Author Archives: juned

Why Write Anonymously or Under a Pseudonym

As a writer do you write anonymously? Or would you like to? What are the reasons for writing under another name or anonymously?

First, The author might want the public not to who he was. This might be because of the content or because of the time. There was a time when women had to use the name of a man just to publish their work. There are also male authors who use female names to mask who they are – for example when writ8ing Romance Literature.

There are of course other circumstances that fall under this league.

If it is a confession article or post that reveals what is happening in a company, within a group or inside a government agency then the reason the author remaining unknown is obvious: he does not want his cover blown or compromomise his safety. Although not a writer – the now famous Deep Throat of Woodward and Bernstein comes to mind.

The author might just want to keep his privacy.

Second, The author might want to distance himself from work. It could be different genres or it could be a test balloon when submitting works.

Third, Some do it as a precaution when they start to criticize or even attack an issue or even a person. There is a certain shield of protection when writing under a pseudonym. It emboldens the writer to write or say things he or she would normally write about. The repercussions are somewhat not felt.

But not anymore as can be seen in the case of Google, the model and the anonynmous blogger.

What do you write?

We are all familiar with the different types of fiction: The different genres has and has been talked about but what about non-fiction. What do we publishers write when we write non-fiction. What are different forms of non-fiction writing? Well it would help to briefly describe them –

Reporting

The reportage: The report: The News. Just simply saying what has happened. This could range from Aunt Mildred’s wedding to George or the Marriage of the Queen of Buggyland to the Prince of Salami. It could be anything as long as it happened. This usually falls under the five wise men of Rudyard Kipling’s five wise men name: (i) who, (ii) what, (iii) when, (iv) where, and (v) how?

How-To-Do-It

These articles range from how to prepare an omelet to how make your own nuclear bomb – a writer actually did several years ago and he was immediately hired by a government agency upon discovery of his thesis. Articles/posts such as these gives the reader step-by-step instructions on how to prepare and assemble/or cook a specific dish or object. Note that there will also be articles/posts that will fall under sub-form of How-To-Do-It – the advise piece or the question & answer piece.

The Narrative

A more detailed and personal account of an event in past and the present. A tad bit longer and more meandering a narrative not only gives you the facts of what has happened but it also gives you an inkling of the emotion of the moment as things happened – although more often it is a very personal account of what has happened.

The Confession

This type of article/post deals with revelations. Most oftem personal revelation of what one did or what one felt like doing during a given time. It could also be an article or post that leads one to the writer or blogger’s realization usually after something has happened our occurred.

Interviews

This type of post/article is a question and answer piece – usually but not limited to one person. It may focus on one aspect of a person’s life; a person’s career or only subject of interest.

Reviews

A critical discussion or commentary of a book, play, film, gadget, and service. As such you should have a book review; a review of a play; a film review; a review of a gadget and even a restaurant review. Does the reviewer think this bad or good? A good review will often tell why they think something is good or bad.

Argumentative:Opinion: the lead: the editorial

This type of article/post argues for or against an issue or a cause. This type of article is used to dissuade or encourage the reader. In some instances, ir can also be used to challenge the reader to action.

Analysis

An analysis, whether post or article, aims to provide the reader a thorough discussion of a subject. It starts with an introduction, a brief description of the topic, the issues involved; the pros and cons of an issue; A summary and a conclusion or a non-conclusion.

You will probably find that a number of non-fiction writing you have done will fall into one or two or three or even four of the types. There maybe even more.

And so my friend what do you write?

Why do you write?

George Orwell once wrote an essay on the reasons for writing. It is probably one of my favorite essays on writing that I have read. Another one would be Edgar Allan Poes’ composition.

Reading it now and also looking at the large expanse of the writers unniverse on the web I can say that Orwell did not touch on everything. Most if not all reasons he mentioned centered on non-monetary reasons for writing.

People write for a living. I do. I try to. I aspire to.

But there are other reasons for writing and Orwell, who was also a prolific writer and wrote as a means to earn income wrote that these were:

First, To record and to report things that happen.

