The Art of Nu Scribes

by BookAuthor object scribe bio

Published by NuScribes ( on Sat 08 Aug, 2015 |

Book Cover Art

Welcome to NuScribes!

This little book here, is a work in progress, re-introducing writing to all aspiring writers out there. It is the objective of this little book, to cast writing in a whole new light, to inspire and help nurture the sprouting soul of the writer in each one of us. To both tickle and straighten the appreciation of writing as an art - a divine, mystical art at that. To introduce writing as we care about it here on NuScribes, and to introduce you, the potential scribe, to this wonderful haven of writers called Nu Scribes.

Don't be shy, go straight ahead and dive in...

The Presentation To Potential Nu Scribes!

What is writing?

  1. Writing is the drawing of symbols onto some medium that can be read or understood by the recipients.
  2. In most of the world today,  when people are being taught to write,  they are taught the English alphabet and the corresponding Arabic numeral system and English punctuation marks. And then they are shown; how to join these symbols together to start forming words, then how to join these words to form sentences, then paragraphs and eventually essays and or stories.
  3. Unfortunately,  many people stop there. They never try to progress beyond writing stories or essays spanning even a few pages - a lack of passion or initiative being the actual issue.
  4. But those that advance beyond those foundational stages,  manage to write not just new stories or essays,  but also progress to write remarkable books or entire collections that individually or in whole help to preserve and advance human literacy and achievement. Such people have been some of the most important humans throughout history,  because the ideas they managed to put into writing, have lived on for many years and centuries (some even millenia),  and they have influenced many men and women across many cultures and ages, including each one of us here today! Some of these great writers include:
    1. Writers of the Bible,  the Quran and other religious books.
    2. Scientific writers like Isaac Newton (whose "Principia Mathematica" alone, almost shaped and guided all human scientific and technological achievements since his lifetime in the 17th Century up to now).
    3. Philosophers like Plato, the ancient Greek or Thomas Aquinas, a philosopher of the Catholic Church, whose ideas influenced and defined most of the dogma and doctrine in use by the Church up to today.
    4. Writers of great literature like J. K. Rowling, a lady whose imagination spawned such great fantasies like Harry Potter which millions of children and adults around the world find very exotic, entertaining and fascinating given current cultural norms.

What is the purpose of writing?

  1. First and foremost,  to communicate with other minds.
    1. These are normally other people
    2. But some writing can be done with the purpose of communicating something to yourself (e.g as a means of preserving an idea you don't want to forget in the future,  or as a technique of forcing your mind to reveal what it knows about something - but this is an advanced form of writing)
    3. You could also write as a means of communicating with non-physical beings, if you believe that they can read or see your written message. This is similar to prayer, where you might voice your thoughts and requests using words,  but in this case,  you just decide to write them down, if you believe that God can see and read your message.
      1. In this regard,  it's interesting to note that scientist,  when they were sending out the spaceships Voyager 1 & 2,  wrote a special messages on its surface alongside other forms of communication, so that if the ship should ever encounter other beings,  say aliens,  that they would read that message and learn something about humans.
  2. Because writing can be used to communicate,  we can use it to transfer any idea or thoughts (and even emotions to some extent), from one person to another. Thus, via writing, people can cause others to:
    1. Learn new things
    2. Share in their pleasure or pain
    3. Ask themselves new questions
    4. Recall certain things
  3. Very important as well,  writing is a powerful means of storing information and raw facts.
    1. It is for this reason that most people today even care to write at all - just to record information for future reference.
  4. Some writing is done just as art - for the beauty of looking at the written words or symbols. This is a form of writing known as calligraphy. And it can be very interesting to learn.

When and how did man start writing?

  1. Current research shows that humans started first attempted writing by drawing pictures on cave walls. This was around 40,000 - 35,000 years ago, with such drawings appearing in parts of Spain,  Indonesia,  France,  Africa and South America. The purpose of these early forms of communication is actually not clearly understood yet,  but most theories indicate religious applications.
  2. Man continued to explore writing, and the first evidence we have of true-writing (using symbols to represent spoken messages), appeared in ancient Sumeria around 32,000 - 30,000 years ago.
  3. These first writings were representations of numbers,  and it's believed they were actively used in the keeping of records concerning beer,  which was an important result of the cereal cultivation dominant in that area.
  4. This numerical writing eventually developed into symbols representing various objects,  like parts of the body and  animals.
  5. More abstract symbols were soon developed, to communicate even more complex things,  and this gave birth to one of the first alphabets called cuneiform.
  6. Cuneiform and later modifications of this language spread to Babylon and Assyria.
  7. Meanwhile,  the Egyptians had also developed their own pictorial alphabet, generally known as hieroglyphics.
  8. It is in this Egyptian system of writing that the first true alphabet emerged - with symbols representing sounds instead of objects.
  9. This Egyptian system would eventually spread out to Europe and Arabia,  influencing the writing systems that would eventually get adopted by the Greeks and Romans,  from which many of the European alphabets and writing systems eventually originated,  including English.

