Friday, August 15, 2014

Struggling to balance everything

Guilt. The emotion that has caught me in its deathly grip. From the past few months I am feeling very guilty about missing in action in the blogosphere. Though I am posting once a week, it’s been quite a struggle coming up with a blog post. Most of my posts are last minute efforts. And let’s not even talk of visiting my blog buddies’ blogs and leaving a comment. I am unable to visit most of my regular blog buddies.

Sometimes I feel I am juggling too many balls in air, glass balls at that, and more often than not, it’s a struggle trying to keep all the balls safe. If I concentrate on my blog, I am losing out on reading books. If I read books then it’s my blog that feels ignored. If I am paying attention to my feature writing for the newspapers, I am late in correcting my students’ assignments. And when I correct piles of assignments, my manuscript is ignored.

And my current work in progress has been deserted from seven days. I am sure the characters are feeling left out and my muse must have gone away with his girlfriend leaving me absolutely uninspired. Even my reading fairy has disappeared. I haven’t read a single book from more than ten days.

I sometimes feel I am doing too much. I should concentrate on just a few things at a time. I have reduced my blogging days from twice a week to once a week. Even that has been further reduced. In the IWSG week, I skip my regular Friday posting. I have stopped playing Candy Crush (trust me that’s a huge tragedy), my long chats with my close friends has been drastically reduced (another big tragedy, but its saving me piles of money as the phone bills are pretty less now) I am doing everything to get more time to write.

The only thing I am sticking on to is my regular workout. If I had to skip that too, I would be one grumpy writer. Exercise energises me. I can’t do without it.

I am wondering how you all manage everything. Is there a time-turner you all possess? Are you all better at time-management than I am? Can someone please tell me how do they manage to get all their work done?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

IWSG Post – Trilogy Anxieties

Normally my IWSG post is scheduled atleast one week in advance. With so many things crowding my mind space, this month’s IWSG post had completely slipped my mind. If not for our omniscient Ninja Captain, Alex Cavanaugh, also the founder of IWSG, who came to know via telepathy that I had forgotten about it, so to make me (us) remember he mentioned it in his blog. Thank God for omniscient founders.

IWSG is a support group for writers which posts on the first Wednesday of every month. We encourage and support each other through our posts as well as talk of our insecurities, fears, anxieties and doubts. You can check out the IWSG website. To read the other posts click here.

From ages I have hopes that somewhere down the line I will write a trilogy. But, I am not one of the world’s greatest outliners. I prefer attacking a first draft than writing a detailed outline. Though I have a beginning, middle and end in mind when I start writing, I write quite a bit by the seat of my pants. For a trilogy, I am sure I will have to be a great outliner. Every small plot detail has to be meticulously planned. For that I would need to get a detailed plot outline written for all the three books.

I am anxious about the fact that my kind of writing style may not work for a trilogy. I am wondering how other writers tackle trilogies. Does anybody have any tips for me on how to handle a trilogy? For those who have written trilogies how did you manage? 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Adding real life incidents in our stories

This topic has been pecking my mind from quite some time. I am constantly thinking about it. Would it be right to add a real life incident into our stories? 

Would that make our story more realistic or would that be sensationalizing a delicate issue. Last month, a sexual assault on a 6 year old girl in her school in Bangalore sent shock waves all across the city. It led to protests, petitions and also a bandh yesterday.

What happened to that small girl was not only horrifying but tragic and traumatic as well. My heart bleeds for what she and her parents must have gone through. It’s like someone has snatched the little girl’s happy childhood and changed it with trauma and nightmare.

This morning due to rains I could not go for my usual morning walk. While lying in bed my mind frequently went to that girl. And suddenly a shiny new idea dropped heavily into my mind. The idea gripped me tightly while I was doing my workout. The shiny new idea involved a story about that girl. Even while I am writing this blog post my mind is throwing up several scenes.

I am wondering whether my working on this new idea would be cruel, I mean would it be me capitalizing on an incident or trying to sensationalize an issue. I know for certain that I would handle the topic/story very, very sensitively. There would be no frivolousness in it. But, it has me still worried. This is the first time a real life incident has generated a story idea in my mind.

What is your take on my predicament? Do think I should atleast outline the story and see where it takes me? Or should I just dismiss it off from my mind? What would you do in my place?