Advise for Writing Good Non- Fiction


I’m not enthusiastic about writers not like myself.

Write fast.

The initial draft is the ultimate draft.

Write as you do when you have procrastinated, the deadline is upon you, you need to do it! No time for second drafts.

My most successful stories were written fast, one draft. Example: I wrote a short story a day for 30 days — 8 were published. The initial draft is the ultimate draft. The short story done in from someone to three hours, based upon length. 1000 words an hour.

5 minutes to contemplate story ideas, five full minutes to take down ideas about a possible story. 50 minutes to create a thousand- word short story. Three hours for 3000 words.

The easiest stories to create are fiction. And the simplest of those fiction stories is really a story which is all dialogue. The initial speaker says นิยาย something threatening or cynical or offhand about the 2nd speaker. The 2nd speaker responds. The initial speaker responds to that. The dialogue intensifies, you will find insults, tempered by sudden bursts of affection or kindness. The story resolves itself from the writer’s unconscious — and what pops up in the dialogue.

Fiction, within my case, is definitely done within an ironical tone, tongue-in-cheek, often funny, existential, based on my past. However, not intentionally serious. Minimally controlled.

When I write fiction, I consider it worthless, dangerous, disgusting. I do it easily, it’s fun. It is my smoothest writing. It has no importance. It is subversive, mischievous, laughing at the planet and myself.

It’s an easy task to publish fiction because people want escape, want to read what they’re used to — fiction writers borrowing from fiction writers, an endless relay of lies.

I’m amused, disgusted, by how easily I do it, how readily it’s accepted. It is much like going to church, everyone understands the format, it’s comfortable, everyone around you knows, expects, exactly the same thing. It is endlessly repeating, brainless, exactly the same story. Requires minimal energy, no thought. Comfortable, and deadly safe, like twilight of sleep. Seemingly harmless. As harmless as a tranquilizer, or one more drink. Choir preaching to the choir. Just like a subtle drift to death. Brainless.

Rewriting, the necessity to rewrite, is only a bad habit. A preliminary laziness which requires mop-up. A drunk slopping his drink as he goes from the bartender to his seat, only in this case he has to go back, tidy up their own, lazy, only-half-there droppings.

A bad habit, developed over countless repetitions of exactly the same mental block/malaise, half-speed, “anything is better than nothing,” an accepted escape mechanism unfortunately used at first to “conquer the hump,” then done again and again, half-assed way of getting something down in some recoverable format — until finally the indegent writer may start writing no other way, half-hearted, half-there, sloppiness, laziness, not important — it can be cleared up later, put right.

A habit, such as a tired housewife adding with intercourse — because it’s familiar, it could lead to, occasionally, something more interesting.

Merely a habit, a poor habit, an unintended bad solution to the situation — how to get started?

The difficulty is, like any bad habit, finally it impedes, diminishes, becomes worse.

And finally, the bad habit of the writer knowing he will re-write, thus can be sloppy on the very first draft, becomes worse and better, before the writer spends more and more time re-writing timid, lazy, uninspired, no-heart writing, until it becomes a necessity to rewrite a dozen times because each rewrite is weakened by the expectation, thus necessity, of re-writing again, again, again.

I don’t have any fascination with conversing with escape writers — science-fiction, romance, mysteries, detective novels — fiction.

Lies borrowed from liars, borrowed endlessly from endless generations of liars — fiction.

I don’t have any fascination with conversing with writers who feel real life, their life, their experiences, is uninteresting, boring, useless. If they believe so, I accept them. Odds are they’re right. They shouldn’t attempt to become a writer. They have nothing to offer. They must be lawyers or brick layers or chicken farmers.

They shouldn’t write about their own lives, since they are boring. And they shouldn’t write fiction, that is, lies, since there are more than enough lies already.

I’m interested only in conversing with writers like myself. And only if they are 18 to 30. After 30, a few. But mostly no, they’re lost. Like attempting to cure an alcoholic. But a few, maybe. Late bloomers. Still innocent, by accident.

Actually, the only real writers I’m mildly enthusiastic about conversing with — writers like myself — don’t need me to talk to them.

They, like me when I was young, are inspired, unconscious-gifted, by the fantastic autobiographical writers they read: Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, Henry Miller, Anais Nin, D. H. Lawrence, Theodore Dreiser, Somerset Maughm. Maughm only in one single book, “Of Human Bondage.” Roth, Mailer, Bellow, Agee, Burroughs, Jack London, Orwell, Conroy, Kerowac, Melville, James T. Farrell.

“All great fiction is autobiographical since authors write most effectively by what they know.” Judith S. Baughman.

“Write that which you know, not that which you read.” Grant Flint.

Great writers illuminate life. Hack writers facilitate escape from life. Commercial writing is first cousin to booze, over-eating, cocaine. Temporary escape. Life then worse.

Leave a Reply