What has man achieved through writing?

  1. Through the written records of ancient people,  we've been able to learn many interesting things about how humans used to live many years before we were born.
  2. Through writing,  we've been able to learn the same lessons that were taught by great teachers of the past,  to the people of their times,  many centuries and years later. This is especially true of the priceless wisdom preserved in many religious, scientific and philosophical books.
  3. Writing has enabled people living in different parts of the world,  and in different times,  to be able to learn about each others culture, beliefs and secrets.
  4. Writers like William Shakespeare, managed to write so many great works of literature on their own, which works have inspired many forms of literature, drama, pick-up lines,  songs and other popular and less known forms of expression, many years later to this day.
  5. Writing has enabled mankind to progress at nearly the same pace, by enabling the sharing of new ideas and knowledge across the planet via books, newspapers,  letters,  magazines,  and in our age,  mostly via articles and electronic books accessible via the Internet.
    1. It is for this reason that writing and reading is very critically important in our times;  because the people that can't read and write are easily left behind add the rest of mankind continues to share new knowledge and ideas,  leading to progress.
    2. Also,  because we're in the information age,  dominantly driven by the Internet,  it is important that everyone not wanting to get left behind learn to read and write using computers and any device connected to the Internet - the age of physical books is slowly dying out.
  6. Also,  writing has increased the rate at which new knowledge and ideas are being generated and spread, especially since the advent of the Internet, beyond what it used to be in past centuries and throughout all mankind's past. This is a very exciting time to be alive for writers and readers alike.

What are the different forms and types of writing?

  1. Some of the forms of writing:
    1. Autobiographies : writing the story of ones own life or that of another.
    2. Reviews: writing your opinions, observations and criticisms, good or bad, about someone else's written work.
    3. Character Sketches: spending time, developing the various attributes that would best define and describe a particular character/person/animal in a story. This is usually one of the early steps a writer must do before developing their story, novel or play.
    4. Comic Strips: stories or ideas that are released periodically as strips of cartoons. These can also be compiled into a book, which then becomes a comic book.
    5. Diaries: these are like logs or journals of the key things happening in one's life and especially of personal nature or importance.
    6. Essays: these are often papers or articles written about a specific idea or set of related ideas. The four basic essay types are expository, descriptive, narrative, and persuasive.
    7. Instruction / How-Tos: these forms of writing, very common on the Internet, are the kind that enumerate and explain all the steps and requirements one needs to satisfy in order to do a certain task or accomplish a certain objective.
    8. Journal: this is like a diary, but doesn't only focus on personal aspects in one's life, but also records any useful or important ideas, observations, reflections, questions, etc that one might encounter during the course of their work or play, or on a journey. Keeping a journal is one of the most important skills that serious researchers must learn.
    9. Monologue: this is a story or play that takes the form of one, long conversation or speech, involving only one person - often talking to themselves or a passive audience.
    10. News Article: these are writings that explore Who, Where, When, What, Why, Which, etc of an event that has happened. The purpose of these articles is foremost, to inform the reader about the facts of an event that is being reported about, and then optionally give an opinion about it.
    11. Plays: written works that are meant to be performed, especially in theatre.
    12. Poems: these are specially structured, rhythmical writings that lie between prose and songs. Poems can be written in line with specific technical formats or can be done in free-form, according to no  conventional rules or style. 
    13. Prose: these are writings that resemble ordinary, plain talk - lacking any special structure or meter, and taking on an arbitrary form.
    14. Songs: these are written forms meant to be performed alongside music. Songs often take on the form of poems, and it's for this reason that some songs, especially those of Hip Hop can be considered to be poems.
    15. Speeches: these are writings that are meant to be used as formal addresses to a specific audience. For example, when a President is addressing his nation, or a King his people, they will often read from a pre-written document - the speech.
  2. Types of Writing
    1. Descriptive writing: this is a type of writing in which the writer tries as much as possible to make the reader experience whatever it is that is being written about. The writer helps describe the places, people, events of their writing, so that the reader can see, smell, taste, hear and touch them as though they were physically there. This is type of writing produces some of the most lively writing.
    2. Compare & Contrast: this is a type of writing in which the writer endeavours to highlight the similarities between things (comparison), or to stress the differences between them (contrast).
    3. Expository: this is a writing in which the emphasis is on explaining something or informing the reader about something. This type of writing is best when you wish to inform readers about something.
    4. Narrative: this is writing in which one tells a story or retells a sequence of events in the order in which they happened. It is a style typical of plays, biographies, stories, novels, etc.
    5. Persuasive: this is writing whose major purpose is to persuade the reader to accept or believe what the writer is trying to put across. It is common in political speeches and news articles, which are often meant to bias the listeners or readers towards some position.
    6. Technical Writing: this is writing that is predominantly factual, unambiguous and specific to a particular practical domain and topic. This form of writing is used heavily in science, technology, law and other highly technical fields, to give the reader an exact understanding and guidelines concerning a specific task or subject. Technical writing usually is void of speculation or opinion, and may not even take the structure of literary writing. User Manuals that come with many electronics devices are common examples of technical writing. 

