1. Joshuan12
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    Joshuan12 Member

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    Journal of nothing

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Joshuan12, Jul 4, 2012.

    I decided to write a novel; or a journal I suppose. It's going to consist of entries of a nihilist, and how he thinks. It's going to cover many things, such as the difficulties it can pose, and the great realization's it bring. I feel like it'd be simple to write, considering I'm a nihilist and I'm planning to base this heavily on my experiences and how I view things. The only issue I have is how interesting it will actually be. It doesn't exactly have a plot considering it's the daily life of a weakening nihilist, so I'm wondering if journal entries would be enough. I have the first one roughly written with no real editing done so far, and I will post it if asked, but I'm wondering if I should change the format. Instead of having a journal, have a simple novel. Let me hear your opinions, and please be as blunt as possible. If you wish to see the first journal entry, comment thusly.
     
  2. Thumpalumpacus
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    Thumpalumpacus Contributing Member

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    It depends on what sort of nihilism you vent. Two hundred pages of "life has no meaning" might be hard to stomach. Examining the relativity of morals or the impossibility of sure knowledge might make for more interesting reading, though.
     
  3. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Impossible to say. What matters is the writing itself. Works of fiction have been written as journal entries. They've also been written as a series of letters. Try it and see how it goes.
     
  4. Joshuan12
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    I was planning to do a variety of things with it. Not essentially "life has no meaning", but more "what determines there is a meaning?". I hope to view things on as many angles as I can. I was going to put a lot of emotion in it as well. I was going to aim for more of a view of insanity, considering the general public believes that the way I/nihilists think, is insane.
     
  5. vVvRapture
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    vVvRapture Member

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    If you are an nihilist, why don't you just write a book with your own thoughts as yourself rather than portraying a fictional character that is going to do the same thing?
     
  6. Joshuan12
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    Joshuan12 Member

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    Exactly because I'm a nihilist. I don't believe in me. Whether I write is what you determine I am, or as someone else is of unimportance. It's going to be the exact same material.
     
  7. vVvRapture
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    vVvRapture Member

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    I mean, whatever floats you boat, my friend. I figured if you don't believe in, well, much of anything, how could you believe in a fictional character? I feel like its easier to just write without even making up a character since, as you say, it's all the same material. Unless it's a sort of situation where you are in character, which makes more sense.
     
  8. Joshuan12
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    Joshuan12 Member

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    I haven't been making up a character, nor did I say I was going to. Whether it is supposed to be another character and not myself is irrelevant because it's still going to be exactly how I feel and how I see things, with some stuff mixed in ofcourse.
     
  9. Thumpalumpacus
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    Thumpalumpacus Contributing Member

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    It's either fiction or non-fiction, and you're either writing from your own PoV or that of a fictional character, but that is probably less important than the substance of your thoughts. Whatever your intentions are, keep that in mind.
     
  10. lasm
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    lasm Member

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    If it's a novel, you need conflict. Maybe you should try creating a second character that argues against your MC. Might be an interesting mental exercise.

    On the other hand, if you really just want to write about your own thoughts and opinions, a journal sounds like the way to go.
     
  11. Joshuan12
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    I appreciate all of the comments and such. They've been quite helpful. Sorry for the confusion though. I am writing it from my own PoV.
     
  12. Thumpalumpacus
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    Thumpalumpacus Contributing Member

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    It's cool. Do you keep a journal already? If you don't, you might want to consider that anyway. And it would help you get a feel for how it might work, I think. A "trial run" of sorts.
     
  13. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    Nihilism comes in a whole range of flavours. At the shallow end it consists of things like believing that there is no absolute morality. No right and wrong other then what we decide it is. At the deep end, it consists of not believing in anything including what the rest of us call reality. I think first you have to establish what depth of nihilistic water you want to swim in.

    After that you might want to check out a school of philosophy called idealism. It's a sort of answer to the deep end nihilism, where even though people accept that there really is nothing such as that which we call matter, there is something - the mind or the spiritual.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  14. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    Nihilism comes in a whole range of flavours. At the shallow end it consists of things like believing that there is no absolute morality. No right and wrong other then what we decide it is. At the deep end, it consists of not believing in anything including what the rest of us call reality. I think first you have to establish what depth of nihilistic water you want to swim in.

    After that you might want to check out a school of philosophy called idealism. It's a sort of answer to the deep end nihilism, where even though people accept that there really is nothing such as that which we call matter, there is something - the mind or the spiritual.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  15. nhope
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    nhope Contributing Member Reviewer

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    Well, there must have been a life experience that provoked you to feel this strongly - I'm sure it wasn't over boredom you decided to become a nihilist - so maybe that should be your story.


