TOWARD A ZAMBIAN GENRE-On developing the literary arts in Zambia, with a focus on creative writing!

TOWARD A ZAMBIAN GENRE-On developing the literary arts, with a focus on creative writing


Although it is said that you cannot please everybody, a creative writer has the almost impossible task of ‘pleasing’ would be readers. It is necessary to ask what the target audience is. Answering this question alone requires that the writer pays attention to the finer requirements of writing so that, even though we cannot please everybody, your writing will not only be rated highly but will provide the entertainment too. Every reader has their own preferred reading list; some readers fall in love with the writer- the person, while most go for the writing style. Fiction needs to be crafted in ways that are appealing, appeasing in a way, because it may just come to that. The writing has to be designed in ways that the audience can be familiar with the content, something within the text that they will be happy to read about. This calls for particular skills and techniques that bring together the literary threads to be woven into a masterpiece that will lure readers. One of these threads is the choice of diction. The writer should familiarize with the most common words and phrases spoken in a particular audience so that when they are reading they can easily understand and relate with the themes. For instance, a book written with themes around romance and happy endings are usually assigned to a feminine audience. This is why ‘Mills and Boons’ were quite popular among young women- they appealed to their fantasies of a perfect romantic relationship and ‘happy ever after’ kind of thing. Then there can be more complex themes which may require a writer to dig deeper into people’s cultures and customs. Ideas should therefore be embedded into the text with usage of proverbs and sayings that are popular with a given culture. The usage of cultural symbols also strengthen the themes. A story based on modern themes will attract the language that speaks about trending ideas like social media. When the style is good, readers do not wish to skip paragraphs or chapters, they will read through the entire text. If you are going to use repetition, do not bore your audience; instead make them want to know why you are saying the same thing again and when you say it again, do it in a way that deepens the understanding of an idea. One thing to take into consideration is that when a book is properly written for an audience, it will be appreciated for its subtle intentions. Your audience to a large extent will influence a writing style. It will require that you arch your theme to general trends of an era that your work is set in. It is for this reason that we distinguish those who write for young adults, or those who do so for men or women and so on. Audience satisfaction calls for a writer to be apt with theme, diction, plot and style. The question is what does a Zambian audience usually want to read? The answer to this question will guide many writers to creating a genre that will be called Zambian. It will lead us on a path TOWARD A ZAMBIAN GENRE!

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