The Eight Crafts of Writing
Modern writers don’t just write, they promote values, for example, entertainment or education. In my case, the value is enlightenment.
A few years ago, I ventured into fiction writing because I felt it had intriguing advantages over non-fiction. In a way, non-fiction is telling and fiction is showing. Many enlightenment non-fiction books talk about enlightenment (nothing wrong with that), but few show how to do it, and even fewer show enlightened states of mind.
The idea of showing enlightenment tempted me to venture into fiction writing. And I did what all other aspiring writers did – I parachuted right into the writing jungle. And, like everybody else, I got lost. Five years into fiction writing, I had learned a lot, but still felt lost. Like lost in the mountains. Learning creative writing felt like scrambling up a mountain (a craft or skill) just to discover a new one. I looked for an overview of the writing craft – a map – but couldn’t find any. So, I created a map myself. The result is The Eight Crafts of Writing.
The Eight Crafts of Writing is a book that has been missing in the market. Most writing coaches specialize in one or more crafts or skills, The Eight Crafts of Writing focuses on the overview – I know that’s a paradox. 😉
While writing The Eight Crafts of Writing, I realized that storytelling and enlightenment have interesting parallels. Allow me to elaborate.
We are immortal souls having planetary experiences. The soul extracts wisdom and understanding and empathy from experiences and takes them with it. Stories are virtual experiences from which we can extract wisdom, understanding, and empathy as well. Stories cater to the soul’s existential need.
We use enlightenment techniques, like meditation, to attune our minds to higher aspects of reality and self. The results are revelations. Stories can attune minds too (visual meditations are tiny stories). I believe that’s one reason why most ancient spiritual scriptures are in story form.
Life is full of adversity. No adversity, no story. Stories are inspiring struggles with adversity and much of the practical enlightenment work has to do with mastering karma. Stories can inspire us to face adversity in real life. Prescriptive and cautionary tales can teach us a thing or two so we don’t have to learn everything the hard way.
Last but not least, one could make the case that crafting empathy is the supreme goal of stories. No empathy, no expansion of consciousness – neither personal nor collective. Social progress is the history of men and women creating novel empathy for neglected people and social groups. Leo Tolstoy accomplished this extraordinary feat with Anna Karenina – mind he was a man. Les Miserables drew attention to the poor and sick, and Uncle Tom’s Cabin uncovered the intolerable life of African American slaves. All Quiet On the Western Front gives readers a sense of the dread of war. Memoirs of a Geisha reveals the good and bad times of female Japanese entertainers, and Changeling allows us to feel with women who suffer from cryptic abuse. The Elephant Man reveals what it is like to be a kind soul in a freakish body. Many stories that promoted novel empathy became classics.
The Eight Crafts of Writing will be published on the 6th of August. I already collected a few kudos from writers and editors and I’m as excited about the launch as my Scorpio personality allows.
I prepared two promotions for the book launch:
A) You can receive a free copy of The Eight Crafts of Writing in exchange for leaving an honest review on the day of publication. Reviews are the manna of indie authors, which they live on while stumbling around the writing wilderness. 😉
B) You can pre-order the book with the following benefits:
- You will get The Eight Crafts of Writing for half the price ($4.99 instead of $9.99)
- You will get a copy of the beta of the supplementary book The Eight Crafts Navigation System free of charge ($9.99 value once published). The Eight Crafts Navigation System is a guide for authoring and writing stories and details a step-by-step manuscript revision management method.
I will update both books, The Eight Crafts of Writing (the map) and The Eight Crafts Navigation System (the navs), every three to six months, adding new content and making improvements as you are used to from apps and games. Once you bought the books, these (lifetime) updates are free of charge.
If you want to have a free copy in exchange for an honest review on the day of publication, please follow this link.
If you want to pre-order the Eight Crafts of Writing and receive a free copy of The Eight Crafts Navigation System, follow this link.