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Jihad: Writing is about the human condition. But the human condition is a big, messed up gnarly thing - and guess what, if you're human, you're living it. Fiction is rarely about people with nice, stable well-adjusted lives who understand themselves and others, get along well, and are generally happy. Jihad doesn't usually mean "holy war" but ...


12

This is a big problem for me, because I don't really get the human condition to begin with. If you are human, then whatever your experience is by definition part of the human condition. The human condition does not refer to things that all humans experience. It refers to all things that (some) humans experience. My entire life can be described as only ...


7

What you've been told is true... From a certain point of view Stories are interesting because they are about people, and people are interested in people and the relationships between them. However, this does not mean you have to understand more than others how human interactions work to write an interesting story. Not exactly, anyway. You reference ...


5

Maybe you are trying to write a type of story (Feelgood?) where your natural tendency to cynicism about humans would be a bad thing? How about trying something darker? E.g. Thomas Harris's "Silence of the Lambs" and his other books come to mind... But there's also much literature that doesn't go deep into the human mind. E.g. action, thriller, ...


4

The human condition can be observed from different angles; yours is uncommon enough to be very interesting. Exploit that. You'll see things others are missing, and as you say, you sometimes see clearly through layers of deception that would cloud average people's perception. Since you are not entangled in these deceptions you don't have to be considerate, ...


4

It's not necessary to "understand humanity" from the point of view of others; your own point of view is sufficient. Write what you know. Write as an outsider looking in. Write about your perceptions of other people, not how they appear to perceive themselves. Perhaps reading some classic examples of outsiders in fiction may increase your confidence ...


3

Do you understand space and time? No, you don’t. No one does — our knowledge of physics has not got to the point where it can explain what space or time really are. That doesn’t stop you from writing about everyday experiences of space and time — “I went down the road to the supermarket last Thursday”. In the same way, you can write about the human condition ...


2

I'm writing an answer to address a point I don't think anyone else has brought up, except in an oblique way. A lot of people are saying that "if you're human, you're experiencing the human condition". This is technically true but maybe not the most helpful way to answer the question: "But what is the human condition?" If you asked 100 ...


2

You are free to change a story's POV through the story. You can see this technique used in many novels that contain multiple plots and subplots. Dune, Game of Thrones, Count of Monte Cristo, and many more novels to name change the POV in between chapters. It is an effective technique to build tension and sustain suspense since it can lead to engaging cliff ...


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