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 September, 2010

Writer Isolation: How? Why? And Where?

by Khaled Alnobani (Jordan)


Internet breathing: inhale, exhale with no feed back. I have written articles in Arabic for more than three years and as I had more articles published I have more feelings of isolation (Nobody there). (Continued below...)


Some Ideas About How To Write Fiction


by David Field

A writer of fiction is simply a person who makes up stories. He or she is just a perfectly normal human being who has found out that they can put stories down on paper that make other people really interested, excited and amused. Who becomes a writer? In the 20th and 21st centuries, practically everybody who has finally become a successful writer of fiction has started out in a different job, for example as a schoolteacher, a doctor or whatever. The reason is clear. You cannot "get a job" as a writer.

Let's think about my genre, young adult stories - or some might call them "children's stories." Actually there is no such thing as a "children's story". Alice in Wonderland, David Copperfield, Oliver Twist (by Charles Dickens), Treasure Island (by Robert Louis Stevenson), Kim (by Kipling) and many, many more are for people between 5 and 122 years old. So what I am writing about is not about how to write a book for children, or young adults, or whatever, but just about the nature of writing, as far as I understand it. My own books are intended as entertainment for people of all ages, at least for all people who have not forgotten what it is to be a child and to live in a world of adventure and excitement.

There is no recipe for writing of course. But here are some of my ideas and suggestions:

Suggestion 1. You need a lively imagination. Almost everyone has.

Suggestion 2. A scene must come alive in the reader's mind. It either does or it doesn't. If it doesn't, strike it out until it does and be very critical on this point.

Suggestion 3. You need stamina. You've got to stick at it hour after hour, week after week, month after month. Like most things, it is 5% inspiration and 95% perspiration. Actually I don't quite believe the 95% perspiration. Writers want other people to think that they are suffering! I think that it's fun really, great fun for me anyway. I would not do it otherwise. But you do need self-discipline. There's no boss standing over you and you won't get the sack if the work isn't done that day.

Suggestion 4. You must be a perfectionist. You must go over again and again what you have written, read it many times, change it and change it once more and never be quite satisfied. There are 430,000 words in the English language and you may not always have chosen quite the right one in every case.

Suggestion 5. You need a keen sense of humour and irony, like Roald Dahl for example. Anyway, to appeal to the child in the adult, as well as to all young people, it is essential to make people laugh or at least giggle or gurgle.

Suggestion 6. You must be your own keenest critic. If a writer thinks that he or she has written a passage that is wonderful, then that writer is headed for trouble. Don't rely on your nearest and dearest for their verdict: when you read your stuff to them, they are going to love it, because it's by you, just like you love your children's works of art from school. Certain wives or husbands may be exceptions (like my wife) but most probably don't care to risk it.

(Originally published at GoArticles and reprinted with permission from the author, David Field).

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/writing-articles/some-ideas-about-how-to-write-fiction-1309405.html

About the AuthorDavid Field is a professor of Astrophysics at the University of Aarhus, Denmark. He has published numerous articles in many Astronomy and Physics journals. His most recent novel, The Fairest Star, the third installment of his Friends and Enemies Trilogy, has just been published. For more information, please visit: David Field.






Writer Isolation.... (continued)

I became more offensive toward the Arabian readers. It is a verified tone in an environment where more than eighty percent of formal communications is irrational.  I have put my email address on some articles but no response; I searched for a discussion that cost nothing.

If any writer lives in a society similar to mine, the writer isolates himself to protect his privacy and to not raise fear in close person’s hearts because of his published opinions. I cannot discuss my writings with any close person because of the golden advice of stopping writing even with no obvious reasoning except fear.

Political opinions in public are dangerous whatever they are. It is better to be ignorant and forgotten than to appear and have a share of public discussions. Isolation of a writer whose writings are published extensively on the Internet is possible because of simple reasons: No value for writing, no value for a writer.

When this is the case nobody cares about you or any ideas you have no matter how pioneering, innovative or useful they are. When somebody around wants to evaluate me as a writer he asks one question; how much you take for an article? If nothing, I am nothing and walls of ignorance and stupidity are built around me.

