So You Want to be an Author?
Ahreemanic Writing 101 for Wanna Be Authors!
August 27, 2008
Crossed Over by Your Own Pencil!
How it All Started?
My father was a popular journalist, author and historian. My mother was a lover of literature and poetry. I grew up with 3 different massive libraries in my house: My father’s, my mother’s and my own. This is how it all started ……
Back in university, during the freshman year, I had an English Writing professor whom I hated with the passion! I was always bitching and moaning about how he conducted his freshman class in a Shakespearean level! His expectations were too high and he was making us to work our little fingers to the bones! He made me to redo the complete textbook full of exercises or he threatened to fail me; therefore, I had to actually go and buy a new book to redo every single exercise! He had done this to me because I was his favorite student, so picture that what he had done to his other students?! This professor was also a linguist and could read and write a number of languages in Latin and Arabic alphabets. Back then I hated the man, little did I appreciate that it all would pay off! Today I truly appreciate the man and what he had done for us.
This article, I will write for all of you wanna be authors out there to read and learn, so you will not keep on sending a bunch of cheesy and mediocre work to IPC Office to be published in IPC. If you must send material to IPC (articles, books, artwork, cartoons, graphics, animation, modeling portfolios, etc.), then make them eye catching with talent. I want to see works that make me go Wow! There are plenty of cheesy or mediocre patch jobs on the rest of the Iranian Tabloid Websites, Ragazines, Rag Papers and Media out there. Garbage in and garbage out. No one reads, no one cares and no one will remember! I want to see works that will be remembered along with the author’s name!
Send your garbage to other Iranian websites. Send your talent and future masterpieces to me. I hope you are getting my drift, are you?
Types of Writers
There are writers who are not IPC material and there are writers who are IPC material, but then there are writers with potential who with practice and hard work, eventually they shall become IPC material.
Writers who are IPC Material
Are authors, which you as the IPC readers demand to see in IPC. You as IPC readers are owners of superb taste and highest standards and this is why you read IPC rather than 1001 other dreadful Iranian websites out there! My job as the general editor of IPC is not to disappoint you and to provide you with the best authors that Iran has to offer. I do not care what you write about but if your writings keep me focused with interest or makes me to stop and read them, then you must be IPC material. If by looking at your article and seeing your name, I will have the peace of mind to only run a quick spell check and not to edit the complete article, then you must be IPC material.
Writers who are not IPC Material
Are writers who do not cut it in IPC due to not matching the IPC readers and my standards. Ultimately I edit everyone’s work including the most professional IPC authors. If I have to do a short general edit, then they pass the test but if I have to take hours editing their work, then they are obviously not IPC material. The writing must be flawless, thus I have no time for spell/grammar errors. Send me cheesy material and I will passionately stump on them with my boots and then dump them in the trash can of history. Do yourselves a favor by sending your so-called writings to the other Iranian websites, ragazines and rag papers out there. There are no shortages of Iranian Tabloids out there, so just find one and dump your material in their can! They will gladly publish you.
Writers who are Potential IPC Material
Are the ones who have the spice but not the skills! They have the Hutzpa but not the tools! If you are willing to work hard and improve yourselves to become an IPC author, then I will gladly direct you to the Yellow Brick Road! Just read this article and take notes!
To Become an Author …
It seems like some of you have no patience. To become an author, first you need to develop writing skills, then research skills, next you need to develop creative skills and lastly you need to develop your own style. Writing is not similar to laying an egg which one can do every week. This takes time and patience. It took Kaveh Farrokh 18 years of research and study and then writing to write a book (Sassanid Cavalry). Writing a book is not like posting a post on a forum.
Your skills maybe good enough to post in a forum but no where near to actually write a piece. This is why you must use the forum to practice and develop your skills. The best of forum writers will eventually get published in the website.
You can write and publish articles and books every week, but who will read them? You have talent but if you don’t develop it, then no one will get to enjoy it. They will take one look at your material and never return to read another one. There will be no captivated audience for your work!
You must develop communication skills to transfer your feelings to the audience. This does not happen by taking one course in a 3 months period.
When are You Ready?
This is how I know that you are ready, if I can receive an article or a book from you and just by looking at your name, I will have a peace of mind that I don’t need to edit it, so I can just run a quick spell check and then publish it. If you are far from that point, then you must work on your skills.
Writing is not something that you can rush. It is an art form. If you rush it, the results will be Fragged! Now think about everything that I told you and you will see that it is better to work on something for months and years and provide a masterpiece so it will be remembered and everyone will quote from it (8000 Years of Iranian History), than to write something (like many do) and publish it every few weeks for just a limited number to read as a time passer!
What Makes an Author?
To be an author, you need:
Grammar, Punctuations, Spelling, Choice of words, proper and coherent usage of tenses, paragraphing, titling, sub titling, sentencing, conjugations, clear writing, coherent paragraphs, clarity of message and harmony of the essay are amongst the most important skills which you must achieve to become an author.
You must do your research and do it properly. Your research must be detailed and professional. You must be in absolute charge and knowledge of whatever it is that you are writing about. If not in command, then your writing becomes rhetorics. Take your time and do proper research.
Everyone writes but a few can be creative. The creativity is what gets the people and zoomed in to continue reading your article! If there are no creativities, then the reader gets bored and stops reading the piece after the first or second paragraph. The piece must be new to the reader and a breath of fresh air to the seeker.
There are tons of writers but only a limited number have their own unique styles. Everyone can read Edgar Allan Poe or Sadeq Hedayat and recognize their writings a galaxy away. It is all in the style. It is all in the herbs and spices! When you create a unique style, then you create a captivated audience for your writings. They will come back for more and more like addicts on Crack Cocaine! You will have the audience in the palm of your hand! There will be no release from reading your material for them. Only then, you can call yourself a writer! Now you have built your audience and they feed on your writings.
Welcome to the Club!
Skills, Research, creativity and Style all accomplished. Welcome to the club, now you are an author! It is all about Skills, Research, creativity and Style.
Writers are a dime a dozen, but only a few can be Stephen King!
I rather read one awesome work than waste my eyesight looking at 100 mediocre or cheesy articles! Do you dig? Am I making myself clear?
I don’t want to see another article or book from you unless you have reached my level of standard, which I have explained above; however, I want to see you using the forum as a practice grounds and testing grounds to develop your skills, research, creativity and style.
What you need technically to be an IPC Author?
The requirements are simply and well explained here:
Write for IPC
After all these years …
After all these years, I still think about that professor and I even kept that textbook. It is the best exercise book that I have ever had throughout my academic studies and all my English Writing courses through the university years. The first book is that dreadful book which did put shivers on my back but I still have it and I still refer to it (all the times) as a guide for grammar and writing. The second and third books are follow-ups to the first book by the same authors. These I recommend to all of you wanna be authors out there:
Inside Writing – Form A (Step 1)
A Writer’s Workbook
William Salomone and Stephen McDonald
Inside Writing – Form B (Step 2)
A Writer’s Workbook and Reading
William Salomone and Stephen McDonald
Writer’s Response (Step 3)
A Reading Based Approach to Writing
William Salomone and Stephen McDonald
Writing Poetry from the Inside Out (Writing Poetry)
Finding Your Voice Through the Craft of poetry
These essential books, I recommend:
Left to Right: Step 1, Step 2, Step 3 and Poetry
It is all about Skills, Research, creativity and Style.
Back to Write for IPC
Back to Features index
Back to Iran Online Bookstore