How does one become a good writer?

  1. Well,  there's no secret to this,  all one had to do is start by writing, then make writing a hobby or habit and they could very easily turn out to be a remarkable writer with increasing experience and exposure!
  2. But to really become a professional writer, one needs to start taking their writing more seriously:
    1. Learn about the different forms of writing  - especially literary forms : poetry, prose, short stories, essays, novellas, novels, plays and more.
    2. Learn and master at least one or two forms of writing
    3. Heavily read other people's writing to acquire diversity and appreciate style
    4. To share their writing with as many people as possible so as to have their work critiqued and enjoyed.
      1. For students or aspiring writers, this can mean having to join a writer's club so that your work can be exposed to other writers and enthusiastic readers, and so you can get better feedback and make friends in your art.
      2. Also, try as much as you can to leverage the Internet - many people who can read today, can also use the internet. Thus, if you can, please endeavour to put your written work on the Internet so that it can be read by anyone around the world. This also means, as a writer in this Technology Age, you must learn to type your work using a computer, and must learn how to publish your writing online.
      3. If possible, start a blog on the Internet so that your readers can follow you or give you feedback, also stay up-to-date with your latest publications.
      4. Start writer's and reader's clubs in the places where you stay - you'll be amazed what kind of people turn up for such gatherings. Enjoy your writing career.
      5. Start sharing your writing as a gifts to your friends or relatives, say at their birthdays, parties, etc. People are very likely to read your work if they have directly received it from you, and especially if it was given to them as a gift. 
    5. Identify a master of writing, especially one whose works you admire most, then try to be even better than or like them.
    6. Write,  write, write!
      1. You'll know that you are indeed a good writer, when you start to see yourself writing even in your dreams! Oh, and when this happens, don't forget to bring those dream writing projects or ideas back with you when you wake up - nothing beats a dream, when it  comes to creativity and imagination.

Does writing pay?

  1. It depends on what kinds of reward it is that you hope for with your writing. Not every writer writes for money or fame.
  2. Their are many ways in which one could get rewarded as a writer, including but not limited to:
    1. Money from publishing contracts - a publisher sells your book on your behalf,  and you share the profits with them.
    2. You sell the rights to your book - you are paid a big amount once, and then whoever bought the rights to your book starts selling the book to recover their money and make some profit as well.
    3. You could make money by charging those using your written work in commercial projects like making movies or plays, news papers,  websites etc.
    4. You could make money by charging those who come to listen to you reading the book to them.
    5. Some writers just want their work to be read but as many people as possible - they want fame or want to make an impact on the world. For these writers, money doesn't matter as long as their writing becomes popular.
    6. Some writers target specific people,  and they don't mind make their work free as long these people get their message.

