1. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    Your manifesto as a storyteller

    Discussion in 'Insights & Inspiration' started by Lifeline, May 1, 2016.

    I don't know if anyone of you have done this but I have found somewhere on the web the advice to write your own manifesto as a storyteller. To remind you what is so magnificent about the story you want to tell, and so important to you that you sit down for a bit of your life and do it.

    Write your own encouragement so that, when things don't go as they should, reality plays nasty jokes or you are stuck in writers block you can find the joy again.

    So, this is my first brief paragraph. If anyone wants to join with a snippet of theirs, I would be fascinated :)


    "To say I love you, one must first learn how to say the I." [Ayn Rand]
    No other words can express it more clearly. I need to be me. Me. ME. With all bright vowels and shadowed consonants, broken structure and sharp-edged style, joining commas and bold memories. I am sitting among shards of dreams which are mending together as I speak, and I write. This is me.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2016
  2. SadStories
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    SadStories Member

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    My fantasy novel has a 3 page long manifesto with references to Kant and stuff, lol! Which is why no one will probably want to publish it ... Anyway, I don't think I want to put that out here since it's something I intend to try to sell and publish.

    I think the following captures the spirit of why I think books are important though, which is a quote by Donna Tartt: "The first duty of the novelist is to entertain. It is a moral duty. People who read your books are sick, sad, traveling, in the hospital waiting room while someone is dying. Books are written by the alone for the alone." A lot of philosophers through history have tried to make art the most important thing in the world, even what moves the course of history. Though I disagree with them, I think their heart was at the right place: Sometimes a paperback hug at the right time really does mean the world to you.

    As to why I write, that is something else, and something closer to what thread starter said. First of all, I don't feel like my views of the world are acknowledged, either by the people around me or society at large. When I watch the news or anything, I feel alienated and forgotten. So I'm motivated by the very human need, I think, just to exist as I see and understand myself.

    The other reason is more practical. I think if there is one thing I could truly excel at, it's writing stories. I'm a big klutz, helplessly living with my head in the clouds, barely able to even cook pasta without setting the house on fire, so I don't think would ever do good at something like sitting behind the counter in a store, doing accounting, nursing, etc. I would just make a mess of everything and do a very mediocre job. Meanwhile I just do not have a logical mind at all, so I don't think I would make a good scholar, psychologist or scientist or anything like that. Trying to think like that wears me out very quickly, I randomly keep making dumb mistakes and my imagination tends to run wild. So it would probably be best for everyone to just let it.
     
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  3. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    What I make of this 'book manifesto' idea is that it is not meant to be published and I wouldn't include stuff in it which is actually in my story. So this has been written just for me and for my story - to keep us closer together.

    I have seen some interesting examples out in the web not only limited to a storytellers-manifesto but mainly for personal growth or goals in life. So a manifesto in its broadest sense can be any of that, but we are here on WF a writers community and there is one finish line which unites us all - the telling of a story. Yet a manifesto is not limited to what one writes. Nor to life experiences, or goals for this particular story. It can be any of these things, or something else entirely, deeply personal to every one of us. :)
     
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  4. SadStories
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    SadStories Member

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    I hope I didn't deviate too much from your intention with this thread in case my post was what made you clarify ... Perhaps my manifesto was "too informal". I guess I was trying to sum up what I had put in my "official manifesto" (and then some). I agree looking at these things can be really motivating in any case, looking at what you are doing from a broader perspective!
     
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  5. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    Heck, I am just the thread starter :D I clarified not only for you but also for others who may have been confused or new to this concept. Certainly when I stumbled over it a while back it was new to me!

    And there are plenty of examples where a thread can get off on a tangent, it needn't be limited to the very first post ;)
     
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  6. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't have a different manifesto for each book, but for my writing in general I really try to entertain intelligently. Too often I think readers are expected to turn their brains off for at least some parts of books, and as someone who has trouble turning her brain off (and someone who doesn't really want to turn her brain off!) I try to write books that tell a story that's satisfying for the heart and the brain.
     
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  7. LostThePlot
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    LostThePlot Contributing Member

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    There's a wonderful quote from one of Nixon's advisers; 'When you've got them by the balls their hearts and mind will follow'. Thus my manifesto is just 'Get them by the balls'. All other problems will eventually find their way to goodness as long as your story grabs at the readers emotions. So grab at them. If a scene isn't working look for the emotional core and start again. Once you have the emotion you just need to fill in the details around it and details are easy.

    Grab them by the balls.
     
  8. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    For this quote alone I would give you a double-like if I could :D
     
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  9. LostThePlot
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    LostThePlot Contributing Member

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    Any problem in any story is the result of insufficient ball grabbing.
     
  10. ZoeyGirl
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    ZoeyGirl New Member

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    After reading some motivational/inspirational books, I developed a personal manifesto - not specifically for the book I am writing. I haven't thought of doing that. I know what my personal manifesto does for my thoughts and life in general, so I am thinking it would be in my best interest to write one for my story as well! I know that's not specifically answering your post, but I am thankful for the idea!
     
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  11. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's always nebulous with me. I never know why I'm writing a particular story except to say that it grabbed me for some reason and then I'm stubborn enough (these days, anyway) that I refuse to leave it alone until it's working to the best of my ability.
     
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  12. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Now that someone else has said it, this sounds about as close as I could come to any type of manifesto.

    Mind if I borrow it, @BayView? :)

    I'd just add: and make someone laugh while I'm at it.
     
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  13. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    To be interesting, intelligent, and entertaining. As much as I can. The exact balance depends.
     
  14. tumblingdice
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    tumblingdice Member

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    I just try to remind myself that some stories need to be told, regardless of my willingness/talent to do so.
     
