Notes From the Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Notes From the Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“You cannot be a good writer of serious fiction if you are not depressed.”
― Kurt Vonnegut
Don’t worry. You don’t have to be depressed right now. ‘Cause Fiction does not have to be serious all the time. It can be of ‘anything’. It has many kinds too. But only two general kinds of modern fiction are recognized as: Category or Genre Fiction and Mainstream Fiction. Category fiction includes science fiction, suspense, mystery, erotica, Gothic and writers like Edgar Allan Poe and Mark Twain were two category fiction writers. Mainstream writers like Ernst Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote that kind of fiction which does not fit comfortably into one category fiction. Best example of mainstream fiction is Hemingway’s ‘The Old Man and the Sea’.
A newbie writer would and must try to master one or at least two categories of category fiction such that then he would be able to to write a well-told mainstream fictitious story. For every reader wants to read well-told story and a writer who doesn’t enjoy each of word while writing then how can he make others like those words? Also, most modern day readers prefer category fiction such as mystery, fast-paced suspense, erotica, etc. Less reader prefer mainstream fiction. This can be confirmed by looking at any bestseller list in which 70-80% is category fiction.
So what makes a category fiction. Well there are four basic elements:
Plot, as we all know, is the basic body of any story. If a story does not have a plot there would be no story. Ever Shakespeare’s plays have plots. Plot, depends all on writer’s imagination, and of course they way he develops it.
Hero/Heroine and/or Anti-Hero/Villain are the basic characters. A story need to have a hero and in any fiction this is essential. A writer can never write about a character without not focusing on it. Even that character might be a bunch of hair stuck in the drain. The writer will have to analyse and has to spotlight that bunch of hair as to focus on it. That spotlight would be on main character. Having an anti-hero/heroine or a villain is not necessary. I mean to say, not necessary in human form but a villain can a situation or a problem which the hero/heroine has to face in order to complete the plot. There can multiple villains but there cannot be more than one hero. The protagonist can always have a ‘side-kick’ or a supporting character or more than one.
Background is an essential part of a story especially if you are writing like science fiction. In science fiction a writer need to set some background for the plot is constructed in the future from the present time. Background needs to strong such that a reader will believe in it. Sometimes, due to background a reader can stick to the whole story thus just to know what lies in the future. Thus, background has a similar functionality of a glue.
Motivation behind the plot and character building always result in a good story. The characterization is always a requirement but the story should not be sacrificed for the sake of a character study. Don’t spend too much time on analyzing the character to the reader. Get-along with story. Motivation certainly have some further bullet points which I’ll be discussing in a future post.
So, stay tuned.
With Top Ten Tuesday meme, I going to discuss Top Ten Authors I read in the year of 2013.
I’ll start with number 10, MA JIAN, which I picked up randomly and was impressed by his style and the structure and organization of the context, though the length of the book, The Dark Road, was quite extensive. But in the end, I was glad I picked him up, and his style is unique and might seem satisfying to a reader if he reads Jian for the first time.
The number 9 spot, I’ll give to GEORGE R. R. MARTIN, whose books I was trying to avoid from quite a long time but couldn’t resist anymore so I surrendered and I must say the series, A Song of Ice and Fire, is an impressive epic fantasy and I quite enjoyed them. The length of the books were quite a challenge and thus I had fun conquering it and I ended up reading all five books which constitute the series till current date.
8th spot goes to PATRICK ROTHFUSS, recently read The Name of the Wind, which is more satisfying and his style and plot-writing is slightly better than George Martin, in some way, but hey, I am not saying Martin is bad or something. It was pretty hard for me to choose between the two and I decided Rothfuss should go above Martin as Martin disappoints me in the length of his books but hey, he is ‘good’. So is Rothfuss and both are great icons of the epic fantasies.
Number 7 is considered an iconic in the football (soccer) club I prefer to follow, many good players have worn that number during their time at the club, created history, and crafted memories which are unforgettable and became legendary. Such is PETER CUNNINGHAM, an award winning Irish novelist. His historical fiction, The Sea and Silence, introduced me to a new level of writing. The level is simple, unique and touches a reader’s head as well as his heart. It’s a powerful novel, I would say and I expect him that he continues to create such cherishing novels in future. That’s why I gave him number 7, he has the potential.
6th spot goes to, GEORGE ORWELL, for writing an exceptional novel based on truth which turned out to be very realistic in future. In our time, and the coming future, the idea his novel, 1984, implies is a fact, implemented today if not fully, well it will be someday. The way higher authorities want to control people, this novel describe it beautifully also with some thrill. Orwell, I salute you for writing such a novel.
Halfway through the list, and here comes the 5th author. IAN RANKIN, my all time favorite crime fiction writer in modern day writing. His style, character building and plot structure are all better than others of his own field. I won’t say their names, but when you read him and then you read them, I am sure you will be able to tell the difference. A Scottish, which, a few years back, I picked out randomly has turned to be one of my favorites. His words mysteriously provides me the motivation to explore more and more and to continue to read.
