Times of Oman
Nov 27, 2015 LAST UPDATED AT 11:56 PM GMT
Hi SQU: The concept of one hundred novels
August 8, 2014 | 12:00 AM
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"Reading one hundred novels enables you to write whatever type of novel you want" was the answer of a story-writer to a student who wondered how to be able to write a novel. I believe, that all the people around the world have millions of experiences and stories they want to tell.

We do, for an instance, hear a stranger, a lecturer, a friend, a relative, or even ourselves telling a story or retelling an action that happened sometime in front of our eyes. Taking this into consideration, we understand that everybody who is literate  has the ability to write at least one and half a page telling a particular event within a story's plot. Yet is it enough to write a novel without a distinctive technique to end it, although we have the story's plot?  

The process of writing a story without enticing techniques allows to show if the writer is a good reader or not. To write, you should first put in mind that reading should be done for both learning and understanding the literary techniques in order to know how to write your story in a way that attracts the reader's attention. 

However, authors are not obliged  to read minimally one hundred novels so they write well; logically, as much as you understand what you read and analyse it methodically, you can write your own novel. So you can read just ten or twenty novels out of one hundred if you study every literary element they consist of. By this, reading gives you the power and inspiration to start your own  novel. The problem, nevertheless, is not in how many novels you should read to gain the ability to write, but in how to complete what you started writing. 

Sometimes you find yourself inspired by a novel you're reading and it pushes you to write your own novel, yet this inspiration is not enough to complete writing a novel of ten to twenty chapters. Writing requires having a rich imagination and information to create a life in a setting, not just telling actions; accordingly, it  doesn't only require reading but also a full imagination.

Writing a novel also requires being fair to the society you write for or about respecting it. This respect won't come from reading one hundred novels specially if they reflect other cultures and societies. For example, the novel "Salt" by the Omani author Badria Al Ismaieli that made a huge fuss in the Omani society, is criticised aggressively saying that she did not respect what the Omani society stands for. 

Now if this novel is taken out of its context and setting, away from the society's traditions and the Omani author's writing standards, can we still call it a novel since it is almost full of improper words and phrases? And what would be its fate after a century from now? Does the author's imagination oblige her to write this way even though not following a standard limitation? To answer these question one needs to read, study, and analyse the novel before deciding whether to write the same way or not . It will also help you to decide where and when to say to your imagination: "hey stop here!" 

Finally dear reader, we wish you good luck if you ever decide to start writing your own novel!

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