Thursday, September 6, 2012

Writing a book

Earlier this summer my dad was trying to convince me to write a fantasy novel.  I had been describing my design for my new DnD campaign including a substantial amount of world backstory and he felt like I should really turn it into a book.  I was pretty skeptical because I don't feel like I am especially talented at writing fiction.  (Here's where you zing me about everything I write being fiction.)  That said, I do have time and I could use a project... so what to write about?

I think the answer is definitely not a fantasy novel.  I am passionate about gaming but I am not passionate about writing a fantasy book and if you aren't that interested in your first book you aren't going to get anywhere, particularly since most people who write first books are desperately interested and still almost universally get nothing in return.  What I would be interested in doing though is writing a book about atheism for the general public.  There are already good books out there like these three which give good reasons to believe in evolution, find fault with religion, and logically deny the existence of God, and honestly I am not qualified to write something that would compete with any of them.  However, what I think I am qualified to do is write about how a non believer can interact with believers in ways that both support skepticism and critical thinking as well as avoid needless confrontation.  Not that I mind confrontation, mind, but I think having stumbled around the subject a lot myself I can write useful things about how to do it better than I did.

Being a Nonbeliever in a world full of Faith.

Conscientious objection to religious assumption

The Atheist's Bible

I Don't Believe That but I Don't Mind if You Do

I just keep spewing titles.  Some of them seem clever, some seem kinda foolish, but one thing I am fairly sure of is that an author who spends a lot of time rewriting the title of a book which isn't even started yet is going nowhere fast.  There is probably a big correlation between fussing over the title before writing and never actually writing anything of substance at all.  Sitting at my desk creating my 15th new title in an hour is doing it wrong!

I suspect there are a lot of people out there who aren't believers and have some issues with things like saying grace before meals, religious education, religious ceremony at weddings and funerals, and other places where conflict between believers and casual nonbelievers arises.  Non believers run the gamut from hardcore atheist preachers like myself to people who are agnostics or deists without even knowing those terms and I would hope to write something that would be useful for all of them.  Having a book that talks about constructive ways to get people to understand the perspective of someone who has objections to religion could be a great thing to have.  This is my first step:  post about my idea in a public forum so people will keep asking me about it to try to give myself a kick in the pants to actually write something.  Perhaps I shouldn't try to leverage my social network to push my nose to the grindstone but it seems like it might just work.


  1. Stop watching American politics and start writing!

  2. A low risk way to publish is by publishing an e-book. Looks like Amazon does it for $99 and you get to keep all royalties. An example of a short book is at this link:
    The guy who wrote this is the editor of UK progressive magazine. Seems like he publishes a series of ebooks about 70 pages in length then eventually sells them together as a paperback (this batch looks at religion in current american politics).

    The link to Amazon epublishing is below: