Frank Fiore – Novelist & Screenwriter

April 3, 2013

Jules Verne – Lawyer, Stockbroker, Playwright?

Filed under: Frank Remarks — Frank Fiore @ 12:03 PM

When you hear the name Jules Verne, you immediately think of the  Man Who Invented the Future. But did you know that before he became the father of science fiction, he attained a law degree, dabbled as a stockbroker and wrote plays for the likes of Alexandra Dumas?

Verne tried to imitate the popular fiction of the day similar to Victor Hugo and Dumas’ works. It was under their influence that, at the age of seventeen, he wrote a number of tragedies and comedies, not to mention novels – and was not very good at it.

One day Dumas gave Verne some excellent advice. Basically, he told Verne to find his own genre and not try and imitate others’.

As a college student in Paris, he studied law at the request of his father. When his father found out that, instead of attending classes, Verne was working part-time at the local opera house and writing librettos, he withdrew his financial support. Verne could barely afford food, much less heat. The library offered a warm retreat.

Verne lived at the height of the Industrial Revolution and was fascinated by the combined by the machinery, geographic and scientific discoveries of his time. He would sit in the Paris library for hours each day, reading newspapers, scientific journals and encyclopedias, taking copious notes.

Soon, his knowledge of the latest scientific and technological advances he read of percolated in his mind and gave him the ideas for his groundbreaking start in science fiction.

New struggling authors should take a queue from Verne’s life and not try to imitate current popular fiction like ’50 Shades of Grey’, vampire and romantic werewolves stories.

Don’t write what’s popular. Write what you enjoy.

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