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message 1: by Farheen (new)

Farheen | 17 comments on my way to write my very first book! need feedback regarding my book idea, anyone who is intrested in reading a nonfiction book on growing religious conflicts in this already complicated world?

your precious feedback will be highly appreciated. thank you so much


message 2: by Tito (new)

Tito Athano (bobspringett) | 144 comments Farheen wrote: "on my way to write my very first book! need feedback regarding my book idea, anyone who is intrested in reading a nonfiction book on growing religious conflicts in this already complicated world?

..."


Hi Farheen,

I'm left wondering what you mean by 'growing religious conflicts'. Do you mean the interaction between different religions, or do you mean warfare/terrorism/rebellions/insurgencies using religious language as justification? Or even the progressive/conservative splits within religions that tend to treat the opposing opinion as 'apostates'? (e.g., Christians arguing about abortion, gay marriage, muslims arguing about 'jihad' etc.)

Besides, surely you already have some idea what your core thesis is going to be.

I'm reasonably well-acquainted with both the religious and political aspects of these disputes (B.Th. from a broadly Protestant university, sympathetic to Catholicism and Orthodoxy, well-read in Islam, and from the other perspective actively engaged in the progressive side of politics). I'd like to understand what you are driving at.

bspringett@iprimus.com.au


message 3: by Farheen (new)

Farheen | 17 comments thank you, The main concept is gonna be terrorism I mean coward terrorist attacks that is rapidly taking place in the name of religion , the groupism, analyzing one another via religious specs, and how all this devided the entire world in two catogries, which is people with same religion, and the one who doesn't share the same


message 4: by Farheen (new)

Farheen | 17 comments I was shocked by the fact that there is no specific book on such an important issue though I have seen numerous movies on this but... yeah!


message 5: by Farheen (new)

Farheen | 17 comments I hope it's an appealing idea to write


message 6: by Tito (new)

Tito Athano (bobspringett) | 144 comments Farheen wrote: "I hope it's an appealing idea to write"

Hi Farheen,

I don't know what specific approach you intend to take. But wars/terrorism/insurgencies that justify themselves on the basis of religion have happened throughout history. The religious language is inevitably nothing more than a propaganda tool for what is basically either (1) a tribal perspective or (2) a grab for worldly power.

Think the Crusades (an attempt by the Pope to surround Constantinople and enforce Roman supremacy), the Reformation (German princes wanting to stop their gold bleeding to St. Peters), or the Irish Troubles (nationalism using a co-incidental religious difference), or the Sunni/Shia split (initially a personal contest about succession to be Caliph), or the Elizabethan Settlement (being Catholic was not a religious crime, but a species of secular treason).... The list goes on.

Even in more recent times, if you had asked someone in 1947 about 'terrorism in the Middle East', virtually everyone would have known you were talking about Jewish terrorism against the British (King David Hotel, etc).

Most experts already know that religion is perhaps a motivator for the spear-carriers, but those at the top of each organisation are more interested in politics in a much more this-worldly way.


message 7: by Farheen (new)

Farheen | 17 comments so...Sir what's your take on my idea?


message 8: by Farheen (new)

Farheen | 17 comments is it good? should I continue with it?


message 9: by Tito (new)

Tito Athano (bobspringett) | 144 comments Farheen wrote: "is it good? should I continue with it?"

If you intend to write non-fiction you need to have either a whole lot of recognised expertise, or alternatively an angle that no-one else has put out.

I don't want to discourage you, but (unless you are already a world-renowned expert on the subject) I think you will need to do something other than what might be called "Comments About Terrorism By Someone Who's Been Thinking About It."

Think about taking a novel approach. Perhaps not as lurid as 'I Was An ISIS Sex Slave', but a specific personal angle might be the way forward.

Alternatively, perhaps put your thoughts into a novel.


message 10: by Farheen (new)

Farheen | 17 comments Thank you so much sir, means a lot, so any suugestions on how to get more into this specific topic?


message 11: by Tito (new)

Tito Athano (bobspringett) | 144 comments Farheen wrote: "Thank you so much sir, means a lot, so any suugestions on how to get more into this specific topic?"

Hi Farheen,

I can think of only three ways forward:-

1. Become a World Expert. This will take a minimum of thirty years, full-time, plus access to restricted information.

2. Come up with a new approach that speaks powerfully to the reader-in-the-street. For example, a book recently released in Australia was written by an Afghan internee on Manus Island awaiting refugee processing. Meanwhile the Australian government has made it plain that even if he is classed a legitimate refugee, he will never be permitted into Australia anyway.

