Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A New Distraction

The book that I am working on right now, was actually started to distract me from fretting about the query business and also because the plotting for my MG  Paranormal Trilogy was not going too well; a result of excess adherence to all the Writing Craft books I am reading and trying to follow. I got so fed up with stressing over the Inciting Incident and raising the Key Question in the reader’s mind, that I temporarily put that book on the back burner. I will return to it next year.

This new book  I am writing, I feel it is like a cuddly teddy bear (the reason I called the story cuddly is because it has come to my mind at a time I badly needed a story to distract me by embracing me in its warmth and letting me forget everything). 

I cannot deny the immense help that writing craft books have to offer, after all they have been written by experts who know what they are talking about, but too strict an adherence to these tips can be detrimental to one’s inherent writing skills. As a writer, I have both my share of strengths and weaknesses and no amount of reading craft books can help me, if I don’t actually sit down to write that first draft. For me the world- building happens as I write; then the characters start whispering their secrets and revealing their stories to me.

My current literary playmate is a new book, something I am pretty excited about. I am writing in the First Person Narrative for the first time. For this book, I have just the beginning and the end in my mind. The rest of the story is unfurling every time I put pen to paper. Every time there are new words on the paper, I am surprised to see my story grow and characters too grow.

For me the two characters appeared in my mind and now its time for me to tell their story. I have realized that with this book I will follow my instinct and go with the flow; without any pre-conceived notion of technique. The book may not find a publisher, but I will know with a certainity that I wrote something I was passionate about.

What about you all? Do you follow writing craft books strictly or do you follow your own story telling abilities. What do you think is the correct method of story-telling? Is it writing what one is passionate about or following what craft books endorse?

P.S. I am taking a blogging break  for few days. My next post will be on 3rd Jaunary 2012. Here is wishing all my writing friends and blog buddies a Merry Christmas and a Wonderful and Joyous 2012.

27 comments:

Yeesi7 said...

I am reading your post after such a long time despite your updated post here in the blog.

It's good to that you are writing a book again--M kind of privileged to read your next book. Good Luck Madam Rachar and hope to see your next update sooner.

Merry Christmas. Have a wonderful time!!!

Carole Anne Carr said...

Put that cuddly teddy of a story down and get on with the real work! Advice I very seldom take, but know I should. :0)

Angela Ackerman said...

It's important to remember that while craft books are good, we learn a lot by DOING. :) Sometimes writing is the best medicine.

Have a wonderful holiday Rachna!

Angela @ The Bookshelf muse

J.C. Martin said...

Isn't it wonderful when your project blossoms and takes on a life of its own? :) Good luck with it. I believe that the advice in craft books are merely guidelines, not strict rules to adhere to. Use them if you find them useful, but always go with your final gut instinct.

Have a wonderful X'mas and New Year! See you in 2012! :)

Rachna Chhabria said...

@ Yeesi7...thanks for your wishes. I am going with the characters in this book. No heavy duty plotting.

@ Carole..thanks for the advice. The reason I called the story cuddly is because it has come to my mind at a time I badly needed a story to distract me.

@ Angela...Writing is indeed proving to be the best medicine for me. No amount of brainstorming helps unless and until we actually sit and write that story down.

@ J.C Martin..for this story its my gut instinct all the way. I agree with you that writing craft books are great if we treat them as guidelines and not drive ourselves nuts trying to strictly follow them.

Robyn Campbell said...

Rachna! Write my friend. Your writing is the best how-to in the world. No amount of anything else is better. I too am writing a story in First person. It's very different, isn't it? But fun!

Merry Christmas and a happy 2012. Write on, Rachna! Smooch!

Mark Noce said...

Glad that you keep getting such positive vibes off your writing. It puts me in mind of a study I read where they examined how so many artists had peculiar personalities, but it turned out that authors typically write in order to stay sane. I know I do;)

SBJones said...

