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WEbook Forums > The Water Cooler > General Chat > Questions about writing a novel
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Posted: 10/8/2014 9:52 PM PDT
Probably it could be an ideal politician instead of the perfect politician because that might hinder the credibility of such politician.
About the narrator being bipolar you can use two types of writings: One reflecting maniac episodes and the other one reflecting the depressive ones. The writings are totally different and their voices too.
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Posted: 10/8/2014 9:21 PM PDT
I was just working on an idea of not describing their appearance much, a symbol representing how looks shouldn't be more important than ideas.  I've got some research to do before I know if I can pull that off, maybe it's fiction taboo not to describe your characters.

As for my beliefs, I've come up with a plot angle I hope will make that easier to avoid.  The narrator's objective is to create this perfect politician, my objective is to show than solving the nations problems can't be done unless we stop attacking each other and work together.  The narrator's politics will be mine, the key will be to have the other characters correct him when he's wrong.  They're my political beliefs, but I'm human, some of them must be wrong.
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Posted: 10/8/2014 7:57 PM PDT
One thing to consider, the perfect politician isn't a leftist or a rightist, but a brand. Parties are elected based on ideology (sometimes), but politicians are elected based on a much narrower set of criteria that can often boil down to how they look:
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRMQUcesWUc
 
It's going to be very hard to not let your political beliefs bleed into your narrative - be careful. You may decide you want to be unbiased but later realise you have inserted your own ideas about how things should be into your story unconsciously. Beware of that. 


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Posted: 10/8/2014 7:05 PM PDT
Thank you so much for your help.  I've read The Catcher in the Rye but it's been awhile, I'll be reading both books soon, I appreciate the recommendation. 

As far as study, I agree.  I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 23 years ago and I've been a political junkie all of my life, but I'm going to need more than just my experiences to pull this off.  I've actually contacted a couple of people who write online journals to request their permission to use them as inspiration, the ones I selected are very open about what they're feeling. I've also purchased two political science text books, I'm really looking forward to reading them (They should be here tomorrow, but I should have paid for overnight, I'm that much of a geek.) I'm a strong conservative, but I want to have all major points of view represented accurately and fairly.  The story isn't about left vs. right but about people vs. politicians.

Regarding the non-fiction aspect, I'm planning more of a fictional memoir, the narrator starts an experiment with four friends, the goal to create a perfect politician despite their political differences.  Initially, the purpose of the experiment is to provide subject matter for a book the narrator wants to write.

I don't know if any of this will actually work, but it's the big idea right now.  Again, thanks for your quick reply. 



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Posted: 10/8/2014 2:51 PM PDT
For your question about 'voice', yes you can use your narrator's voice to add complexity to the story. The best way to learn how to improve your 'voice' is to read how other writers do this. A common trope in literature is the 'unreliable narrator'.  I have two recommendations, a pair of fairly short and simple novels, The Great Gatsby and The Catcher in the Rye. Watch how both books have narrators whose narration colours what *actually* happens in the novels. 
Second, you'd better do your homework on bipolar disorder. If you do want to use bipolar as a plot device you need to get a real depth of knowledge about it, so you can get it right. It would be good if you could talk with or get to know someone with the disorder as well. Preferably without them knowing you're studying (observer-subject phenomenon may alter their behaviour).

"My goal is to make it appear as if it's a non-fiction book about their ordeal."

This is hard to reconcile with your desire to use a narrator who puts a skew on things. Nonfiction books tend to try and appear objective, non judgemental, presentation of facts. Having a known narrator at all makes this difficult.

You also need to do some homework on politics and political science to get your four characters and their creation right. 

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Posted: 10/8/2014 12:52 PM PDT
Hello, I've got a couple of questions for a novel I'm working on.  It's my first and I don't exactly know what I'm doing. 

First, do you have a good recommendation for learning to use voice?  I'm looking for something really in depth, I'm playing with an idea that I think could be difficult to pull off.  My narrator has bipolar disorder and I'd like that to show, very subtly, in the narration. 

Second, what genre am I writing?  It's a political fiction novel centered around four friends with different political views who are forced to work together to create a perfect politician.  My goal is to make it appear as if it's a non-fiction book about their ordeal.  Where do I fit?

Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.
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