3. Make it a novel, with as much contact with real history and the facts as possible. A bit like the Flashman series, but not comedic.

Sorry, I can't see how I can be any more helpful than that.


message 12: by Farheen (new)

Farheen | 17 comments how can I research better on this topic?


message 13: by Keith (new)

Keith Oxenrider (mitakeet) | 1166 comments I suggest you go with option 3, make it a novel. That allows you to explore the issue without having to worry about fact checkers coming behind you.


message 14: by Farheen (new)

Farheen | 17 comments Novel? I am sorry but can you please explain it further about it, I mean.. how can I make this look like a novel which could convey my message well like nonfiction can? please answer if you can


message 15: by Keith (new)

Keith Oxenrider (mitakeet) | 1166 comments You have ideas about terrorism, but writing about them (and hoping to get published) in a non-fiction setting means you have to do research and have citations for all your work and make very narrow conclusions. That's a crap load of work and most people who do it have done it for decades, have advanced degrees and have often been employed for their expertise.

If you lack that background (as seems to be the case), but still want to explore your ideas in a way that others may read, writing a novel allows you to do so without the need to be factually correct about all the details. Plus, it can literally allow you into the head of the various characters involved, while in the real world it's usually impossible to know what someone actually thinks, even if they purport to say so.

Something to keep firmly in mind, no matter what you do: one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. That's been true for time immemorial. If you can't put yourself into the head of your 'terrorist' to the point you can see them as a freedom fighter defending their way of life, then you may find it difficult to create compelling stories, be they factual or fictional.


message 16: by Farheen (new)

Farheen | 17 comments thank you so much sir, trust me whatever you mentioned was really running in my mind, if you don't mind sir can you please suggest some concepts from which I could proceed further since I am a beginner who as you said have just handful ammount of info related to this writing world, and I won't neither lie that have read a lot of books it's just that I only want to bring a small amount of change in this world anyhow! You might think there are various other ways to do that but I strongly believe that "pen is mightier than the sword"
I feel you can help me out of it sir,
I have just read 3 or 4 novels in my entire life but I can assure you one that whatever I have in my bucket to say will be far more different than what people know about terrorism already.
I just want your invaluable suggestions on get myself start writing a novel. I mean.. the concept that I need to adapt?

once again Thank You very much sir.


message 17: by Keith (new)

Keith Oxenrider (mitakeet) | 1166 comments Writing is easy. Writing well is hard. Finishing is harder still. Editing is a nightmare. But great writing happens in the rewriting portion. Prepare for a long, hard slog.

My advice is you just start writing and see what happens. Go wherever the pen/keyboard takes you. You'll most likely decide pretty quickly if you're really interested in writing or not. What usually happens is either you come up with endless reasons why you can't write _right now_ or you become so obsessed with writing that your normal life becomes a burden that steals time away from creating. Just be cautious and realize that writing can become a compulsion that can be difficult, if not impossible, to put behind you.

If the former happens, you know you were not built for writing. Move on, find something else that interests you. And don't look back.

If the latter happens, then you're now stuck writing, even if your writing sucks and never makes you a dime. You'll take part-time work so you can afford editors (everyone must have at least a proofer, but expect to need at least a developmental editor and a line editor before you need the proofer), you'll use your sick days to write and you'll stare at the empty page thinking black depressive thoughts dwelling on how useless you are as a human being (just part and parcel of being a writer, though I'm sure there are a handful of exceptions). Writing is not something most people do willingly, it's something they're driven to do.

Most writers will vacillate between having written the best prose that's ever been set to page with the absolute conviction that every single character reveals there utter lack of capacity to write even a simple greeting. And both things will be correct at different times. But you can't tell the difference because you've become blinded to your own words.

Beware! Here be dragons!


message 18: by Tito (new)

Tito Athano (bobspringett) | 144 comments Keith's advice is so true!

I do a lot of Beta-reading. I have told writers that 'writing is easy; making it fit to read is the hard part.' Another dictum I owe to a famous writer (I think it was Jeffrey Archer) is 'Just lean over a blank page until the blood drips from your brow and the splashes on the paper make words.'