Second, To point out to the reader an d to the world an object, animal, person, event, and phenomena of (i) beauty; (ii) interest; (iii) uniqueness.

Third, To move the reader to act to a certain way. Mark Anthony’s speech before the Romans who were looking at the body of the assassinated Caesar along with his assasins is a classic example of moving people. Even the use of honorable men was used so effectively that at the end of the speech. These honorable men were then veiewed as anything else but that.

Fourth, To satisfy an aesthetic sense of proportion. To see beauty in the written word. People who read aloud poems and stories would know this. The play and use of words to paint and give voice to our worlds is such an example.

Fifth, To satisy the ego: To satisfy us: A sense of pride and fulfillment when one finishes a work is a reward. Applause or acclaim for one’s work is a form of reward and a reason to write.

To sum it all up in a neat list George Orwell or Eric Blair wrote that he wrote because of the following reasons:

  • To record
  • To point out
  • To move people
  • To satisfy an aesthetic need
  • And to satisfy the ego
  • These reasons have been mentioned is what Orwell said were the reasons he wrote. Of course there are more reasons for writing.

      What is yours?

    A Story About A Story Short

    One of my favorite shows is Jim Henson’s Story Teller. Each episode started with the old storyteller recounting an old European Fairy Tale to his dog and us – the audience. The Dog of course was a muppet and the storyteller well he was the actor John Hurt. FOr me the series was a success because it brought to life a lot of the fairy tales and amazing stories.
    Several tales were told and at one point the series came to storyteller’s story. And its tale was called A Story Short.
    It goes like this…
    The Storyteller and the Beggar tricked the cook into giving them food by telling him they could make the most wonderful soup from a stone. Needless to say the Cook was mad when realized he had been fooled by the Storyteller and the Beggar.
    Taken before the King and his court the storytller retold what happened and the King and his court was so amused that they did not punish the Storyteller and the Beggar. Instead , much to the frustration of the Cook, they were each given a golden coin and set free – on the condition that the Storyteller would tell a story everyday for about a year. Each story would earn the Storyteller a golden coin. However, should the Storyteller fail to tell a story he would then be taken to the Cook’s kitchen and bee placed in a man-sized kettle of boiling oil – the Cook kept such a kettle for special occassions – parties and feasts not for executions, but the Cook was angry so he was just as willing to use it for torture and death for this occassion.
    A year nearly passed: It was the last day for the Storyteller to tell his story but alas he had ran out of stories – there were no stories in him. And from his mindseye he could imagine the Cook and his man-sized kettle bubbling with oil.
    The Storyteller walked, hopped and bumped about. Trying to get a story out but there was none. Suddenly a knock was heard it was theBeggar.
    It was his Old Friend theBeggar and he came on the day of all days to gamble. The Storyteller who was out of stories obliged theBeggar.
    But he lost
    And he lost
    And he lost
    Till all of his Gold coins brlonged to theBeggar
    TheBeggar then told him to try again and try to recover his lossed by betting his wife. The wife agreed. The Storyteller reluctanly agreed.
    But he lost
    The Storyteller who had no stories to tell, who last all his money and who recentlty loss his wife was despondent. But theBeggar yold him why not bet himself so he can recover all his belongings – especially his wife whom he treasured so much.
    But he lost
    TheBeggar then turned the Storyteller into a hare and placed him into his bag.
    Then theBeggar went to see the Cook, who was busy boiling the oil. As theBeggar went inside the kitchen he tranformed the Storyteller into a flea. And theBeggar also began his prank on the Cook. The Cook was left with less an ear, less a few fingers from the prank.
    Naturally, theBeggar was taken to court where he played a prank on the King. Making his heir disappear.
    But pranks are pranks. And within a few moments – as fast as three swishes of a lambs tail or even a dragon if it is more appropriate – everything was restored. The King’s son soon appeared, A wiser and more humble Cook was restored all his body parts, and the Storyteller ceased to become a flea and returned as a man.
    And before the King and his Court the Storyteller told the everyone the day the stories ran out and his adventures thereafter.

