Friday, 11 March 2011

Fiction Writing: signs and symptoms

Fiction Writing:
Signs and Symptoms of the Condition, Possible Causes and Treatments

This particular condition has been known for many hundreds of years and indeed is not always confined to the penning of fiction, although that is the most common cause in this present time.  It is easy to pass it off as a condition not requiring too many resources or much time but, for the individuals concerned and their families and friends, it is indeed a severe problem.

Ø      Fiction writing is a fairly addictive affliction
Ø      Usually indulged in solitude 
Ø      Involving alternate worlds and people 

Symptoms include

v     Staring into space
v     Soundless muttering; in extreme cases this murmur has been known to erupt into full volume
v     Absented-mindedness
v     An obsessive need to collect notebooks and or pens of various patterns and hues; curiously often they will never be used, merely displayed
v     A tendency to believe imaginary characters are real, and many times the writer may be heard wondering what such and such a person would do/think/act in any particular moment
v     A chaotic lifestyle
v     Neglect, of self and those around them
v     Guilt is an overpowering effect often leading from the former
v     Fear of failure can be particularly paralysing often leading to
v     Despair and desolation.  This symptom also occurs when ‘rejection slips’ are delivered.

Causes are many and not fully understood as yet.  Reading voraciously has often been quoted and certainly an active imagination is involved.  Some experts would say curiosity that extends past childhood is a contributory cause. As with all disorders presenting numerous symptoms, it can be difficult to detect until fully raging, therefore being difficult to treat.

Treatment is difficult unless caught very early. As with all addictions the whole family have to be involved for it to work. Withdrawal symptoms can be intense and, unless monitored, catastrophic. 

Sometimes outright rejection of the writing produced will work but care must be taken to ensure dark depression does not then result.

Huge success of any particular piece of writing can alleviate the darker side of the addiction and, if managed well, can help the patient’s family in many ways.

Blocking does not seem to work for long, writers are ingenious in the schemes they can hatch to make time and/or opportunity to engage in this pastime.  

Containment is the best that can be hoped for in many cases.

A fairly new treatment with merit is the use of social networks.  It has been noted that networking with other sufferers of this condition helps lift the isolating effect, bringing cheer, encouragement and much-needed TLC in times of despair.  Although a recent treatment, results have been impressive and can be recommended for a trial period.

WARNING:  The  fiction writer, by the very nature of the condition, has an addictive personality and it has been noted that social network sites themselves are also addictive.  A close eye must therefore be kept on the writer during this period and time on the sites monitored. 

Happy writing everyone- keep smiling!


  1. It seems I am afflicted with this addiction. I suppose there's no cure....thank goodness!:) Now I must go listen to what the voices in my head tell me to write :P

  2. This is great! I've particularly noticed the absent-mindedness symptom. *laughs* I can't help the characters' voices are louder than other people's. :D

  3. Great post! I uh..would like to report that I too am afflicted with every single bullet point. I'm going to go count my notebooks...

  4. This was one of the best posts I've seen so far. I absolutely love it. Just loved it. Thank you for the post.

  5. LOL! My husband would concur that I resemble this post in every particular. What is funny, is that he encourages my adiction. Good man. ; )

  6. My kids would agree with the neglect issue. Sometimes I find them talking to me and realize I had no idea they were even in the room, as if they just materialized out of nowhere. I think they're used to hearing me ask them to start from the beginning.

  7. It's a condition I suffer from so post was written form personal experience - so nice to know of other like minded people out there - we do not suffer alone!!!!!!!!!!

  8. This was funny, and um, just a bit familiar :)