Tag Archives: Fiction

How writers come up with novel ideas

How do writers come up with story ideas and turn them into novels?

“If one idea in particular seems attractive, and you feel you could do something with it, then you toss it around, play tricks with it, work it up, tone it down, and gradually get it into shape. Then, of course, you have to start writing it. That’s not nearly such fun – it becomes hard work. Alternatively, you can tuck it carefully away, in storage, for perhaps using in a year or two years’ time.”  Agatha Christie

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Build personal wealth by reading fiction

There “is money in books.” …

“Don’t expect, however, to find explicit tips on spending, saving, and investing baked into the texts like messages in fortune cookies. Novelists and dramatists seem suspicious if not disdainful of those who dole out advice about money — which is perhaps why, when they do offer worthwhile personal-finance counsel, the words tend to be put into the mouths of imbeciles.” …

“So if literature offers no pecuniary prescriptions and might send overzealous readers off tilting at windmills, why should seekers of financial advice invest any time in it? Based on my own quixotic reading, and after putting the question to both financial pros and professors of literature, there are at least two reasons, I think:”

“First: Novels demonstrate the power the almighty dollar wields over our emotions, thoughts and behavior — and reveal the ripple effect our dealings with money can have on those around us. ”

“Second: Fiction is great fun. As much as I enjoy reading psychologists or behavioral economists like Daniel Kahneman and Nassim Taleb, or even the latest Malcolm Gladwell bestseller, no account of psychological experimentation or discourse on the human mind and its failings has ever wedged itself in my memory like the foibles of Micawber and Quixote.”

Continue for advice from these financial gurus: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/want-to-get-rich-read-fiction-2013-11-22

Understand the real world through fiction

“People do not read fiction or watch films as observers. Rather they are drawn to participate in the story, making it reality. This has several benefits. It lets them experience how others deal with problems – how their dilemmas confuse them, engage them rationally and emotionally, challenge their values, and force them to balance competing issues. Reading fiction nurtures skills in observation, analysis, diagnosis, empathy, and self-reflection – capacities essential for good customer experiences, for caring about others, and for promoting good leadership practices. Fiction helps its readers to develop insights about people who are different from themselves. As they ponder what they might have done if confronted with a character’s situation, fiction helps its readers to gain insight about themselves as well.”

“Literary fiction, in contrast to popular fiction, focuses on the psychology of their characters and their interrelationships in the story. The authors of literary fiction reveal their character’s minds only vaguely, leaving out important details. The omission requires the reader to fill in the gaps if the character’s motives are to be understood. Literary fiction is rarely explicit about the internal dialog running inside each character’s mind, which consequently forces the reader to imagine it. This is the way the real world works.”

From: patriotpost.us

Readers of Literary Fiction are better at Mind-Reading

“When we read a thrilling-but-predictable bestseller, “the text sort of grabs us and takes us on a roller-coaster ride,” “and we all sort of experience the same thing.” Literature, on the other hand, gives the reader a lot more responsibility. Its imaginary worlds are full of characters with confusing or unexplained motivations. There are no reliable instructions about whom to trust or how to feel.”

Researchers suspect “that the skills we use to navigate these ambiguous fictional worlds serve us well in real life. In particular” they “surmised that they enhance our so-called theory of mind. That’s the ability to intuit someone else’s mental state—to know, for example, that when someone raises their hand toward us, they’re trying to give us a high-five rather than slap us. It’s closely related to empathy, the ability to recognize and share the feelings of others.”

“Increasing evidence supports the relationship between reading fiction and theory of mind. But much of this evidence is based on correlations: Self-reported avid readers or those familiar with fiction also tend to perform better on certain tests of empathy, for example.”

From: news.sciencemag.org

Read fiction to combat insomnia

“Insomnia seems to be becoming increasingly common, and good sleep hygiene … plus a basic understanding of the nature of sleep … can help us to return to a good regular sleep pattern…

The trick is to slip from the real world to the dream one, so lying there rigid with anxiety to achieve unconsciousness is never going to work.

Reading fiction, on the other hand, acts as a first breakaway from reality and gives the mind a first hold on the suppressed state of dream that is so firmly denied all day.

… steer clear of non-fiction books. Read to go into another world, and raise no resistance. Dream actually comes before sleep, and is the way in.”

From: http://m.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2013/mar/13/cognitive-behaviour-therapy-suzanne-moore

SpyWriter Jack King, the author of:
Agents of Change, WikiJustice, The Black Vault, and The Fifth Internationale.
A new Pope. A new Church. A new world:


http://www.SpyWriter.com

Escapist Literature

“literature is not isolated from the social and cultural framework in which it is set, but takes an active part in constructing it. Literature has a socializing, acculturating function. It can topple regimes and spark changes in ways of thinking that reverberate down generations. …

I think that escapism is probably the most important literary development in recent times. It is properly not an end unto itself, it is a mode, a hook, a literary device to draw readers in. Literary fiction has always seemed unapproachable because it often deals with heavy topics: the human condition, war, slavery, inequality, the like – all within the confines of mundane existence; a mirror unto the imperfections of our own reality. Many people don’t like that. Escapism replaces that reality with one in which we actually want to live in, and thus makes literature accessible. Escapism is not incompatible with literature-as-mirror or literature-as-agent-of-change. In fact, far from being the great enemy of traditional affective literature, it may be its greatest emerging ally, combating the evil forces of reality TV, celebrity gossip and the always-on camera recording the lives of the Kardashians. That is because escapist fiction can, at its best, act as a cradle for good stories and good literature. If the thought of escaping to a world where you can ride broomsticks and cast spells introduces kids to the wonders of reading and good storytelling (and a life of literacy afterward), more power to escapism.”

FROM: http://www.cornellsun.com/section/arts/content/2013/03/01/escaping-through-fiction

SpyWriter Jack King, author of Agents of Change, WikiJustice, The Black Vault and The Fifth Internationale

Reading fiction aloud is therapeutic

The “Liverpool-based charity The Reader Organisation … seeks to bring about a “reading revolution” by encouraging people to read poetry and novels aloud to each other.

The Swiss linguist and thinker Ferdinand de Saussure describes language as a form of treasure that is shared with others when we speak. Treasure is also something that can be hoarded. If you keep all the good words – the rich, descriptive, wild long words – to yourself then you retain their high value. Share them with the masses and you end up … with the linguistic means to create a society of equals, which is exactly what the hoarders of social and cultural capital don’t want.

…the benefits of reading in company as described by one woman: “Doctors and stuff aren’t always what you need. Other people can help too.

“The accumulated experience of peers and equals, all of whom have been in the same boat at one point or other, is shared to the benefit of everyone. It’s hard to think of a more powerful, not to mention empowering, sentiment.”

More: http://m.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/feb/01/reading-fiction-friends-therapeutic

SpyWriter Jack King, the author of:
Agents of Change, WikiJustice, The Black Vault, and The Fifth Internationale.
Coming soon:


http://www.SpyWriter.com

Read fiction to be a good person

Yet another study finds reading fiction makes us better persons:

“During the act of reading engaging fiction, we can lose all sense of time. By the final chapter of the right book, we feel changed in our own lives, even if what we’ve read is entirely made up.

Research says that’s because while you’re engaged in fiction — unlike nonfiction — you’re given a safe arena to experience emotions without the need for self-protection. Since the events you’re reading about do not follow you into your own life, you can feel strong emotions freely.

The Dutch study found that good fiction—the kind that sucks you in with characters you can identify with—can have a lasting effect on a person’s expression of empathy. Bad fiction, the kind you can’t really get into, has exactly the opposite effect.”

More: http://www.healthline.com/health-blogs/healthline-connects/reading-fiction-increases-empathy-013013

SpyWriter Jack King, the author of:
Agents of Change, WikiJustice, The Black Vault, and The Fifth Internationale.
Coming soon:


http://www.SpyWriter.com

Truth or Myth: Politics and Novels don’t mix

Interviewer: The question of combining politics and fiction has engaged a good many critics, often drawing from them the notion that it’s very difficult to mix the two. 

John Dos Passos: Well, I don’t know. Recently, I’ve been calling my novels contemporary chronicles, which seems to fit them rather better. They have a strong political bent because after all—although it isn’t the only thing—politics in our time has pushed people around more than anything else. I don’t see why dealing with politics should harm a writer at all. Despite what he said about politics in the novel being “the pistol shot at the opera,” Stendhal also wrote contemporary chronicles. Or look at Thucydides. I don’t think his history was at all damaged by the fact that he was a political writer. A lot of very good writing has been more or less involved in politics, although it’s always a dangerous territory. It’s better for some people to keep out unless they’re willing to learn how to observe. It is the occupation of a special kind of writer. His investigation—using blocks of raw experience—must be balanced. Sartre in his straight, plain reporting was wonderful. I can’t read him now. A writer in this field should be both engaged and disengaged. He must have passion and concern and anger—but he must keep his emotions at arm’s length in his work. If he doesn’t, he’s simply a propagandist, and what he offers is a “preachment.”

More: http://www.ibna.ir/vdciv3azwt1awz2.ilct.html

SpyWriter Jack King || “A new King of thrillers on the horizon” || Author of Political Thrillers || http://www.SpyWriter.com

Why we read fiction

“One of the attractions readers often cite as their explanation for their passion for books is the opportunity for escapism they offer. But sometimes … the new realities we encounter bear little or no relatoin to the realities we’re leaving behind.

The question of why we read is a huge one, but the classic (if often armchair) argument of fiction as escapism does in fact hanker after an element of truth. These are other realities, other layers of experience we dip into, and we dip for a reason or reasons

Fiction and fact are the other worlds we can immerse ourselves into, the virtual reality headsets we can don to evade being unable to deal with the absolute horror of our universe – of time having moved inexorably on, of being unable to go back, without losing our minds.”

More: http://www.foyles.co.uk/Public/Biblio/Detail.aspx?blogId=1156

SpyWriter Jack King “A new King of thrillers on the horizon” http://www.SpyWriter.com