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|I Am Writing a Novel and Need Some Help by Zahymaka(m): 10:17pm On Jun 14, 2006|
Hello. I'm working on a book called The Farce set in the Niger Delta. There's an excerpt below. I'm not in Nigeria at the moment, and will not be for a while.
I started doing research on the Niger Delta - especially the Ijaws - before I left Nigeria, but now I find my knowledge is especially limited. Is anyone familiar with the way forces like Ateke Tom's group (Niger Delta Vigilante), the Niger Delta People Volunteer Force (NDPVF) headed by Asari Dokubo.
I'm also interested in the 'Egbesu' boys. My intent is not to portray them as villains - I'm using them as a reference for a fictitious vigilante group that strikes companies and people alike but is unaware that their leader does not have their best interests at hand - he's not Ijaw or even Niger Delta but a traitor working for a traitor in the government. I'm afraid I can't say more because I'll b leaking my plot if I do so.
Could anyone give me pointers on what books to read [I'll buy them from Amazon], and / or his/her knowledge of the region [I lived there for 13 years but I need to see things from somone else's perspective].
Thanks a lot.
|Re: I Am Writing a Novel and Need Some Help by Zahymaka(m): 2:46am On Jun 17, 2006|
Here's the excerpt.
Due to some copyright issues, and the fact that I get uncomfortable leaving my work all over the web. I've pulled off the excerpt. You can read it online on my blog.
|Re: I Am Writing a Novel and Need Some Help by hotangel2(f): 9:46pm On Jun 19, 2006|
First things first, I have no idea whatsoever about the people u need information on.
But I like the excerpt and i really would love to see how it ends. The little part i read carried me along, and i hope the whole book would be that way.
Delta people, will y'all pls come out n help a brother out?
|Re: I Am Writing a Novel and Need Some Help by Nobody: 10:11pm On Jun 19, 2006|
Great write up Zah! I write too, i have two novels already.
I like the way your story flows, the flow of the story makes you almost visualize the scene you are presenting to your reader, which is a hallmark of all great novels.
What's the story line for your novel? Do you have predetermined characters? i realise most of my stories flow along as i write and i can create characters along the way, i usually start with a few prominent characters and add as i go along. Usually good stories expand as you write, remember to add a few, not so connected scenes that inject a little bit of humor in your story and hold the attention of your reader. i'll post some excerpts of my own stories in a short while.
Nice to meet someone who writes too!
|Re: I Am Writing a Novel and Need Some Help by Zahymaka(m): 10:21pm On Jun 19, 2006|
Thanks Davidylan - now I know I can meet a 'Doctor' for advice everytime I have soke writing 'ailments.'
When writing I create the 'psyches' of my lead characters but the other ones can always be anything - I believe that's important in any work.
I've been writing since I was 8 but most of my work ended abruptly so this time I'm determined not to let myself down.
By the way, since you're here wih me in the US - could you recommend any books that cover Vigilante groups in the Niger Delta - their ethics, code of conduct, leadership etc etc?
|Re: I Am Writing a Novel and Need Some Help by Nobody: 10:24pm On Jun 19, 2006|
I haven't come across any books on the nigerdelta so far. your best bet for now will be to read through foreign sites, BBC, NEWSWEEK, TIMES, they should have some write ups on the niger delta. Try and read some history too, it will help.
I mostly write fiction, ive never tried my hands on history styled novels before.
Yeah, happens to almost everyone, started writing as early as 12 but most ended in the thrash can until my parents got one published.
Keep it up bro!
|Re: I Am Writing a Novel and Need Some Help by Zahymaka(m): 10:30pm On Jun 19, 2006|
It's not really history. To create an authentic looking but ficitious vigilante group, I have to understand the way the real ones function so that I can 'clone' them.
I've tried the media but most of the media coverage I can find shows them as barbaric and such, which is not my intention [I don't intend to portray them as heroes either but rather as misguded fellows].
Some questions would be:
Where do they live?
What kind of settlements would they favor for good defence?
How are they recruited?
These are just some of them. . .
I think I need to ask my mom back in Nigeria. The problem is she's just learning how to use a computer [and that's just to talk to her son who's studying in the US ]. My Dad will definitely not want to type something that long.
|Re: I Am Writing a Novel and Need Some Help by Seun(m): 10:32pm On Jun 19, 2006|
Novelists should try to be user-focused if they want to sell.
|Re: I Am Writing a Novel and Need Some Help by Nobody: 10:34pm On Jun 19, 2006|
hmmm, you would have to search real deep to get that much information. Nigerians are not very good history keepers, you an check some nigerian writers who have done a bit of research on them before. i will check for some for you and let you know.
|Re: I Am Writing a Novel and Need Some Help by Zahymaka(m): 1:09am On Jun 20, 2006|
Thanks a lot every one.
|Re: I Am Writing a Novel and Need Some Help by phebby: 4:42pm On Jun 23, 2006|
I THINK THE LADY THAT WROTE "PURPLE HIBISCUS" CHIMANDA WHATEVER HAS SOMETHING ON WHAT URE LOOKN FOR,IF U'VE EVER READ THAT NOVEL ,THE STORY LINE RELATES TO WHAT URE LOOKN FOR,WHY NOT TRY THAT?
|Re: I Am Writing a Novel and Need Some Help by Zahymaka(m): 5:20pm On Jun 23, 2006|
I'm not really writing along that line. I'm writing about the Niger Delta vigilante groups that exist in Nigeria.
|Re: I Am Writing a Novel and Need Some Help by markesh(m): 10:49am On Jul 03, 2006|
The vigilante groups are just groups of village boys. There is no real structure, apart from a loose command structure. Most of them are the young men who usually drive okadas around, but seeing that they have nothing to do, they join those groups.