    Not being exactly sure of the definition, this is from dictionary.com. You could pick one that relates to you rather than create a crock pot of different viewpoints, or explore what provoked you to take this stance and why you feel it's what you should do.

    ***
    ni·hil·ism
       [nahy-uh-liz-uhm, nee-] Show IPA

    noun
    1. total rejection of established laws and institutions.

    2. anarchy, terrorism, or other revolutionary activity.

    3. total and absolute destructiveness, especially toward the world at large and including oneself: the power-mad nihilism that marked Hitler's last years.

    4. Philosophy .
    a. an extreme form of skepticism: the denial of all real existence or the possibility of an objective basis for truth.

    b. nothingness or nonexistence.

    5. ( sometimes initial capital letter ) the principles of a Russian revolutionary group, active in the latter half of the 19th century, holding that existing social and political institutions must be destroyed in order to clear the way for a new state of society and employing extreme measures, including terrorism and assassination.
    ***
    As far as interesting, people have different tastes and if your piece is written tastefully and with conviction I'm sure it would appeal to some. As far as posting, you really should put it up how you expect it to be read which means edit it first. An unedited piece will distract the reader from the content and maybe cause enough frustration to not want to continue reading.
     
  16. Solar
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    Solar Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi.

    If you're looking for inspiration then check out
    the Jean-Paul Sartre novel called Nausea.
     
  17. jg22
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    I was going to make the same recommendation. It's a fictional account of the philosophical (existentialism) musings of Sartre's character, and its in a diary/journal format. Might be of help to you in terms of format and style.
     
  18. Joshuan12
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    I am a deep end nihilist, as you referred it as. I believe there is nothing but one consciousness. I really do appreciate all of the replies, much of which have helped. I will indeed read up on idealism.

    As to nhope, what I meant by different views was essentially having my doubts of nihilism, as I undoubtedly have.
     
  19. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi Joshuan,

    If you are as you say in the deep end of the pool - then who are you writing your journal for?

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  20. Joshuan12
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    For no one and everyone. I don't exactly expect you to understand what I mean even remotely. I am apart of the consciousness, so I suppose I am writing it for myself; or essentially the consciousness I suppose.
     
  21. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    No I understand nihilism quite well. Sometimes in my darkest moments I used to wonder if there was truly nothing. No matter, no energy, no life, no space, no time, no nothing. But every time I went down that road I kept thinking to myself, that even if that was so, there was still something. I mean we all know instinctively I think, that there should be nothing. But even if you somehow manage to convince yourself that there is no universe etc, you still must always come back to the understanding that there is something. After all, even if I am only a dream, someone is out there wondering if there truly is nothing, and there is no way I can get around that.

    That of course is Descarte's Cogito ergo sum, I think therefore I am. And that has always been enough for me to reject nihilism. After all if I take as a starting point the simple proposition that I am, how can I truly doubt that others are etc? And from there the rest flows.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  22. Joshuan12
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    Joshuan12 Member

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    It's nice to have an intellectual conversation about this. Not much people I know have any knowledge of Nihilism. The way I think of things is that there is everything, and nothing. Everything is nothing, and nothing is everything. I am everything, everyone, every living entity, but I am also nothing. I believe there is nothing but a mind, and that mind is everything, and that mind is also the nothingness. I suppose that there is an everything that is nothing.
     
  23. Annojo
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    Reading all this I'm starting to think I might be a nihilist too. That explains a lot, but back to the subject...
    I read you decided to write from your own point of view, I think that's the best thing to do. I liked the Sartre recommendation but I also keep thinking of Blue Mondays by Arnon Grunberg. It's written from his own POV, the protagonist is called Arnon and, well, maybe it's totally not the style you're looking for but it is still a great novel to read, I think.
     
  24. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi Joshuan,

    I'd suggest that if you want to understand more about the philosophy of nihilism you should check out either classes or fora on philosophy. I frequent Philosophy Forums. http://forums.philosophyforums.com/.

    You can probably get a lot more information about nihilism from some of the members there.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  25. Leonardo Pisano
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    Leonardo Pisano Active Member

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    It might work as a fiction book, but it should lead to somewhere - say overcoming neg feelings and get a pos twist in life by some "event"... Or finding the reason of nihilism and then working on it to overcome it. If it just is a collection of neg feelings the reader will feel tricked at the end of the book. I like the theme, though.
     

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