I cannot put my picture on the Internet accompanying my articles because I am afraid of reaching a state thinking that somebody or even everybody is looking at me and knows who I am, without any kind of usefulness. What increases the risk is that nobody respects no-power persons. It is nothing to write if writing does not pay for a meal. The compensation is information oriented which is behavior developed.

Comments on articles might be thought to break the isolation, but they do not because they are more like writings on public WCs: the same theme, so you do not know what the brief comments are for. Most of the time a writer receives silly comments. As my offensive language got more developed the comments vanished.

Away from this some sites use the viewers number and listed comments - although seldom trusted - as a tool to put certain writers on the spot and expose them. The statistics make you more isolated.  

To break the isolation I tried responding individually to some persons who were always in front of my eyes but never mentioned the subjects of my writings; the experience was not encouraging. The other side will think that his logical reasoning is stronger than yours and I ranked myself as not amateur to have discussion of my work with such persons. They do not use logical reasoning or known insights of the community.

Isolation takes another form. It is the quality of thinking or knowledge around you. At work, although I have the highest certificate among all (MSc Chemical Engineering), I am given a job. If I try to submit an important report, annoying disappointing remarks are given because management cannot understand it.

Common interest is nobody's interest and common sense is nobody's sense. My work is to hand files to persons who cannot understand common professional sense reports, if there is something called that. One cannot achieve personal endeavors because the only trusted, listened to tales are the couriers'.

The worst within such a culture is that one cannot have a promotion without an outside ordering phone call. The type of arguments I hear: "We are wrong and work wrongly and you should accept it." Learning is not among the vocabulary of this culture; instead I can hear "goods" in place of "passengers" used by a transportation company's workers. 

The philosophy is summarized as, when performing a work, say something, if required write another thing and finally implement a totally different thing from what you say or write. The leading idea is  making targeted persons pleasant and happy. Why all of this? It is the kind of company that makes less than five million when it must make more than one hundred million. The profit gained is not of the trade, it is a result of optimizing employees' benefits to the minimum resulting in losing the best employee's attraction at market.

Under this philosophy a mistake takes the form of a theft, but who cares? No managerial process reaches completion. I cannot understand how those people look for outside investments to solve their problems. If their investment philosophy is banks then banks then banks; billions are deposited without real usefulness; they wait for money to deliver money. We will never reach Singapore quality because not us, not any body believes in us. Foreign investments are about taking money, not denoting money.
At this work environment I use a simple strategy used for cheating classes when I was T.A. at university; do however and whatever you want during the test; you will never get to the answer. If you should become some a kind of a problem for someone powerful and nothing practical could be used against you, they refer to the last reserve Arabian accusation used since the prophet Mohammad - "Insanity". For this accusation to work they use whatever premises they can twist, including reading the Quran (this Quran reading insanity was used by a Muslim brotherhood suspect). As this is a target point, the tracker can delete it.

Actually those are not problems for isolated writers; those are driving ideas for writing and being even more offensive toward some targeted readers.

Still I wonder what I am doing. Why I am doing it? What is the price or value which verifies prevailing and uncovering maybe self hurting ideas?  

Because of all of this I switched from writing Arabic to writing in English; the quality of the communication process is different. After that the same questions remained unanswered. And more questions arose - why have disputes for ideas that have little value (with respect to persons around me)? Nobody ever told me of their worth.

If imprisoned or fired from work for a runaway idea, who will help? I have no case or shared framework or someone who might show caring. I write only to discover more of myself. Isolation is all along all paths of imagination. The separation does not take one form, between the writer and surrounding people, but also between the writer and what he writes.

This is why I cannot have a novel until now despite that I had an offer long time ago. I had three fiction stories each with different technique.  During my long experience with taekwondo, I learned that used techniques are disposed techniques; when one understands that and gets to stable steady fighting, he has a style. A style to write a novel needs a lot of concentration and follow up; it resides in the heart. A style is not merely good writing; it is creation.

Upon what I know of "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Marquez and after the beginning of writing of this article I discovered something, “I am not isolated," but my surroundings are. Isolation is keeping the same thoughts and obsession all the time irrespective of your communications.

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Publishing New Writers,

September, 2010 (no. 1109)


Bruce L. Cook
6086 Dunes Dr,
Sanford, NC 27332

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