Fact of the matter is this : vigilante groups in the niger delta are hardly dangerous, and they know it themselves. They have guns and all, but they don't actually use them. They are there to make money, and they know that killing would take away all chances of them actually making the money.
On the other hand, the Anti-thief vigilante groups such as the Aba Bakassi boys are a totally different matter. They are strongly structured, they have money, and they revel in the power they have. They are actually brutal, they kill people and they know that they get stronger the more fear they inspire.
Which of the groups are you interested in?
|Re: I Am Writing a Novel and Need Some Help by Zahymaka(m): 12:12pm On Jul 03, 2006|
Thank you markesh. I'm more interested in the ones plaguing the Niger Delta, kidnapping oil workers and threatening to blow up installations -- I beileve they are more structured than what you're talking about.
|Re: I Am Writing a Novel and Need Some Help by IBBFan(m): 10:47pm On Jul 05, 2006|
just so that i don't lose this thread, this post is to tell you that i'm going to bed now but will be back later to put what i think i can get.
|Re: I Am Writing a Novel and Need Some Help by inspira(f): 10:32pm On Jul 12, 2006|
pls i also want to write but i have no idea on how to develop an intricate plot well.do i have to practise a lot ? anyway i also want to write for mags,advertsand all that
|Re: I Am Writing a Novel and Need Some Help by jite(f): 3:13pm On Jul 17, 2006|
I lived in the niger delta for 10 years and all i heard about the vigilante groups was a lot of rumours, So i don't have anything solid to give you. I'll be going back there for a couple of months so i'll keep my eyes peeled and find out as much as i can. nice writing
|Re: I Am Writing a Novel and Need Some Help by SvS(f): 6:52pm On Jul 17, 2006|
@zah i rily loved to read it
kudos to u man!!!!
|Re: I Am Writing a Novel and Need Some Help by Zahymaka(m): 7:00pm On Jul 17, 2006|
Thanks. . .
I lived there for 13 years (1991 - 2006) but I feel so embarassed that I know so little about the area. Thanks for offering to help -- and for the compliments.
|Re: I Am Writing a Novel and Need Some Help by Neoteny(m): 9:31pm On Jul 17, 2006|
interesting, zahymaka. im an amateur writer myself but i lean more towards horror than the human condition. i like the way ur scene description draws this atmosphere, but i think u lingered too much on the car scene bit. when someone goes into a car they definitely switch the engine, shift into gear and drive off and thats unremarkable in itself except something else interesting happens in the car or the motions of starting out are meant to convey some specific state e.g. fatigue, resignation whatever that aids the narration. my own problem is i tend to overdraw my characters and obsess over mental atmospheres. right now im working on a story about this photographer who captures disturbing blurry images of a ghostly child in all his shots and hence is seeking answers. whether he has a terrible past and what its connection to the child may be is the main body of work but im having trouble drawing the right atmosphere cos in trying to create this moody aura of foreboding i slip and over-describe and the whole thing seems to drag on forever in just a small scene. i guess i need help with ideas so why dont we all collaborate by suggesting, criticizing, commending, and toosing ideas? will post a segment of mine soon. and i guess the best way to properly write about the Ijaw vigilantes is by spending time with them and talking to them cos history has a habit of distorting facts.
I had this really weird idea onetime of a plane crash in a remote village, where at the crash site no bodies were found cos they all became the living-dead haunting the villagers but the govt suspects the corpses were carted off by the villagers for some occultic rituals and the govt agents intimidate the poor villagers but before i could decide on WHY the victims became zombies someone said that it was disrespecful of the BELLVIEW crash victims.
|Re: I Am Writing a Novel and Need Some Help by Ka: 11:38pm On Jul 17, 2006|
I just chanced upon this thread, and well. . . what can I say? Great stuff (as usual).
I think it's good that you want to portray a realistic setting. . . but I think that the information already out there in the public domain is enough for you to use as a framework, and then within that framework, you can spin the story any which way you want.
For example, to answer your questions:
- Where do they live?
Do you mean "what sort of physical structures do they live in"? Well, nobody knows for sure, but this is where your imagination as a novelist comes into play. I think it's realistic to suppose that given the scenario, they might be living in the forest in some huts or makeshift camp. Or they might be living in neighbouring villages only to congregate whenever they need to carry out their operations.
- What kind of settlements would they favor for good defence?
Well, they may not be a cohesive body - as I mentioned above, they may operate on an ad-hoc "hit and run" basis. Or perhaps they are a close knit unit, in which case their settlement could be a series of camps deep in the creeks and inaccessible to anyone who doesn't know the area.
How are they recruited?
- From youths in surrounding villages by word of mouth?
Note that these aren't facts - they are just plausible scenarios which might or might not be true. The important thing is that your story should sound realistic.
|Re: I Am Writing a Novel and Need Some Help by Zahymaka(m): 2:16am On Jul 18, 2006|
Thank you Ka.
Neoteny, thanks for the critique. Here's pne of my two attempts at horror.
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