Tuesday, November 3, 2020

November IWSG Post and Why I Write

 

Whew! Finally 2020 has nearly reached its end. A topsy-turvy year, a year full of anxiety. Most of our well-laid plans went for a toss, due to a small virus that played havoc all over the world. 2020 will leave a lot of scars for sure.

We have reached the second last month of the year. And as it is the first Wednesday of the month, it’s time for our monthly IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) post. In our posts we talk about all aspects of our writing, our discussions center around our manuscripts, our books, characters, stories, revisions, plots, editing and everything about publishing and marketing our books. Do visit the IWSG website.

IWSG, online writers’ group was started by the fabulous Alex J Cavanaugh, a multi-talented, all-rounder: author, blogger, musician and a wonderful person, ever ready to spread goodwill and cheer, constantly supporting other writers. Alex is the author of several amazon bestsellers: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars, with more bestsellers on the way (Psst, he is currently working on another book that too will join the bestsellers’ list, I'm sure.)

My awesome co-hosts for the November 4 posting of the IWSG are: Jemi Fraser, Kim Lajevardi, L.G Keltner and Tyrean Martinson. We look forward to visiting all your blogs.

November 4 question - Albert Camus once said, “The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.” Flannery O’Conner said, “I write to discover what I know.” Authors across time and distance have had many reasons to write. Why do you write what you write?

I write, else all the stories floating around inside my head would drive me crazy. And all the characters living in my mind will stalk me till I go bonkers, and unless and until I  let them out into the world, in the form of stories and books, they will keep screaming in my ears.

What about you all? Why do you all write?

 

 


Wednesday, October 7, 2020

October IWSG Post and my definition of a Working Writer


2020 is inching to an end. 2 more IWSG posts before it disappears forever into 2021. I just hope as it goes away, it takes Covid-19 along with it and as 2021 arrives, it brings with it a vaccine.

Having met my deadline, currently I’m enjoying a few days of reading, eating, sleeping and taking it easy, because, within a few days I’ll be starting my new book.

Today is the first Wednesday of the month and it’s time for our monthly IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) post, where we talk about all aspects of writing, our discussions center around our manuscripts, our books, characters, stories, revisions and everything about publishing and marketing our books.

IWSG is online writers’ group, started by the wonderful Alex J Cavanaugh: author, blogger, musician and an amazing person: kind and generous with his time and energy, who loves supporting other writers. Alex is the author of several amazon bestsellers: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars, with more bestsellers on the way.

Do follow the IWSG website for lots of writing and publishing information.

October 7 question - When you think of the term working writer, what does that look like to you? What do you think it is supposed to look like? Do you see yourself as a working writer or aspiring or hobbyist, and if latter two, what does that look like?

For me the term working writer means a writer whose entire income comes from writing: books or other writing assignments. To me it also means a writer, who writes for a living and doesn't hold any other job. I consider myself a working writer, as all my income comes from writing: books, free-lance assignments for newspapers and magazines. And I make it a point of writing every day. 

What about you all? Do you consider yourself a working writer?

 

 

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

September IWSG Post And My Dream Beta Partner

 



3 more IWSG posts to go before 2020 bids us goodbye. This year can fly past and I won’t mind at all, neither will you all, I’m sure. Though I’m writing a lot nowadays, sadly my reading has taken a beating. But I plan to catch up with my reading after September when my deadline ends, by giving myself a few days to read and eat and sleep.

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and time for our monthly IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) post where we talk about all aspects of writing, our discussions center around our books, characters, stories, revisions and publishing.

IWSG is online writers’ group, started by Alex J Cavanaugh: author, blogger, musician and a wonderful human, who loves supporting other writers. Alex is the author of several amazon bestsellers: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars, with more bestsellers on the way.

Do visit the IWSG website for amazing tips on writing, publishing and marketing, interviews with industry professionals and contests.

September 2 question - If you could choose one author, living or dead, to be your beta partner, who would it be and why?

Though there are many authors I would like as a beta partner, as I write children’s books, I would choose Roald Dahl, because I love the fun elements of his book which also have characters like Mathilda, James, George and Sophie who tug at the reader’s heartstrings. And I also love the crazy words he invented and the quirky characters he created. I could do with infusing that kind of humour in my books.

Looking forward to reading who you all would choose as your beta partner.

P.S. Hope all of are well and staying safe.

 


Wednesday, August 5, 2020

My August IWSG Post and my Writing Style


Due to this pandemic raging across the world, the months are flying by in a state of anxiety and lockdowns. The eight month of the year has arrived, this is one year that can fly past quickly and I won’t mind at all.

Luckily for me, as I am writing so much, I don’t feel the impact of the situation that much, as my mind is on my book. This time I remembered the IWSG post in time, well before the first Wednesday of the month rolled into view.

IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) is an online group of writers, posting on the first Wednesday of every month. We writers are so fond of discussing our writing, talking about books, characters, stories, revisions and publishing, that I’m sure other than another writer, no one will be interested in our conversations. Our IWSG posts usually focus on our writing related issues, worries, fears and doubts. Do visit the IWSG website, its full of amazing and informative posts.

IWSG was started by the talented and brilliant allrounder Alex J Cavanaugh: writer, blogger, musician and a wonderful human who has taken it upon himself to help fellow writers. Alex has many other aces up his sleeve. Alex is the author of several amazon bestsellers: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars, with more bestsellers in the offing.