The number 4 is SCOTT F. FITZGERALD, one of the American classicist of the jazz age. He flatters me by the philosophy he is uses behind his words and the way he keeps his characters such the the reader will remain, no matter what, neutral. That feeling is something new and unique to experience which only Fitzgerald can give you.
Now comes the podium holders:
3rd is astonishing MARKUS ZUSAK, whose exceptional book, The Book Thief, made me crazy about him. The only thing I admire in his writing is the way he creates the plot. And after creating the plot he develops the character such that they will fit into the story like they are it’s own offspring’s. Hats off to the guy who stayed in New York Time Bestseller for 230 weeks. He’s one of those five out five ones.
2nd is FRANZ KAFKA, who he is just ‘Kafkaesque’. Powerful, knows how to drag the reader in a motion without letting the reader to realise, and leaves a reader, impressed. He is one of the best European Writers I have ever read. And believe me, he’s not over-rated.
And the 1st, I have to say, I admire her, her writing, her beautiful mind, she is SYLVIA PLATH. The first work I read of her was The Bell Jar, which was disappointing and I told myself, that’s not Sylvia Plath. Then I read many of her poems, and her Unabridged Journal which made me fell in love her. Through her poems I could clearly see the way she used her imagination and how she settled down the words.I could read through her poems and imagine her writing which just feels like reading another book. I seriously felt in love with her writing, and had a fantasy of meeting upon and having a dinner.
So here completes my TOP TEN AUTHORS of 2013. I am still exploring some new and reading those old classy writers. As this year is coming to a warm end, next year, I intend to read more and many new authors. So tell me, What are your favorite authors or any new author you read and he just blew your mind ?
Ah, the month of November went pretty fast for me. The later half of the month, I still can’t believe it existed. It’s been over a month since I had read something or wrote something(Of Course, except in the examinations). “Examinations! Examinations! Examinations!”, right now it sounds like “Exterminate! Exterminate! Exterminate!” in the voice of Daleks. It was kind of a Dalek-phase I was passing through. I still hope that the time lord will come and will take me back in time, back to the mid of last month. But then I’ll be in the Dalek-phase all over again. And I’ll still be reading text books instead of ‘Real Books’ writing exams instead of poetry. Due to this phase, I feel I will not be able to complete my Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge of 100 books which till now I have read only 66.
As of now, I am quite relieved that along with winter that phase had passed like the west wind blows. Cruel mistress winter is to me, but I guess I am ready for some holidays. Football, reading books, and eat is all I am going to do for the next month.
My head, right now, is all in a fuzziness due to the side effects of the Daleks-phase. Any recommendations for the reading part?
On an early August morning, wandering alone on the crispy and crumby dead leaves I felt sharp rays of sun appearing betwixt the naked branches of trees. The trees appeared as some broken mannequins, their faces totally blank in aspect to show an expression that if ever a brainy mind ever groom in them or do they have brainless mind already? I felt even if I stand all day long and just stare them, they will still be blank just like the current state of humanity. People don’t react on the consequences and events they should but they do overreact on when they should show least of the interest.
Squirrels were hovering hither and thither trees to hide themselves beneath the shadow of leaves. And they failed to find any. Just like those sinners who try to hide behind someone as if to blame him of their own sins and feeling of guilt. Do sinners even have the feeling of guilt, I wonder? It’s an odd habit among us humans and an old one too, which the with ages being passed, we, humans have to failed to change in ourselves despite how drastically we have changed materialistically.
This lonely path was unclear and far away had a blurry glimpse of what might come but still I wandered barefooted just like the humanity is living through centuries. With the every step I took, a monotonous effect of sound came from crumbling of the dead leaves. I usually encountered some small pointed pebbles which would pinch right through the skin like through the soul, only to make it hard and to suffer from severe pain for an instance. I wondered, humanity is like this only. No matter how many centuries we had endured we still are unable to omit small-small negative notions in our society and day to day living which eventually effect us in bigger sense. They are nothing but pain in vain.
2013, a year it is! It’s been six months since the year started, since those words I started to read written by various authors. Six months time is long and but not enough to read. Still I managed to read thirty one books (till the last month, and yes I keep a log). So far, it has been a great reading year for me and thus I manage to compile a list of my top ten books I have read so far.
1. THE GREAT GATSBY BY SCOTT FITZGERALD
I was flattered by the book and the philosophy behind it by Fitzgerald. How this book can be closely related to his private life and the time of 1920s is by reading the book. You might realize after reading it that you have not fallen in love with it or any of it’s characters. But that’s the beauty of it. That what resembles the lavish 1920s. It’s highly recommended by me.
