Thursday, October 27, 2011

Advice to Young Budding Writers

If you want to make a living by writing then you would do well by writing fiction. Any work of non fiction would not sell if it is not original and genuine. To write a truly original work, either you should be an expert in your field or have extra ordinary knowledge. Something young people do not have. However, if you believe that you can acquire the necessary knowledge then you should be prepared to do research. Research is not an easy task. Sometimes it takes years and sometimes even decades before you have sufficient data i.e facts, figures, statistics, results of recent surveys and polls, and finally experts' opinions. 

Then, after doing laborious research, when you think you have found something  new, comes the question of how to present your work. If you want people to read your book then all the information should be presented in an interesting manner. The work should be crafted in style, with interesting piece of information interlaced with your own careful observations and qualified remarks. When a issue is too sensitive you can avoid taking a position and just write what experts have to say about it. This way you bring diverse opinions at one place and make your readers think, thus adding color to your work.  



Writing a book is one thing and getting it published is another. It's true that every year numerous non fiction books are published, but  due to phenomenal growth of internet the market of  non fiction has been worse affected. In fact the market has shrunk. Spending money on 'How to',  'Tips for' and 'Books for Dummies' makes no sense when everything is available free on internet. In fact our daily weeklies are borrowing material from net and the biggest joke is that they claim it to be copyright material. 


Internet has become the biggest cook book in the world. There's virtually no topic left on which you can not find quality information.  Google has changed the way people access information. You have to just type in what you are looking for and in microseconds you will have what you want. Add to this e-books, e newspapers, and PODs (Print on Demand). Wikipedia alone has grabbed more than 30% share of non fiction market. No one has special information on any subject anymore, all the relevant information and much more than what you can find in libraries has been uploaded on this vast encyclopedia. Thus a market that was already limited to a particular class of readers, mostly intellectuals, has become even more limited. Now, you can imagine how difficult it would be to convince a publisher to buy your book.  

Even if you are able to get your work published, then what can you expect from it. Recognition and fame? may be. Money definitely not.   

If you want examples to convince yourself about this truth then just observe how the original works of historians, psychologist, mathematicians, scientist, and above all philosophers are accepted. 

There have been a few good philosopher in the entire history of man kind, you can count them on fingers and almost all never achieved instant fame and recognition. Their work was very often rejected without any consideration by the haughty and cocky community of intellectuals.


Where is  money. Money is in entertainment, in psychological thrillers, in fantastic tales of romance, in fantasies of children's books, in amazing stories of science fictions, in short—in novels. 

Despite thousands of TV channels, hundreds of movies and music albums released every year, and addictive social networking sites  people do buy novels. The market of novels is ever green.
You write a good novel like 'da vinci code' or 'Harry Potter,' you will not only become a celebrity over night, but also put all the scholars and intellectuals to shame by earning millions of dollars. Such is the power of fiction, or to be more precise entertainment. I am not suggesting that writing fiction is easy. In fact it's equally tough, but once you have mastered your craft and managed to get your first novel published, you can just go on writing and building your brand and money will keep rolling in.   


Thus if you are young and have made up your mind to earn your living by writing then learn to write beautiful stories. If you have inclination to read philosophy, psychology and history then read as much as you can, as what you write even though a work of fiction must have it's root in reality. 


So Good Luck from Philosopher Novice

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