“If one feels the desire to transform oneself and to speak from other bodies and souls, one is a dramatist.”
Point of view is a question every fiction writer must decide on when telling a story. When reading others and writing myself, I prefer the first-person perspective. It lets you get inside the mind of another person and see life from their point of view. No matter who they are or what they’ve done, you can’t judge them. You need to have empathy for all people, even the worst-seeming people on the outside.
My first foray into creative writing was through screenplays. I always loved movies and thought in moving images, so screenwriting came naturally to me. After about four years of writing roughly ten screenplays, I decided to try shifting to prose. I decided to adapt my best screenplay into a novel. I already had all the plot and characters and world-building done. It should have been easy, right?
Looking at my stats, I realize I’ve read a lot more fiction books this year than the previous few. There are several reasons for that. One is I’ve been listening to more audiobooks, which in the past I said I didn’t do because I had trouble focusing on fiction while multitasking. To solve that issue, I’ve basically stopped multitasking while listening to fiction audiobooks. I listen when I first wake up in the morning and just lay in bed with my eyes closed. Upon awakening, I don’t like to get right out of bed. Instead, I lay with my eyes closed for about a half-hour, making it the perfect time to listen to an audiobook. I can really focus with my eyes closed doing nothing else but just listening.
Another reason I’ve read more fiction is I’ve spent a lot less time reading the internet and on social media, reading less Twitter and less blogs. I’ve been trying to focus my time doing more productive things like reading books and writing. Now, onto this year’s list…
One common question among writers (or would-be writers) in the initial phase of a project is: How do you know if an idea is a short story or a novel? I think the answer is that you should plan for every idea to be a short story. Try to make everything you write as short as it can possibly be without losing anything essential. Continue reading →
Siddhartha is a 1922 novel by Hermann Hesse, and while it is not directly about social anxiety, it is about mindfulness and meditation—the tools that helped me with social anxiety. In the book, Siddhartha, a character from the time of Gautama Buddha, goes on a spiritual journey, eventually coming to self-realizations that helped him overcome his suffering in life, much in the same way I did. Through select quotes from the text, I will explain how Siddhartha’s journey related to my own journey overcoming social anxiety. Continue reading →
As 2016 is winding down, I thought I’d do a best-of list, but it won’t be a “best books released in 2016,” since there are too many I have yet to read. Instead, I’ll do a list of the best books I read in 2016, regardless of when it was originally published.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s 1864 novel, Notes From Underground, is about an unnamed narrator who has gone “underground” to live in isolation from society. He shows several signs of social anxiety through his thoughts and actions. The following quotes from the Underground Man convey what social anxiety feels like. Continue reading →
The End of the Tour follows Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky as he travelled with writer David Foster Wallace during the tour for his highly acclaimed novel, Infinite Jest. Like much of Wallace’s work, the film touches on the writer’s self-consciousness, existentialism, addiction, anxiety, and depression, which ultimately led to his suicide in 2008 at the age of 46. Continue reading →
My Halloween-themed YA/horror/comedy/sci-fi/fantasy/action/adventure novel, Trick or Zombie Treat is now available on Amazon. It’s about five boys who go trick or treating on Halloween and magically turn into actual versions of their costumes. Read below for a sample of the first four chapters. Continue reading →