  15. Wayjor Frippery
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    Wayjor Frippery Contributing Member

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    Very interesting thread. It's always fun to glimpse the minds of others.

    My manifesto:

    Aims:
    1) to write entertaining stories
    2) to sell lots of books

    Policy:
    keep at it until I succeed or die
     
  16. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Whenever I need a pick me up for writing or life in general, I read the short story I wrote last year titled The Mysterious Magical Anna. It reminds me that hard work, dedication, and being a good person are the keys to getting through the rough spots. Also love. Not sure whether I am ever going to share it or not, but it has been good pick me up for me. :D
     
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  17. HelloImRex
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    HelloImRex Contributing Member

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    Or you could write a page of your novel instead of a manifesto and actually be closer to the finish line. I'm very cynical about things like this. Sure, they might make you feel better, but what do they do beyond that? No better than a sugar pill's placebo effect though I guess sometimes that placebo effect can be exactly what someone needs.

    On second thought, that's actually a lot nicer of a response than what I think is true. People tend to ask two questions when writing. "How do I actually sit down, write a story, and beat writer's block?" and "How do I write my story better?". They are very different questions and while the second one is a great question the first is pretty flawed. Here's how a conversation would go with that:

    "How do I actually sit down, write a story, and beat writer's block?"

    "By sitting down and writing your story."

    "Yeah, but I don't really want to right now. Anything else that can make me feel like I'm doing something?"

    "Um.. Hm.. How about writing a manifesto on what you want to accomplish for when you do decide to sit down and write something?"

    I guess it might be possible to write the manifesto without going through that thought process, but it just seems simpler to get to the second question of how to write better immediately rather than wasting time on things that are supposed to help you write in the first place that ironically don't involve doing the task you want to accomplish.

    ^See, now that I wrote that sentence I can focus on how to not make it a run on sentence instead of coming up a list of goals that will aide me on the journey of putting words on the page and result with the same run on sentence at a later date (or no sentence at all if you really want to be pessimistic).

    Anyway, as someone who procrastinates a lot and is trying to break the habit, that's my take on it. I've found I only do things like this when I'm actively procrastinating on something I should be doing.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2016
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  18. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    You are a meany. :p
    RubberNun.jpg Not amused with your negative attitude, buster. :supergrin:
     
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  19. HelloImRex
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    HelloImRex Contributing Member

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    Then you definitely won't like the edit I made. :twisted:
     
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  20. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Oh, do tell.....:pop:

    It feels fake. :p Pretty sure we can agree on that. And I was just messing with you in the first place. :supergrin::supergrin:
     
  21. HelloImRex
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    HelloImRex Contributing Member

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    What feels fake? Only fake thing I see is that nun. We can both agree on that. Where are you pulling your images from anyway? Nevermind, don't want to know. Oh hey, you can search google for the image if you right click on the picture. Cool.

    Anyway, I mean what I said in the first post.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2016
  22. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    @HelloImRex Ok then. I better watch my ass around you. :D Now I am going to sneak on outta here nice and slow. (Please don't follow me. :p) And have a lovely day doing whatever it is that makes you happy. :)


    Moving-picture-skeleton-sneaking-around-animated-gif.gif
     
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  23. Masked Mole
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    Masked Mole Contributing Member

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    Don't worry about a genre. It's all literature.
    Go the extra mile to include subtle references, ideas and symbols. If people want to think hard about the material, don't let them down.
    Always believe in your writing, because people are fickle and no one really knows what's good.
    The only rule is to break the rules well.
    Encourage the reader to be a better person.
     
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  24. Feo Takahari
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    Feo Takahari Active Member

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    Something I wrote back in 2013, trimmed for brevity:

    -- -- -- --

    This is a typical 19th-century lamia:

    [​IMG]

    In the stories about her, she's beautiful and evil, seducing and corrupting innocent young men. As a female figure who actively pursues sex with males, her connection with snakes is often made curiously phallic, tying into the idea of sexual pleasure as a thing that's right for males but dangerous in females. (In some versions, she's actually hermaphroditic.)

    But even at that time, Keats had a very different conception of what a lamia was and meant. In the years that have passed, we've seen his ideas expanded upon, and the lamia has become something else entirely:

    [​IMG]

    The lamia of modern fiction is still in many ways a sexual being, but she's no longer a figure of fear . . . She's been allowed the potential to be multidimensional, and I think that's because women's sexuality is no longer considered scary.

    I've read plenty of authors who find what people are afraid of, create a monster to model it, and then make money off the idea that the monster's coming to get you. I want to make monsters that are harmless . . . mak[ing] the things and the people other people shy away from understandable and even sympathetic. I want to be able to say that in my own tiny way, I helped to create an environment in which people are allowed to be different without being shunned or demonized.
     
  25. nastyjman
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    nastyjman Contributing Member

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    I have a file where I keep some quotes from famous authors. Here are two that I like:

    "There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." - Ernest Hemingway

    "You've failed when you stop writing" - Ray Bradbury

    As for a manifesto, I keep one that's currently 12 pages long. It's more of a "trade secret," where I keep notes of how other authors work. If a certain method works for me, then I keep note of it and also modify it to my personal taste. The manifesto is long because of an outline method I copied and also modified for my own.
     
  26. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    @HelloImRex, as someone who also struggles with procrastination, I wholeheartedly agree. And I've just realized that I'm only on this forum to do more procrastination. Gah! It never ends. I must now return to my world.
     
  27. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Good thread.

    My 'manifesto' as a writer is pretty simple, really:

    I want my characters and their story to come alive for the reader. As a writer, I want to disappear. I'm not interested in writing deathless or quotable prose. I see myself as the conduit for my characters' story. Nothing more.
     

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