    One of my favorite shows is Jim Henson’s Story Teller. Each episode started with the old storyteller recounting an old European Fairy Tale to his dog and us – the audience. The Dog of course was a muppet and the storyteller well he was the actor John Hurt. ┬áThe series was a success because it brought to life a lot of the fairy tales and amazing stories.

    Several tales were told and at one point the series came to storyteller’s story. And its tale was called A Story Short.

    It goes like this…

    The Storyteller and the Beggar tricked the cook into giving them food by telling him they could make the most wonderful soup from a stone. Needless to say the Cook was mad when realized he had been fooled by the Storyteller and the Beggar.

    Taken before the King and his court the storytller retold what happened and the King and his court was so amused that they did not punish the Storyteller and the Beggar. Instead , much to the frustration of the Cook, they were each given a golden coin and set free – on the condition that the Storyteller would tell a story everyday for about a year. Each story would earn the Storyteller a golden coin. However, should the Storyteller fail to tell a story he would then be taken to the Cook’s kitchen and bee placed in a man-sized kettle of boiling oil – the Cook kept such a kettle for special occassions – parties and feasts not for executions, but the Cook was angry so he was just as willing to use it for torture and death for this occassion.

    A year nearly passed: It was the last day for the Storyteller to tell his story but alas he had ran out of stories – there were no stories in him. And from his mindseye he could imagine the Cook and his man-sized kettle bubbling with oil.

    The Storyteller walked, hopped and bumped about. Trying to get a story out but there was none. Suddenly a knock was heard it was theBeggar.

    It was his Old Friend theBeggar and he came on the day of all days to gamble. The Storyteller who was out of stories obliged theBeggar.

    But he lost

    And he lost

    And he lost

    Till all of his Gold coins brlonged to theBeggar

    TheBeggar then told him to try again and try to recover his lossed by betting his wife. The wife agreed. The Storyteller reluctanly agreed.

    But he lost

    The Storyteller who had no stories to tell, who last all his money and who recentlty loss his wife was despondent. But theBeggar yold him why not bet himself so he can recover all his belongings – especially his wife whom he treasured so much.

    But he lost

    TheBeggar then turned the Storyteller into a hare and placed him into his bag.

    Then theBeggar went to see the Cook, who was busy boiling the oil. As theBeggar went inside the kitchen he tranformed the Storyteller into a flea. And theBeggar also began his prank on the Cook. The Cook was left with less an ear, less a few fingers from the prank.

    Naturally, theBeggar was taken to court where he played a prank on the King. Making his heir disappear.

    But pranks are pranks. And within a few moments – as fast as three swishes of a lambs tail or even a dragon if it is more appropriate – everything was restored. The King’s son soon appeared, A wiser and more humble Cook was restored all his body parts, and the Storyteller ceased to become a flea and returned as a man.

    And before the King and his Court the Storyteller told the everyone the day the stories ran out and his adventures thereafter.

    I Really Like RSS

    One of the best advise I got from a friend when I was starting mind your RSS feeds. The what ? Really Simple Syndication. It is one of the more overlooked and least appreciated part of a blog or a website. When you mention RSS – you often get the perplexed look on the face of the person you are talking to. But you can find it nearly everywhere on the Internet.

    Why is it important?

    Because it is a way for you to deliver your content or writing to your reader.The reader just has activate it and voila! the post gets delivered to the reader. Through an RSS reader, which maybe on-line or not.

    The publisher, whether blogger or webmaster, may also enable a feature in the RSS feed via Feedburner or any similar service that will deliver content to the reader via the email.

    Feedburner is one of the services that allows you to enhance the value of your RSS Feed through services like receive posts via email, chiclets to promote your feed; a way to get statistics from your blog or website; and a number of other things. The service is now owned by Google.

    I realy like RSS. It is quite a useful thing, although a bit too hard to explain at times. Although, I think Commoncraft does a good job at explaining what it is: