Friday, May 22, 2015

How Writers Can Drive People Crazy?

The other day a close friend of mine told me “ You are so different from other writers. For one you aren’t arrogant and two you don’t constantly talk of your stories and writing and three you don’t look down on people and four you don't keep correcting people's mistakes.” To be honest I was very happy with his assessment, but I was also unhappy about the view he had of writers in general. He also told me that his other writer friends drive him crazy.

This fun post is triggered by that thought. How Writers can Drive People Crazy?

Writers should talk non-stop about their stories to family, friends, neighbours, acquaintances and even strangers on the road, to the extent that people run away when they see them.

Dinner table conversations should only center around their stories. It should be me, my stories and my characters. If family members start eating dinner in their rooms, that’s their problem. The writer can still talk to an empty room as it will be full of his or her characters.

If people call or message us we should use the opportunity to our advantage by narrating our plotline or revealing details of our stories. If people stop keeping in touch, it’s really their loss. Writers can keep in touch with their characters.

Writers should start calling people by the name of their characters. This way even when we aren’t writing we will still be close to our characters.

Writers should accost strangers on the road and tell them that they remind us of our characters, especially our antagonists and eccentric characters. If writers get beaten up, they should consider this a part of the writing life.

Writers should and must start correcting people’s grammar and sentence structure. If people take offense or consider it rude behaviour, that’s their fault. After all once we take up the noble profession of writing, then it becomes our duty to correct people’s grammar mistakes and guide them, even if they don’t want to be guided.

Writers should look down upon non-writers. We who live in the world of words and stories cannot afford to breathe the same air as the rest of the population.

Do you all want to add any other way writers can drive people crazy? Feel free to do so in the comments section.

P.S. This was a purely fun post with no offense meant to anyone.

P.P.S. Be sure to check back on 1ST June when Ninja Captain Alex Cavanaugh will share his amazing tips on Developing Characters in our stories.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

IWSG Post – Avoiding Negative Thinking

Sometimes the IWSG topic just drops into my head. At other times I have to think long and hard. You guessed right. It’s the first Wednesday of the month and it’s time for our regular IWSG post. Insecure Writers Support Group, an online group of writers is a monthly hangout place where we writers troubled by a million insecurities discuss our anxieties, worries and writing problems with other writers. Other writers grappling with similar issues and insecurities completely understand us and they support and encourage us to stick to our writing and publishing path, inspite of all the odds stacked against us.

The credit for creating this awesome and inspiring group goes to Ninja Captain, Alex J Cavanaugh (author of the Amazon Bestsellers: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars). Check out the IWSG website for loads of useful information.

This month I want to discuss Giving in to Negative Behaviour. I am one of the few writers who has very few writing friends in India. Most of my writing pals are my blog buddies who are spread all over the world. In a way I am glad that I have only online writing pals.

The reason I am saying this is because I met an Indian writer online who I feel has only negative things to say about other writers, editors, publishing houses and the few Indian literary agents.

Every comment she makes is spiked with acid and full of insult. I have realized that she has only derogatory things to say about most of the other writers who have been published. According to her if one doesn’t know commissioning editors personally, one will never get published.

When I brought her behaviour to her notice, she accused me of living inside a protective bubble, a bubble which made me blind to all the politics, shenanigans and other crap that happens to writers. I am not denying that there are all kinds of games being played in publishing houses, where writers friendly with editors get their books published faster than other writers who submit via the slush pile. But, there is something called faith, faith in one’s talent that the slush pile writers must have.

I seriously feel that rejection has reduced her to this bitter state. Instead of working on her next lot of manuscripts, she revels in pulling down writers and even the entire system.

In my case I don’t want to query with a cloud of negativity shrouding me. I believe that good stories will find takers. I would rather follow Roald Dahl’s advice- “Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” I believe that my Publishing Fairy Godmother is beside me, scouting around for publishing deals. Call it childishness or stupidity, but I want to believe that there is a bright light at the end of my querying and submitting tunnel. That all my books will sit on many bookshelves one day.

Have you ever met such a negative person in your life? What would your advice to such a person be? 

Friday, April 24, 2015

The 11 Commandments of a Writer

Writing like any other profession has certain rules which writers should and must follow. I have made a list of commandments every writer should follow.

1. I shall not write to suit trends. Trends come and go. But the story in my heart that drives my passion, will endure.

2. I will not copy or lift ideas from another writer. I will work on my own ideas and if by chance I choose a theme/story/idea that has been done by other writers, I will give it my individual twist.

3. I will make Google my best friend and do all my research honestly and to the best of my ability.

4. I will worship my muse. Whenever the muse appears, I will pay him/her undivided attention and write. Maybe even offer ice-creams and chocolates and whichever other bribes work.

5. I will not stalk editors or agents on any Social-Networking platforms. Or act clingy by liking all their statuses and pictures. Or offer them home-cooked meals or pick and drop their children from school. Rather, I will ensure my writing is good enough to get me noticed.

6. I will get a critique group or maybe a couple of critique partners as critiquing is the easiest and the best way to grow as a writer, both giving as well as receiving critiques.

7. I will revise my manuscript until the Gods of Revision get bored of me and beg me to let them go.

8. I will be nice to other writers by buying their books: to read as well as give away as gifts, as this is good for the publishing industry. I will not invite bad karma by trashing their stories in my reviews.

9. I will expand my horizon by reading books. I will read atleast a dozen odd books in a year.

10. I will become a member of atleast one library in my area.

11. I will not be a sulky, grumpy writer who bad-mouths editors and agents who reject my manuscript/s or write nasty letters to them.

Any commandments you all want to add?