Audio books - the modern oral tradition

  1. Why?
    1. Because, before man could write, he first learnt to speak, and this continued to be so even up to this day. And so, for the majority of living humans, even if they can't read, if you spoke to them, they would understand.
    2. We are in busy generation - many people have abandoned writing and reading because they consider these activities to be unnecessarily cumbersome and time-wasting. In this fast-paced world, many would rather watch a Movie than read a book of the same exact story, or watch a Youtube video instead of reading a short essay about the same content. 
    3. Many have split attention - reading a book will mostly likely require one to give the text undivided attention while they read, something that many might find overwhelming and distressing in this day and age. Thus, a writer wanting to target such people had better create audio versions of their books, such that people can just listen to them as they go about their preferred activities.
    4. Speaking is more natural than writing - thus, when spoken, the target audience is likely to pick up the intended message in a more natural way than if they had to pick it up from a book.
    5. Audio can be richer than writing - with an audio book, a play can actually be recorded with natural conversations as would happen in real-life, with each character assigned a voice characteristic of their profile. Also, in such contexts, natural and artificial sounds and sound-effects can be incorporated into the book to add richness to the words and to give the content depth and render it more palatable to an otherwise predominantly sensual readership.  
  2. How?
    1. There are many ways one could get their written work shared as audio, the following are some means:
      1. Read-Out-Aloud : this is the simplest, most common means of sharing a book in audio - by having the author themselves, or someone else, read out to an audience listening in during a live session. This method is actually how certain literary forms such as speeches are best delivered, but also poetry, songs and plays employ this technique a lot.
      2. Record with your phone: many, if not all phones today, have installed on them some app with which one can record not just random sounds, but their own voice. These apps (which might vary in features and quality of recording) can easily be used by a writer to turn their written work into an audiobook that one can easily share with friends and their world via social-media and other means. For this method, just open the program, start recording, and as the phone records, read the contents of your writing or book as though you were reading to a room full of listening people.
      3. Go to a professional music studio and have an experienced sound producer or sound engineer record, edit and package your audiobook. In this case, you might need to invest some money, and also spend some more time working on the book, but the end results are guaranteed to be the best of all methods you might choose. This is the most recommended way of producing an audiobook. 
        1. In this regard, as a modern book publisher and platform geared at nurturing writers and boosting readership, NuScribes (introduced below) is planning on setting up a professional service geared at transforming the written works of all its resident writers into audiobooks, and for extending this service to any writer regardless of whether they are on the platform or not, that might want to leverage this publishing approach.

Creative Thinking: a most important skill for any writer

(to be finished)

And as for how to get started learning to think creatively? The BEST resource online that I know of thus far is the LESSON 1 here and LESSON 2 here.

What is NuScribes and what does it mean for (aspiring) writers?

  1. First, it's a publishing platform : meaning, a writer can bring their manuscript to us and we can transform it into a book that is ready for the world to read.
    1. For now, all content published on NuScribes is FREE, but writers have the option to make their written work commercial, or to even keep their work accessible to just a select few - we support private publishing as well.
    2. And as far as publishing is concerned, for those who are technical enough, once signed up to NuScribes, a writer can draft, edit and publish and distribute their books via the platform, entirely on their own, at NO COST!
  2. It's a community: we are moving around, physically and on the Internet, welcoming writers both young and old, to come be a part of one big writers community on NuScribes. Also, we hope to allow readers of the content on the platform to get more from it than just the books, by allowing them to interact with the writers and each other.
  3. It's a Movement: NuScribes embodies a spirit of wanting to awaken the mostly sleeping Africa, to rise up and start telling and preserving her story for those alive now and many generations to come. It's been said that "If you want to hide anything from an African, then put it in a book". Well, this is so unfortunate, because we are living in an Information Age, and anyone not ready to consume or produce information is likely to be left behind. It's even worse now than before - the unfortunate saying can be rephrased "If you want to hide anything from an African, put it on the Internet" , and surely, if we don't wake up and take action starting now, Africa is likely to be left behind. So, NuScribes is a movement whose core objective is to encourage Africans to write and read more, by leveraging the Internet.

How to publish your writing via

  1. Visit with your browser.
  2.  Then navigate to the section "Writers and Publishers"
  3. Read and follow the instructions therein, concerning how to apply as a writer.
    1. The only reason we require our prospective writers to apply, is because we want each writer joining the platform to be familiar with the objectives and guidelines of how to publish via NuScribes, and also to help forge a personal relationship with each member of our writing community where possible - so as to keep the community united and flourishing by leveraging each others strengths.
    2. Also, for those just getting started with publishing their writing, there might be a need to nurture and guide them with getting their first work published, so as to keep the standards of our published material high and fresh.

Go forth, become Nu Scribes!

Equipped thus, step out, pick a pen and paper, or just open a writing app on your favorite device, and start writing your way to becoming one of the best scribes that ever lived. Go forth and become Nu Scribes! Oh, and Happy Scribing!