WRITING WITH A PURPOSE

A lot of books start but never conclude. They stop half way pending when the author hopes to return to them again. This never happens and hence so many works have been left in the middle of nowhere and worst still the writer never get to become an author. This can be the case also with authors hoping to conclude a new book. They can start a fresh title and not lead it to completion. For all we know, a concluded work is one that we can call a written work.

Worst than the first is a case where the writer feels there is a book inside of him to be written, but he cannot organize his thoughts at one thing narrow enough for him to take off on the project. He goes about telling people his intentions to write such and such a book and sometimes brags that it would be the best ever written on the subject matter. Once, I met a man who had loose sheets of points he was putting down for a new project. I approached him and asked what they were meant for. He told me that they were for a new project he intended to write and he believed it would be the best ever written on the subject matter. I requested to look at the sheets. When I did so, I did not find the incentive to stay on looking at them. They were disorganized. With them, I did not see how they led me to anything. The points or would-be chapters were randomly chosen in a manner not offering the promise that the man knew what he wanted with the book, and I left wondering “what is the point of this work?”. Unless he gets it right later, I bet you that book may never be written or may be written badly. If the latter is the case, we will have a shoddy project coming to the book stands, but I doubt what publisher might want to take it on. This is the case with many projects facing rejection at the hands of the publishers. Every publisher wants income from projects it takes on. Accepted, publishers have their own part. They sometimes don’t look at genuine works critically once the author is a new entrant, but trust me many works may not be worth the stress, time and money.

Yet on the book stands, actually published by a publisher, we have books that don’t meet criteria. They tell us nothing such as we need to know. They do not lead us on to the point of the writing. Such books may have been laced with luck to have been taken on by a publisher. There are so many of them around and one would wonder how such projects got by in the first place. They are simply lacking in organization, leading to nowhere and lacking the point of the entire exercise. It is true that conventionally no known rigid rule has been accepted as the formula for writing a book, though on this blog Plotmatics is the answer, where it is the art of writing a book by the use of scientific principles borne from years of scrutiny of existing evidence. Books have had to be written by trial and error ranging from author to author for what is best practice. What works for A may or may not work for B. Consequently, books on writing are mainly one type of advice or another written by different authors who by no means agree on one fixed principle.

For any author who would set out on a project, purpose is key item that should be settled out first. The author ought to ask himself the question, “Why am I writing this book? What is the reason for this work?” The problem with the man I mentioned previously is that when I looked through the sheets I did not see his purpose for wanting to write the book he was about writing. The only item about his work was excitement. He was excited about certain discoveries he had made on the subject matter but failed to organize his plan with a meaningful purpose that will drive and guide his writing. The purpose of the author is his guide while putting pen to paper. It helps keep his thoughts on the track from the beginning to the end of the work.

Purpose is that set agenda in the mind of the author for writing his book. It is his set objective of what he would have achieved in the end by writing the work. It is the role the book is meant to play for its audience. Example is someone writing a work on practical biology because there are few or none of such texts available on the subject matter to help in the course of study. Another book on practical biology may have the view to further simplify the subject matter easy enough for school children to readily understand. For novels, the author may have in mind to show by narrative certain lesson he wishes his audience to learn and apply in real life situations. He may wish to educate his audience on a new process. It can be anything. All that matters is that the author should allow certain concern drive his work. This will help guide the making of his book and place his discussion on the right track in consonance with his set objective.

Before an author puts pen to paper, he should ask himself, “What is the concern of this work?”. This is much like the sight at the tip of the barrel of a gun used to aim at a target and hence guide its shooting. This is somewhat writing with vision. It is seen from afar before building the book around it. It is a powerful tool of the author to help align his writing onto a desired end. It helps him to have control of his work from the outset to the very end.

The following are some of the concerns people may have for writing their books:

  1. Chinua Achebe, the author of Things Fall Apart, wrote the narrative to show that the black man, the Ibos in this case, had a culture before the coming of the Europeans.
  2. Our text, Lonely Weekends, was written to express, through the narrative, the author’s style of English language and to show improvement in African literature.
  3. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie wrote to express, through the narrative, the failure of the African State.
  4. The narrative Mysterious Affair; If the Pines Could Talk was written to show that African literature can also be detective contrary to the case where it is commonly epic.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it gives an idea into our meaning. Any book written should have an end it wants to meet and this often is its selling point.

 

Maximus Clement

Author Lonely Weekends

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Quite Uncommon Book Review By Maximus Clement

QUITE UNCOMMON IMAGE

Tosin, a rare beauty, just dies at the nick of time when her boss, Jeff, is concluding wooing lessons to approach her for a relationship. She is choosy down to the way she is wooed. Jeff cannot get his eyes off her especially when her hips spin on the axle of her waist and her eyelids lift or shut with the grace of rose petals. He had just dropped her off at her house the previous night and hears, the next morning, she is dead. A Captain of the Nigerian Navy calls him and breaks the news of the death to him. He gets to the scene of death and discovers it is murder. Tosin’s incandescent complexion is stained with blood and her forehead hosts a bullet hole. The Captain, who had heard the gun shot the night of the murder, takes up the inquest and falls victim too when a lady is daggered in his house. She is taken to the hospital yet with breath in her, but the killer drives home his point. He gets to her amidst security network and completes the task. Somehow the murders are tied to political thuggery and the Captain searches along this line. At some point, he is also a suspect.

The killer uses a military gun for the murder – a P225, same gun as the Captain has. Based on gun-regulation in Nigeria where the novel is set, such guns are hard to come by in everyday use. It is either the Captain has fired the shot or someone with some military connection. Such kind of murders was quite uncommon and that makes the case unique. The Captain is a suspect until he can prove otherwise.

Jeff is the boss of the dead girl, with intentions to woo her. He has already started the move, having dropped her off at home a night before the murder. Now she is dead and barely two days after he turns to her closest friend, Njideka, another staff of his. She thinks that the timing is wrong at the first instant. With Tosin just barely two days dead, she didn’t think her boss should be talking of someone else almost immediately. This makes her think that he is a mere player who wants just the fun and nothing serious. She detests the idea of being used and dumped. As far as she is concerned, Jeff will not make the list. Indeed she gets to find out latter that Jeff is after the patterns her hips make on her skirt at the groin while exerting at her clothe behind. He also makes another attempt on her sister. This nails it home.

The message in the book is simple. The author uses the story to teach the ladies an important lesson. It portrays Jeff as an unstable man who did not know what he wants. He gives himself away at the instant of Njideka and fails to get what he wants. The lady seems to know what she wants. Her hips were the case in point for Jeff. Being from the Eastern part of Nigeria where the culture values life, she understands that mourning is not something to be dismissed as a child’s moonlight play. A corpse of his staff is lying in the morgue, yet he plots his way to her skirt. Where she comes from, it is a taboo. She didn’t just see him as a serious date.

Follow this link to buy a copy: http://bookstore.authorhouse.com/Products/SKU-000438514/QUITE-UNCOMMON.aspx