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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

A novelist is an author or writer of novels. Often novelists also write in other genres of both fiction and non-fiction, but the term novelist is applied when referring to their work on the novel genre. Some novelists are professional novelists, or novelists that make a living from writing fiction, while others aspire to support themselves in this way or write novels as an avocation. Most novelists struggle when breaching the publication barrier, finding it hard to publish their debut novel. Once published authors often continue to be published; however, very few novelists gain literary celebrity or considerable income from their work.

Novelists come from a variety of different demographic backgrounds, and often their background becomes associated with the works they produce. This association of the novelist's identity with their work comes from public reception of the work, the literary criticism that surrounds their work, or authors investing elements of their own experiences into their works and characters. Concepts such as gender, race or ethnicity, nationality or association with place influence not only the reception but also the production of their work. Similarly, many authors are classified or identified by writing popular genre novels.

While many novelists compose fiction to satisfy personal desires, novelists and commentators often assign a particular social responsibility or role. Their are many opinions about what that social role is, asking questions like: does the novelist act as an activist? Is their obligation more to represent reality?

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Novelist" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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