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Do not hand me lined paper---for I write Fiction?

Updated on January 12, 2012

They say to be a good writer you need to read a lot, with that being said I ought to be a famous fiction writer by now.  At the age of 13---1945 I started helping myself to magazines at the local stores in Long Beach Calif.  There were True Story, True Romance, True Detective    you see 15 cents for the price of those magazines were also the price for a loaf of bread, that we did without many times and in my 13 year old reasoning I could forgo that peanut butter sandwich but not that continued love story in the latest True Romance---never got caught.  Most educated observers hated the magazines, figuring that it depicted the worst aspect of the "revolution in manners and morals" but everyday America loved the new confessional magazines.

Creadit Google-Flickr-com
Creadit Google-Flickr-com

Here are some of my thoughts and experiences on Fiction Writing:  

1. Some say that you must have hard discipline, because writing can be very hard work.  I disagree, if you can really write it will flow naturally and be a great pleasure.  The best fiction comes from the preposterous imagination of a STORYTELLER.

2. Some say that you should only write about what he or she knows through experience or can learn about through research.  That is true for non-fiction.

3. Some say that you should write only what you like to read.  I use to follow this rule until I stopped and reached out and tested other waters.  First I just stuck my big toe in the water and now I swim the full length of the pool.  This has many advantages for it automatically expands your imagination in all directions.

4. Some claim pronunciation, diction and grammar are the most important part of the story.  Again I disagree.  Fiction has a freedom that no other categories can venture into successfully.


Credit Google--coverbrowser
Credit Google--coverbrowser

Here are a couple of examples of writers that didn't let rules get in their way.  They just stepped into the ring and let freedom ---ring.

Ernest Hemingway employed a distinctive style which drew comment from many critics but that did not stop him---he simply wrote what he felt.  The reader saw in the Hemingway hero a person whom they could identify with.  The Hemingway hero was a man's man.  He let them into on love affair to another.  His subjects brought lavish praise and savage criticism---yet he was not ignored.  He was a master of transmitting emotion without embellishing it with his imagination.

Credit Google-Kclibrary Lone Star edu.
Credit Google-Kclibrary Lone Star edu.

John Steinbeck:  "The Grapes of Wrath" novel was a phenomenon on the scale of a national event.  It was publicly banned and burned by citizens.   Yet here was a man that again simply wrote what he felt and saw at that time period.  Here again all rules were broken for he wrote dialogue as it was spoken not as it should be spoken.  He was writing about real people and their feelings and their ordeals and they could read this and relate to it, again the critics were appalled at the words in the dialogue for they were not proper words in their minds---yet he simply wrote it just like it was said.

(1962, the Nobel Prize was granted to Steinbeck for Grapes of Wrath.)  

I find that in today's world in all subjects and endeavors it all involves around the almighty $$$$$. Writers seem to think and dream first of what money his or her words will bring. Look around you and see how many people that you know really make a living from it?

Please understand I don't say this to discourage you from writing and following this dream but to make the pleasure and freedom of writing---be # 1.

Note;  When you are handed lined paper---write the other way and enjoy.


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    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      6 years ago

      Thanks fancifulashley for stopping by and welcome to HP, this is a great avenue to test the waters of writing and meeting a lot of great people.

    • fancifulashley profile image


      6 years ago

      This is an amazing hub. Very insightful and motivational. At first, I must admit, I thought it was about Daniel Quinn's lastest piece, If they Give you Lined Paper Write Sideways. Both hold philosophical points and I find your hub fits the title much better (I have not read Daniel Quinn's work so I am just guessing here).

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      7 years ago from TEXAS

      Delightful! And - if you were 13 in 1945, as I was, it seems we are contemporaries. And I smuggled copies of those pulp-paper magazines home too. Did you ever read any of Ilka Chase's racy novels, by any chance? My eldest sister had several of them and I sneaked reads of those too.

      Thank you for the follow. I'm honored!

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      7 years ago

      Thanks dahoglund,yes puntuation and spelling are important but---I find it's like playing the piano "I play by ear."

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      A very good article on writing. I would disagree on a point or two. While I have an impulse to write, I still find it to be work,sometime challenging work. Puntuation and spelling are important because mistakes are distracting. I say this as one of the worst spellers and users of puntuation.

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      8 years ago

      parrster thanks. We all write--but others will only STOP--LOOK--LISTEN to what they are interested in, so we continue to write for OUR pleasure.

    • parrster profile image

      Richard Parr 

      8 years ago from Australia

      Thanks Ginn. I write for the pleasure, but I also right for the message I want to share. Some people think a story should be just that, a story, but I don't like that 'rule', I have something to say, something to share that's important (to me at least)... now I just need someone to listen :)

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      8 years ago

      Okay young-un---you know me well. This is a big problem for me too. I have noticed that with my lunch at 12:02 and a glass of RED wine to wash it down, I seem to tell those audio sexy love stories much much better.

      Did I mention that daughter jerilee wei, is editing them for me? See I have someone to blame all the mistakes on.ha ha.

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 

      8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      I agree, there are no hard and fast rules only key ingredients - passion, imagination and most importantly love for what you're doing.

      And oh time management - for how can you write when you spend most of your time glued to your audiobooks?! Haha Lurve ya missy :D

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      8 years ago

      Thanks sophs. Fiction does let our imaginations soar high and free---so let fly.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Brilliant hub, I enjoyed reading this. Fiction is definately the best :)

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      8 years ago

      Yes Jerilee, but some of that trouble was funny NOW! I don't know about you but I sure in the h--- don't plan on changing that rule. love ya.

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      8 years ago

      Yes Tony, I agree and love the technology that is now at our fingertips. Right now I'm really writing more with my EARS and I think that AUDIO is the future.

      Here in the States some of the major book stores are feeling the affect of Audio ver--paper. The new readers have opened the door wide for many people--so we just WRITE and go with the flow. My new ipod has read many new books to me and I love it.

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 

      8 years ago from United States

      Wonderful and very true sentiments mom! I'm very thankful to you teaching me that rules weren't always meant to be followed even if it did get me into trouble from time to time and probably always will.

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 

      8 years ago from South Africa

      Yes indeed! Writing for the fun of it, for the joy of it, is best. But let's not forget those for whom the writing also has to put a crust on the table!

      But you are so right that the passion from which a person writes really makes the writing worth the reading.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your passion.

      Love and peace


    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      8 years ago

      Aya yes in today's world it seems a lot of people are only led by the almighty $$$$$ and they miss the simple pleasures. Thanks.

    • Aya Katz profile image

      Aya Katz 

      8 years ago from The Ozarks

      Ginn Navarre, amen to that! Let pleasure guide you!

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      8 years ago

      Thanks UG, I think without an imaginations words just become WORDS.

    • UlrikeGrace profile image


      8 years ago from Canada

      Wonderful Hub Ginn...a story is just that a story...and if we can't let our imaginations fly what are we doing...I write for my own pleasure (if not more) as much as I write for the pleasure of my readers. If I can't get excited with the characters of my story then my characters are not worth knowing...Thank you for this hub...sometimes we just need to give ourselves permission to be creative!

      Blessings to you


    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      8 years ago

      Yes Feline, I think some rules are made to be broken and here it was proven with all those great FICTION writers. It has a freedom that lets our imagination soar. Thanks

      P.S. Besides, I never was very good at following rules.ha

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 

      8 years ago

      Thank God for fiction writers who don't follow the rules! :)


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