From Elaine

  1. 4 Great Fiction Books That Have Fictional Authors As Their Main Characters
  2. The Five Best Heroes And Heroines Of Romance Novels
  3. 3 Great Fiction Books That Have Real Authors As Their Main Characters
  4. 3 Great Books Set In Book Clubs
  5. 4 Great Books Set In Libraries
  6. Great Books Set In Bookstores
  7. Book Traditions Around The World
  8. The Different Types of Series You Could Write
  9. The Last Days Of NaNoWriMo
  10. 5 Ways Plotting & Character Development Is Like Playing Chess

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Posted on: 21st February 2023