2. NAMING OF THE DEAD BY IAN RANKIN
Ian Rankin is one of the most prolific crime fiction writer of 21st century. And this one is his one of the masterpieces’. He knows what to write. His characters know how to perform. He conveys the atmosphere to perfection. It was quite a page turning for me. This is the sixteenth novel of John Rebus series.
3. METAMORPHOSIS BY FRANZ KAFKA
It always bugs me why this story of Kafka is included in every literature course everywhere in the world. Well after reading it, I got my answer. Kafka displays a new concept by this story. A man to a bug, it was my first experience with German literature and proved to be wonderful in the end. Intense of the story is quite strong.
4. 1984 BY GEORGE ORWELL
After reading this, I realized this book is a conception of what reality is becoming. And thus, it is turning out to be true. Orwell wrote it after the World War II and till today I feel this book is applicable to our reality. The philosophy behind this book is intensive. But due it’s length, I got a bit bored.
5. THE DEVIL’S DISCIPLE BY GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
Bernard Shaw, as he liked himself to be called, is a master of witty plays. And I read Pygmalion and Devil’s Disciple at the same time but the two are not comparable. Pygmalion is a straight set win while Devil’s Disciple is totally witty. I enjoyed Shaw’s inscription.
6. THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA BY ERNEST HEMINGWAY
This novella is one of the major works produced by Hemingway. It is one of his famous works but I did not feel why. In the starting I found difficult to indulge myself but when the story goes on, my was indulging deep and down in the sea with the old man. It’s a short read, and certainly a Pulitzer Prize winner.
7. INFERNO BY DAN BROWN
The fifth addition to Robert Langdon’s Saga. Angels and Demons was the first book I read written by Dan Brown. It’s still his best work. Inferno, is a fast read, which was not expected by me as Brown’s earlier works worked at normal pace. When it came out I was so excited as I had read pre-reviews about it’s relation to Dante. I started reading when it was five hours after it launched. And read it in tow sittings. I can say I was not impressed by this book as I was by Angels and Demons.
8. DAISY MILLER BY HENRY JAMES
It was my first of something I read written by Henry James. I had waited for it quite long, and made sure something of Henry James’ was on my reading list of this year. It is a novella and just a novella. I would love to read more written by him.
9. THE DARK ROAD BY MA JIAN
I am glad I read this book. Firstly, I wanted to try a new author this year, and unknown, at least for me. And Ma was one of them. Secondly, it was whole new experience of words for me, the plot, consequence, the atmosphere as the book is setup in China. Ma Jian is the author I am keen to read more and I am recommending this book toe everyone, but it’s a bit too long.
10. BEST KEPT SECRET BY JEFFREY ARCHER
I was recommend to him by a friend of mine a few years back. Then, I read only book but I started reading his Clifton Chronicles lately, and this one was the third in the series. Though it was the first book, Only time will tell which made get myself indulged in this series, I am waiting for the fourth one.
With half of the 2013 being a good for reading, I am excited for the other half. I am looking forward to read so many books and in mood of trying some new authors as well.
What have been your favourite reads so far in 2013?
Please Recommend me some books or authors. I want to explore the world of reading.
(The First Work by me also published on Wattpad under the same title)
Philosophizing On Words
Author: Aman Mittal
What about ‘em?
Words Words Words…
All the time the WORDS!
From Morning to Night, from Birth to Death.
From a peasant’s mouth, to a queen’s speech.
Even you get bored with them.
OR you get exhausted, you cannot run from them.
They will be inside you, and you will be surrounded by them.
Every second of your life. Though SECOND and LIFE are also WORDS!
They are your best friend, sometimes your worst enemy.
They can make your fortune, otherwise you will devastated.
Even your name is just a bunch of words.
Look around you, everything that is known to you is known by a word or group of words.
Without WORD you cannot even tell what thing is which and which thing is what!
Right now, you can’t count how many words are there in your mind.
I, You are both words.
Think it in this way: Words are free, so why should not you be?
Yes, it is a smallest free form that may be uttered anytime, anywhere, isolating, socializing et cetera.
The language we speak, any language, WORDS are the unit of that language.
Words make the questions and Words make their answers.
You are the masters of your own words and yet you are its slave.
Words do not have any boundaries.
They can’t be conquered like a land or a woman’s heart.
Words are the perfect sense.
A word is a logical solution to all problems, yet it is the problem itself.
In the end, you will be remembered by your words, or I should say, you will be remembered because of your words.
Think about it!
What about ‘em?
Some more bookish thoughts..
Life, Work and Play
Writing, Publishing, Tearing Horror A New One
Poetry, Short Stories and Articles
Reading between the lines.
The winner of hearts!
My personal place to scream in.
Reviews of Books, TV, and Movies
INSPIRING AND TRANSFORMIMG GENERATION