They are guides, nothing more. You don't have to have a hook, but knowing about them and why they seem to work is more important. The same goes with try/fail scenarios. Having the main characters loose their struggles instead of always winning.

Why does Star Wars, Harry Potter, even things like The Blindside and Rudy all seem to be great stories? They all share the same elements that make stories great.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I love craft books, but I take from them what I need. The one thing I've learned is that there is no ONE way to do anything when it comes to writing. The abundance of craft books proves that. :D

Dave King said...

Shall miss you, but have a great time - and hurry back to us!

Jenna Cooper said...

Writing and loving it is what really matters. After all, if you don't love what you write, why would anyone love to read it?

penandpaints said...

I'm glad to hear you're so excited abut your new story.
I must admit to owning only one writing craft book. I don't like to spend too much time being told how to do, I just like to get on and do!
Best of luck with it!
Have a lovely Christmas!

Saumya said...

Great post and questions! I follow some advice from writing craft books and then allow the story to flow after. I try to take pieces from different books because I don't want anything too formulaic. Hope that your new book is awesome!

The Red Angel said...

It's exciting that you are writing in the 1st Person for the first time! I always find it nerve-wrecking to try out something new, but I think it's important to constantly challenge ourselves with new ways of doing things (not just in writing). In fact, the other day I wrote a real song for the first time - it was hard but so worth it!

Best of luck with your current writing projects! I think it's great to consider suggestions and tips in writing craft books, but we shouldn't feel guilty or second-guess ourselves if we don't feel like following them strictly. Every writer is unique in style, regime and preferences, after all!

~TRA

The Red Angel Blog

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Friends, I have realized that craft books should be used as guidelines and one should not go crazy trying to adhere to every thing the writing craft books prescribe. That's what I am going to do henceforth. I will follow my own story-telling instinct when it comes to writing as I know my story best.

Hope you all have a wonderful holiday season.

Misha Gericke said...

I do my own thing and read writing books for tips on how to improve my writing. Some of them I incorporate in my method, the rest I acknowledge and disregard. ;-)

Rahul Bhatia said...

Fortunately I follow you only as a mentor;)Wishing you a lot of happiness in the New Year!

Life Unordinary said...

writing in first person - is it difficult or is it like blog writing?

Have a wonderful new year Rachna!

Ruchi Jain said...

Best of luck for your book,,

Julia Hones said...

Hi Rachna. I have read a number of craft books but nothing helps me more than reading other authors that inspire me. I mean reading their stories. Reading fiction is the best teacher. Then I do my own work, of course. Good luck with your writing. Happy holidays!

Medeia Sharif said...

I take "the rules" into account, but I get completely absorbed in another world when I'm writing something I'm passionate about. I use advice when I see fit. I'm not a stickler to rules.

Happy holidays.

Mark Noce said...

Sounds like the Muse is singing to you, always a good thing:) I'm still down to read your ms if you're up for it:)

Peggy Eddleman said...

A lot of times, I go with my gut on plotting, and then make things a lot stronger during revisions based on craft books. I think when you read a lot of craft books, the things they teach become natural to you. You'll probably get to the end of the book you're writing, and find that you've adhered to the "rules" more than you ever thought you were. :)

Misha Gericke said...

Hey again. Just stopped by to wish you a happy new year. May it lead to many joys and finished manuscripts. ;-)

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

I think sometimes you do have to put a WIP away for awhile and work on something new. Writing in the heat of passion helps you remember why you like to write, and you are building writing skills you can take back with you when you return to the book you put aside. I do both: I try to apply what I learn from writing books -- but not on the first draft. Sometimes not even on the second draft. I really use that writing advice for the revision process, because it helps me to identify what's working and what isn't and why.
BTW, I left an award for you on my blog. Stop by and pick it up when you return on January 3rd (and pass it on.)

Karen Lange said...

Hope you are enjoying your break! :)

Angela Ackerman said...

Happy to help Rachna! Hope you had a great break!

Angela @ The bookshelf Muse