The most apt advice he gives is 'one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter'. The perfect example of this would be to read 'Exodus' by Leon Uris. This book is all about the heroism of Jewish freedom fighters leading up to the establishment of Israel in 1948. Or at least, it's written that way. A Palestinian might be forgiven for thinking it is propaganda for the Stern Gang, Irgun and a pack of Jewish terrorists.

So read 'Exodus', and probably 'Haj' (another Leon Uris book) to get a feel for how a 'terrorist' might see his role from within.

Once you've done that, plus a few years' thinking, you might see how a 'War on Terrorism' and anti-muslim, anti-Jewish, anti-anyone policies actually feeds the cycle by escalating these divisions.

Very few people resort to suicide tactics unless they think they have nothing left to lose. The best way to make sure malcontents don't burn the city is to make sure each of them owns a house in it.


message 19: by Tito (new)

Tito Athano (bobspringett) | 144 comments Keith wrote: "Writing is easy. Writing well is hard. Finishing is harder still. Editing is a nightmare. But great writing happens in the rewriting portion. Prepare for a long, hard slog.

My advice is you just ..."


Keith,

I god an email from you through Goodreads but I can't figure out how to respond. My email is bspringett@iprimus.com.au. Please contact me direct and we can chat about your idea (which sounds interesting!)


message 20: by Farheen (new)

Farheen | 17 comments is there any particular novel written focusing only on terrorism jihad and so called killing in the name of religion?


message 21: by Tito (new)

Tito Athano (bobspringett) | 144 comments Farheen wrote: "is there any particular novel written focusing only on terrorism jihad and so called killing in the name of religion?"

Hi again, Farheen,

If you get onto the Amazon website and type 'Jihad' into the search box, you will find heaps of books on the subject. More than anyone could read and still stay sane! Most of them seem to be written from a radical right-wing viewpoint, but that's called 'academic freedom'. (The same freedom that Radical Right wants to shut down, but they extremes of both flavours have never been as strong on consistency as they are on hypocrisy!) If you want to REALLY do good research, read into more respectable works.

But this is only the recent Islamic activism. It doesn't include similar activities by other actors of other religious persuasions. You can start with analyses of the Book of Judges, which describes the 'Canaanite Genocide' in the 14th century B.C. Then work through the expansion of Islam (not nearly as gentle as many Islamic apologists would have you believe), then onto the Crusades (IMHO, even worse than Islam's initial expansion), then the Reconquista of Spain which flowed over into the Spanish conquest of the New World....

Do you get the picture? There is more out there than you could possible read through, even if you worked at it full-time.

Which is why I suggest you spend only a short time, perhaps a couple of years, with some general histories. That won't be enough to produce a reference text, but it should be enough for a novel.

All the best!


message 22: by Keith (new)

Keith Oxenrider (mitakeet) | 1166 comments I god an email from you through Goodreads but I can't figure out how to respond.

There should be a 'reply' button if you log onto Goodreads to read the message (there should be a "See more on Goodreads" button in the email). You'll have to (or, at least, I have to) authenticate in order to reply or write private messages.

Anyway, I'll reach out via your email now.

@Farheen Throughout history (and continues apace today) people routinely kill in the name of religion. To my knowledge, there is no major religion (including the so-called pacifistic one) that have zero violence attributed to their name. People in power often use any means available to maintain/extend their power and religion is a well-known tool in their arsenal. You keep using the word 'terrorist' and 'jihad' as if there are only Muslims who commit terror. There is no monopoly of any religion, race, creed, nation or group on terrorism. The definition is "a person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims." That certain governments avoid calling a terrorist act 'terrorism,' particularly when committed by non-Muslims, is for political reasons, pure and simple. I suspect, unless you're able to shed those filters, you'll be limited to writing two dimensional characters (be it fiction or non-fiction).


message 23: by Tito (new)

Tito Athano (bobspringett) | 144 comments Keith wrote: "I god an email from you through Goodreads but I can't figure out how to respond.

There should be a 'reply' button if you log onto Goodreads to read the message (there should be a "See more on Goo..."


Keith is right about 'terrorism' being more about a political aim rather than religious devotion. I attach a snippet from my novel 'Pope Barnabas', in which a non-catholic argues with a priest.

“Last time you were here, I said you must never act against good conscience.”
“The Church has burned people who acted according to their conscience.” Dave protested.
“Yes,” Patrick replied. “So have Protestants, and so have pagans, and so have atheists. Powerful men have been torturing and terrorizing those who oppose them ever since the gate clanged shut behind Adam and Eve.”


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