How to write fiction

5  reasons to write fiction learning a new language

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Yeah, undoubtedly to write in your mother tongue gives you the advantage of the local flavor. Unusual idioms and synch with everybody’s ideas instead of having a genius telling them what to do,… There should be marvelous phrases to salt pepper the tones and environments. I mean, narrative should be all this. Pompous, fat and overdressed words.

To write in your own language saves you taxing annoying downpaths and it is easier to memorize the grammar rules since you already learnt those at school. It is easier to learn new words or to stablish your own style.

So… why to learn a new language? Up to very little, there weren’t as much books about how to write fiction in Spanish. Most were manuals on grammar and spelling (spelling can be awfully more complicated in Spanish) It’s dwindled on editors to sell you courses as doors to the publishing world to become one of the published guys.  All for only 1500 euros. Isn’t that attractive? To be able to get yourself soaked in this kind of knowledge? And by published guy I mean anyone who writes.

(1) People write in English by reading to authors who write in English whilst people write in Spanish reading to people who write in Spanish. The same in French, Russian, Vietnamese.. Missing on the opportunity to read great books the way they were constructed around in their own languages. You can’t really notice how a plot works, unless you read the thing in the original language.  Wodehouse will never work in Spanish. Truly.

Do you think I read Cathy Birch, Chuck Wendig or Sarah Domet with Google translator? Nein[1]! Besides that, the best short story tellers were Russian. Aha.. now tell me you have Hemingway, Faulkner or Bradbury. Still, isn’t Chejov a must for any writer? Are Russian as good in Russian or even better? What the bloody heck do Russians say about their president, that’s not the same said in the western media? Have you noticed how translated poetry becomes graceless in your language?

Therefore, learning a new language is not a total waste of time. (2) Jorge Luis Borges, the Argentinian guy; learnt by himself…I don’t really know how many but he learnt them and he was a kicking ass writer. To have access to that stuff almost impossible to get outside its original language that can help build your authority. Of course, nowadays the fashionable browsers restricts searchs to the available stuff in your language, closing in and limiting what we have access to.

And yet (3), there’s nothing like browsing in another language cause you will land in the most unexpected stuff.

It can be used to give tone or mood (4) to characters or to whatever it is that they think about. Authors like Tolstoi or Elizabeth Gaskell quote in other languages and that’s interesting in a way more lasting than mere novelty.

Aren’t you convinced yet? (5) What about delaying or holding dementia? To speak a second or thir language helps you to be more open to new ideas. Besides, keeping your “small gray cells” active since it requires rewiring sinapses. Protecting your brain from being pigeon holed.

Milan Kundera explains in “The insufferable lightness of the being” that there are some words whose existence can only happen in a language and that language alone. To know these words, to be able to understand them, opens your creativity to new styles. Plus, writers are usually well versed in more than one language.

Can you imagine yourself in another language? Do you think it would be fun to write in a different tone? Dale like, suscríbete, odialo, tomálo. ¡Haz algo!

[1] No, I happen to be impervious to German. It doesn’t seem to like me at all. Russian feels a bit sympathetic. French amusedly shows off how much it is related to English. And Korean… well Korean is pretty much like a hard to get woman.

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