Mar 21, 2019

16 Fictional Authors We Wish Were Real

There are already a ton of talented authors out there in the world of writing, and chances are you’re still exploring all that they’ve written. It’s satisfying to learn about your favorite writers’ backgrounds, inspirations, and interests, but sometimes, the most intriguing writers are those that aren’t actually real. The writers we’d love to learn more about are sometimes nothing more than a pen name or a fictional character.

If you’re prone to mourning the books you’ll never get to put on your reading list because their authors aren’t real, you aren’t alone. There have been plenty of inspirational fictional writers depicted in films, on TV, and even in literature. And despite being completely made up, these fictional authors have taught us some valuable lessons about life and the written word. Here are the fictional authors we wish we could check out in real life.

  • You wouldn’t think that J.K. Rowling, Patti Smith, and Simone de Beauvoir would have much in common, but all have claimed to have been inspired by Josephine “Jo” March from Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel Little Women.

    It’s no surprise that Jo March is such an inspirational character. While her sisters dream of marriage, feisty tomboy Jo spends her time penning tales of adventure. It’d be thrilling to read Jo’s stories, to get a firsthand look at what we’ve read only through Alcott’s own writing and perhaps expand on her world further.

  • Novelist Paul Sheldon must have been one incredible writer considering what ended up happening to him in Stephen King’s novel Misery. And who wouldn’t want to read the work of a man who went through all that Sheldon experienced at the hands of literature’s famed horror author?

    In King’s novel, Sheldon is rescued from a fatal car accident by Annie Wilkes, a woman who just happens to be both a huge fan of his Misery Chastain novels and a huge psychopath. Let’s just say that unlike some of the fictional scribes on this list who inspires others to write, Sheldon’s ordeal at the hands of Wilkes will instead inspire the realization that there is such a thing as being too good of a writer.

  • One of the best-known characters in cinematic history also has huge potential as a writer: George McFly, father of time traveler and ‘80s film hero Marty McFly.

    Who wouldn’t want to read George McFly’s bestselling novel A Match Made in Space? In Robert Zemeckis’ beloved Back to the Future trilogy, Marty McFly’s father George, played by Crispin Glover, nearly becomes a timid blue-collar worker. But thanks to a little help from his time travelling son, George was instead inspired to write a novel and somehow become way cooler than his alternate self. It’d be a thrill to read George’s thoughts on science fiction, especially since he’s living in a universe in which time travel is already possible.

  • Even though L.M. Montgomery’s classic heroine from the Anne of Green Gables series went on to become a mother of six instead of a famous author like she’d always dreamed, Anne never gave up her love of words and continued to write poetry throughout her fictional lifetime as the series progressed.

    It’d be a joy to read Anne’s works from any age and see just how creative her writing could be. Who knows if Montgomery’s depiction of Anne would influence her writing, or if she’d choose to write completely unexpected tales.

  • Magical MeGadding with Ghouls, and Year with the Yeti are just a few of the autobiographical books written by prolific author, adventurer, and short-term Hogwart’s teacher Gilderoy Lockhart in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Even though it turns out that not only are his adventures made up, he didn’t even write his own books, Lockhart taught a valuable lesson in writing: never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

    With such a wild imagination, it’d be an absolute joy to delve into Lockhart’s writing and read his dramatic adventures. Although you’d have to consider his works fiction, there’s certainly no disputing how unbelievable Lockhart’s writing would be.

  • Although it’s sad that Jessica Fletcher isn’t real, you can be happy that her small town of Cabot Cove, Maine is fictional because otherwise it would probably be the murder capital of the world. The beloved TV series Murder She Wrote ran from 1984 to 1996 and starred Angela Lansbury as Jessica Fletcher, a widow turned mystery author turned amateur sleuth who showed the world that it’s never too late to pick up a pen and try your hand at writing.

    Imagine the stunning and shocking stories Jessica Fletcher would write! You could explore the mysteries of Cabot Cove or indulge in entirely new mysteries made up entirely by Fletcher herself, opening you to a whole host of mysterious possibilities.

  • One of the greatest mysteries of the 2000s is how Carrie Bradshaw, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, of TV’s Sex and the City could afford that fabulous New York apartment full of expensive shoes on a weekly columnist’s salary. Despite that, Carrie Bradshaw is still one of the world’s favorite fictional writers of all time.

    Carrie’s writing may have been a little formulaic with her ridiculous questions and constant “I couldn’t help but wonder”-ing, but what she lacked in substance she always made up for cheesy puns and relationship themed wordplay. It’d be hugely interesting to check out Carrie’s columns for ourselves and see if her advice was actually worth taking.

  • In the Stephen King novel turned classic 1980 horror movie The Shining, recovering alcoholic and aspiring writer Jack Torrance (played by Jack Nicholson) moves his family into the secluded Overlook Hotel and accepts a position as an off-season caretaker in hopes of mending his family and finding some inspiration. Even though a few… distractions get in his way of finishing his great work, it certainly would have been great.

  • The titular character of Jane the Virgin (played by Gina Rodriguez) didn’t let her lack of experience stop her from attempting to write salacious novels, just like she didn’t let being a single mother to an accidentally inseminated baby get in the way of earning an MFA or becoming an author. It just goes to show that if you work hard and keep writing, success will eventually follow. If only her books were actually available to be read and enjoyed!

  • Ken Cosgrove’s colleagues at Stirling Cooper never believed in his writing abilities in the AMC series Mad Men, but he didn’t let the naysayers stop him from getting his story Tapping a Maple on a Cold Vermont Morning published in The Atlantic. Wouldn’t it be incredibly cool to read Cosgrove’s short story for yourself and get even greater understanding for the ad man of Madison Avenue?

    Of course, Cosgrove’s writing would also be fun to read once he became a second fictional writer: Dave Algonquin. When told by Roger Stirling to put his writing aside to focus on work, Cosgrove instead writes under the pen name Dave Algonquin and proved that no one should stand between a writer and their craft.

  • There’s perhaps no fictional book series more intriguing than Nick Miller’s young adult series The Pepperwood Chronicles from the TV show New Girl. Even though viewers don’t really believe that someone as scatterbrained as Nick, played by Jake Johnson, could structure a proper sentence, let alone write an entire series of novels, it’d still be cool to give the Pepperwood novels a go. Perhaps readers would even walk away with a totally different impression of Miller after checking out his YA series.

  • In the underrated 1991 Coen Brothers film Barton Fink, John Turturro portrays a playwright who moves to California to become a studio screenwriter in 1940s Hollywood. Fink struggles to find inspiration in his new surroundings until he meets his next door neighbor, an insurance salesman who he thinks is just a “common man” but who turns out to be so much more. Fink proves that sometimes, even the most golden of opportunities aren’t what they seem. His entire experience with his neighbor would be a fascinating read, especially with its many mysteries and twists and turns.

  • Romance author Joan Wilder, portrayed by Kathleen Turner in the 1984 film Romancing the Stone, was more accustomed to writing about love and adventure in her books before she took a fateful trip to South America. In an attempt to save her sister from smugglers Joan winds up lost in the Columbian wilderness with the handsome cad Jack Colton and teaches us that in order to write a proper adventure, you have to live it.

  • Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren in Netflix’s hit show Orange is the New Black might be a little off her rocker, but she shows us that with a little imagination and a lot of time on your hands, you too can create something great. In later seasons Suzanne, played by Uzo Aduba, regales her fellow inmates with her erotic sci-fi series “The Time Hump Chronicles”.

    Inmates at Litchfield went nuts for Suzanne’s sci-fi stories, clamoring to get their hands on each chapter at any cost. Getting the chance to read her writing would certainly be a rare, wild, and crazy ride for readers of all interests.

  • In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes series, Holmes’ trusty sidekick Dr. John Watson is a physician, a war hero and an all-around gentleman; he’s also Holmes’ personal biographer and the narrator of the series. Without Holmes, the genius of Sherlock Holmes may never have been known. Some people even believe that Dr. Watson was the true author of the Holmes series and that Conan Doyle was merely his literary agent who aided Watson in publishing his work.

  • Early on in the HBO series Girls, Lena Dunham’s lit-loving main character Hannah Horvath says she thinks she could be the “voice of her generation. Or at least, a voice of a generation.” However as the series continues, Hannah’s writing career goes through a series of highs and lows that made viewers wonder if she could ever really write at all. Still, by the end of the show she does land a great creative writing teaching gig, which just goes to show that those who can’t do, teach. And that’s perfectly all right.

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