The Worst Advice I Have Ever Heard About Writing

Ladies, and gentlemen. Members of the jury. Today, I will be writing about writing. Yup, guilty as charged.

I have a little dilemma. Actually, let’s call it, “Thinking out loud.”

Be honest if you ever tried this.

You have an interesting idea, and though it is about your life experience, somehow there is a universal theme. Something that can be googled. So, you type the keywords, and you try different variations. Before you know it, it has been an hour and your browser window is filled with dozens of open tabs.

All within your theme. And maybe some on the edge of it.

The point is you end up being overwhelmed with some ten, twelve thousand words and you shout, “Oh Shit! All of it is already written.”

You feel sad, even depressed (Though that’d be technically wrong, sad and depressed are on the entirely different spectrum). You pace in your room and after a while, you end up wandering through parks.

Suddenly you get an epiphany, “Hey! How about I modify what everyone has written, add my own experience, and voila, I’ll have the best blog post ever.”

What? It’s only me?

Hmm, Shit.

So, back to the matter at hand. You reread the twelve thousand or so words, and you start modifying it. You know, changing synonyms, shuffling, adding and whatnot.
Hours pass, and you end up being exhausted. You check the word count and shit. Only four hundred words.

Flashbacks anyone?

Liars.

I have said it countless times (I am not joking), there isn’t a point to originality. There is nothing new under the sun. And yet when we write from memory, our words flow smoother. All right, maybe not smoother but better than the whole modified writing.

Isn’t it interesting?

When you write what has already been written, there are two ways to do it. One is by experiencing it. Some of us experience by reading too, so let’s keep it aside for this point. All right?

Right now, let’s talk only about real life experiences.

When we write what we know, we end up giving the words a personality. It is true. Swear to God.

Creative fiction is all well and good, but every piece of fiction has a shred of reality. There isn’t any other way.

Writing what we know. The only mantra I follow.

Shit. I am back on the same kind of post I have written dozens of times. Like I said, there isn’t anything new under the sun.

**
Via Daily Prompt: Agile

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What To Write When You Don’t Know What To Write

Tailor-made fiction or writing what you know? That’s one debate I had been having with myself for last ten months.

And I’m sorry to say but there is still no consensus view on which my mind agrees.

Maybe the critic in me is just a dick with very high standards, you never know. I write well when I don’t think, the moment I think I become too critical to write.

I Know, I know, it sounds strange.

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Now from what I’ve read, it seems like I might have been wrong. Analysis by paralysis is just too common.

Continue reading “What To Write When You Don’t Know What To Write”

Not Every Story Is Worth Telling

There is a saying, “Not every story is worth telling.”

You know, I have the perfect answer to that. If such a thing was true, if every story wasn’t worth telling, shit, so many scriptwriters would be out of the job.

It is a struggle which we often have. What should I write about? If I write another post about writing, wouldn’t I be cheating? Won’t I be another hypocrite?

At least I think that way.

Let me tell you a little tale. A treat, maybe.

Yesterday, one of my good blogging friends, Grabbety Covens reblogged an article by Mr. Funk E. Dude. Give it a read. Believe me, it’s beautifully written.

Continue reading “Not Every Story Is Worth Telling”

My Ritual Before I Start Writing

I always have to give myself a pep talk before I start writing. Every time. 

Every God damn time.


So, you’re wondering what’s the pep talk, right? Well, here it is.

It’s OK to write the way you are writing. After all, you are writing for yourself.

It seems to be the holy grail of pep talk aimed at writers, right?

Writers write for themselves.

But come on, let’s not lie. What fun would it be to craft stories if no one read them?

Today, I was reading Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian.

Side note, give it a read. You’ll thank me later.

The point of referencing the book is this, in the story, the narrator is a fourteen-year-old boy, and that’s why this book is brilliant. The writing style was true to its narrator, not the writer. I know, I know, it sounds confusing, but hear me out.

What’s the first advice any creative writing teachers gives? Show. Don’t tell. Right?

Now, tell me this, when you were fourteen, and you used to write, did you use to write elegant description of trees, roads, houses?

If you replied yes, then stop, don’t read any further. This post isn’t for you. Sorry.

But if you said no, well, I made my point.

A straight dive into the chaos. Once again.

Sherman actually wrote from the point of view of a fourteen-year-old. Man, that’s some crazy shit.

If you ever read the entire bibliography of an author, you’ll see there worrying style evolves with time.

It’s natural. Change is the only constant. Like death’s the only absolute truth.

The point being, we, as budding writers, are so fixated over some textbook definition of creative writing. We are so worried that we miss the whole point of writing. To live life twice. Once with our senses, and again with our words.

Do you really need me to spell it out for you?

Ah, idiot.

Write whatever comes natural to you. The rest is for the editors.

via Daily Prompt: Finally

Who Is At The Centre Of Your Novel?

Let me ask you one simple questions.

All of you, yeah, you, the one who is reading it, eyes glued to the screen. You do wish to write a novel someday, right?

Answer me this then, what is at the centre of your novel?

No, it isn’t the plot.

It’s something rather trivial. Idiots that we like to call characters.

A troubled youngster. A beautiful girl. A lead mother you can empathize with. And whatnot.

When I wrote my first novel (No, it isn’t published. Yet.), I knew all the characters at the top of my hands. Well, I did because I was all the characters.

After all, I have said it thousand times by now, all first novels are autobiographical.

So, I knew exactly how the lead will behave to any conflict.

The second one which I want to write, I want to take a slight detour for that. I do not want to write about my life once again. Well, it will have my life after all, what else can I write, you write what you know.

So, the point is, there is something we call character questionnaire.

Have you people tried it?

It contains bunch of questions, you know, like where does your character eat? What’s their favorite book? Who they call in time of distress?

You get the gist, right?

I’m about to give it a go. First time I didn’t. Like I said, I knew all the characters perfectly.

This time I need to do some work.

Thoughts?

Via Daily Prompt: Communal

It’s Called Fiction Block

A little while back (I’m too lazy to actually check the post) I wrote a post whose theme was somewhere along these lines.

The only person for whom I write is me. I write to discover myself. Every word unravels a new layer. Layers, my dearest. Everything consists of layers. I’m not a social writer, instead, I prefer writing in confinement of a dark room. Within the confinement of four walls, in perfect silence, my words create their chaos. My words, they call for themselves.

If only life was that simple. If only I could stay on that particular track for eternity. Instead, I’m contradicting myself.

Again.

If only life was that simple. A simple block of white and black.

Continue reading “It’s Called Fiction Block”

Update about the third draft

via Diary Of A Madman – Entry 25th October 2017 (Because I’m Running Out of Original Titles)

Well, hello their. Sorry again. Today was the second day of a continuous editing session and I don’t have the strength to write anything new.

Would you mind giving the link a read? I know it’s old but it’s still good stuff.

Oh, and the update. Completely edited the manuscript and I am done with the third draft. One final read and I’ll start making the cover letter. Or whatever it’s called, you know, the one we give to publishers alongside the manuscript. Well. Bye now.

I’m really tired.