Friday, October 14, 2016

How Do I Write My Story?

I always have the beginning and the ending in my mind whenever I start writing a short story/a novel/a picture book/a feature for the newspaper. It’s the middle part that I get stuck in. I’ve learnt to circumvent that by introducing new complications, new characters or twisting the plot in another direction to keep the wobbly middle from drooping.

I always work on a basic outline for my books.

Inciting Incident. I start with the Inciting Event/Incident that is responsible for throwing the protagonist headlong into the path of trouble/conflict or problem.

Plan. It’s what my Main Character decides to do to thwart the obstacle, to bypass the roadblocks and overcome the Antagonist.

Game. Here I work on the protagonist and the antagonist’s strengths and weaknesses. Who has the odds stacked against them? Who is the Dark Horse? 

Changing Obstacles. The obstacles in my story keep changing growing in size and changing their direction and shape. This change of direction can get the protagonist into more trouble and make the antagonist more powerful. I also introduce sub-plots here.

Plot Twist. I like to have a few plot twists in place where I bring in new characters or put the protagonist in unexpected situations.

Dark Moment. I don’t know why I’m a big fan of this plot point. I always have this dark moment where my main character is left completely alone. He or she has to now trek the route to victory only on the sheer strength of his or her own efforts. External help may or may not come. But the fight that was started has to be waged and the battle fought.

Epiphany. I love this particular plot point. It’s the moment of illumination when things fall in place and the path ahead is clear as though someone has shown the protagonist a roadmap complete with detailed directions.

New Plan. With the moment of Epiphany I make the protagonist charter a new course of action, make fresh plans. I charge the scenes with tension.

Cliffhanger. The Cliffhanger brings my protagonist and antagonist together, not exactly face to face but both of them have their own plans to tackle each other.

Climax. Where the final battle is fought. The protagonist is all set to do or die, while the antagonist is all ready to kill or be killed.

Ending. Where perfect resolutions find their true place and all the loose ends are tied together. 

My stories are based on this outline but I also tend to deviate between these plot points.

How do you all write your stories? I would love to know your plotting method!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

IWSG Post - When do you know your story is ready?

I can’t believe that we have reached the 10th month of 2016. This year has flown past at an amazing speedy that’s made me giddy. It’s time for our monthly IWSG post.  IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) is the place we writers hang around online, sharing our writing insecurities, anxieties, worries, clearing our doubts and learning from each other. As all the writers are at different stages of their publishing journey, there is a wealth of information on the IWSG website. We post on the first Wednesday of every month.

We all have to thank Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh (author of the Amazon Bestsellers: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars) for starting this awesome group.

The October 5th Question: When do you know your story is ready?

When I feel I have done all that I can to get my story in the best shape possible, I know it’s ready for submission to editors and agents. When I feel I can’t change anything anymore I know that my story is ready to be sent out. And that is after several revisions with the help of my critique partners and my own frequent rereads.

Nowadays I trust my inner editor a lot. I know instinctively that I need to work some more on my story before pressing the send button. For my last manuscript which I will start querying from this week, I was reluctant to start querying for it as I felt that it wasn’t ready to be sent out yet.

I’m eager to read all your posts to know when you all know/feel that your story is ready.

Friday, September 23, 2016

I Wish……..

I wish I had Hermione’s Time-Turner wherein I could keep turning it to get extra hours in a day. Extra hours in which I could read both books and blogs. My To Be Read pile is so high with books: both old and new, that it may bury me one day soon. And how many ever blogs I visit in a day, I know I have missed many blogs.

I wish I could clone myself so that each Rachna could work on one book. At this point of time my mind is swamped with 3 stories : a MG Mythological Fantasy with Indian Gods: Ganesha and Kartikeya. I have written around 15 chapters. Have gathered a 100 page research for it and my brain is working out the plotline.

The characters of a dark fantasy which I had abandoned a few years back at 21,000 words are jumping around in my mind, screaming for attention.

And from Monday another storyline: a love story has settled in my mind. Sigh. I badly need clones. If anyone has any idea how to create clones please let me know (Alex, If you are reading this (I know you are), please tell me how you manage to write those bestsellers of yours, create music and visit a zillion blogs and still have time to watch movies and keep yourself fit. I’m sure all of us will be eternally indebted to you.)

I wish I could come up with low calorie versions of my favourite food. All the foods I love are so high in calories: Brownies, Ice-creams, Chaat, Pakoras, Halwas, Pizzas, Cakes and Cookies.

I wish I could invent a machine which burns my calories while I am sleeping. That way I can sleep for an extra hour everyday instead of wearing out the soles of my shoes while jogging and walking early morning and picking up all kinds of allergies.

What do you all wish for yourselves?