August 5 question - Quote: "Although I have written a short story collection, the form found me and not the other way around. Don't write short stories, novels or poems. Just write your truth and your stories will mold into the shapes they need to be."
Have you ever written a piece that became a form, or even a genre, you hadn't planned on writing in? Or do you choose a form/genre in advance?

I usually choose a form or a genre in advance, that way I know exactly who my audience is, what my style will be and what word count I should restrict myself to. This way I save myself the trouble and the hassle of explaining to an editor why I veered so much from the general form. Though I take liberties in the story, but I stick to the form/genre in general.

What about you all? Do you all choose the form/genre in advance or it’s the other way round?


Thursday, July 2, 2020

My July IWSG Post and Industry Changes



I can’t believe that I forgot this month’s IWSG post. On 30th June I reminded myself that the next day was IWSG, but when the first Wednesday of the month loomed into view, I completely forgot about the IWSG posting. Blame it on Covid-19 Pandemic.

The cases are increasing in India and my city Bangalore decided that it didn’t want to be left behind. From just a few cases, we are now in a hurry to catch up with other cities. The positive cases have been shooting up from the past few days. This monster is now coming closer and closer to us.

I decided to post, even though it’s a day late.

Now back to IWSG. IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) is an online group of writers, posting on the first Wednesday of every month. As we writers love to discuss and also grumble about our writing and publishing, atleast I do, our IWSG posts usually focus on our writing related issues, worries, fears and doubts. Do visit the IWSG website, its full of informative posts.

IWSG is the brainchild of the creative, talented and brilliant Alex J. Cavanaugh author of several amazon bestsellers: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars.

July 1 question - There have been many industry changes in the last decade, so what are some changes you would like to see happen in the next decade?

In India the publishers are playing safe by publishing more non-fiction, more books with hooks (partition, disability, history, mythology). Fiction has become a hard-sell here. I would like the publishers to get more adventurous in publishing, try more fiction and play with different genres. I would also like less interference from the marketing and sales teams which currently call the shots, leaving the editors at their mercy. And I also want the publishing process to be much quicker and the royalties and advances to be higher.

Will be hopping over to all your blogs today. Stay safe friends.


Wednesday, June 3, 2020

June IWSG Post and my Secrets


Most of us want 2020 to pass fast, as we all just want to put this year which brought the Covid-19 pandemic into our lives, far behind us. Like everyone else I too want this year to get over quickly or a miracle to happen where the world gets a medicine that can get cure us of this miserable virus. I’m also praying for a vaccine, but I know that won’t happen fast. Luckily, I’m so busy writing that all my anxieties are at a distance, watching me from far.

Another saving grace is that it has started raining in Bangalore and the cool winds are a pleasure. Many other cities in India are hot and some hotter.

Now to focus on IWSG. This time I was ready with my IWSG post. IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) is an online group of writers, posting on the first Wednesday of every month. As we writers love to talk about our writing, we also love grumbling, atleast I do, our posts usually focus on our writing related issues, worries, fears and doubts. Do visit the IWSG website, its full of informative posts.

 IWSG is the brainchild of the creative, talented and brilliant Alex J Cavanaugh, the author of several amazon bestsellers: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars.

 June 3 question - Writers have secrets! What are one or two of yours, something readers would never know from your work?

Let me think what are my secrets. One would be that I’m a very insecure writer, always thinking that I’m not good enough, that my writing sucks. Whenever someone praises my writing or story, I feel they are lying. My second secret would be that every time I get bugged with someone, I base my antagonist on them, by giving the villain in my story, their traits. Promise me that you won’t reveal my secrets to anyone.


I’m looking forward to reading all your secrets, I’m sure they must be naughty 😉.

P.S. Hope everyone is keeping safe!






Wednesday, May 6, 2020

May IWSG Post and Getting into the Zone


Right now in India we are in our third lockdown, in my city the lockdown was eased from 4th May. Schools, colleges, religious places, restaurants (only takeaways are open), gyms, salons, clubs are all closed. Masks are mandatory, social distancing a must, buses, metro and autos aren’t plying on the roads. IT professionals are working from home. This will continue till 17th May.

But luckily for me my time is occupied with my writing. And I’m more than ready for this IWSG post. IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) is an online group of writers, posting on the first Wednesday of every month. As we writers love to talk about our writing, our posts usually focus on our writing related issues, worries, fears and doubts. Do visit the IWSG website.

 IWSG was started by the brilliant Alex J Cavanaugh, the author of several amazon bestsellers: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars. Alex can’t your super powers find a Covid-19 Vaccine?

May 6th question - Do you have any rituals that you use when you need help getting into the ZONE? Care to share?

When I need help, I deliberately stop writing, allowing my actual writing to get done mentally, while I’m going around doing my chores. My subconscious mind starts to unravel the plot mess I’ve got myself into. Once the clarity happens, I then start writing. You can say I ZONE out to ZONE back in. The few times I’ve tried to write through it, hasn’t happened. So, getting away from it is the best thing for me.

I’m eager to read about how you all get into the zone?



Wednesday, April 1, 2020

April IWSG Post and the Covid -19 Pandemic

For the past few months the world has been gripped by Corona Virus, which is now galloping at a furious pace and spreading its vicious tentacles to the remotest corners of the world. Most of the countries have imposed lockdowns to safeguard their citizens from this deadly virus. Social Distancing is crucial at this point.

I write this IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) post while battling a lot of anxiety and fear. IWSG is an online group of writers, posting on the first Wednesday of every month. Though we usually talk about our writing related issues, worries, fears and doubts, this time all of us have just one worry- the covid-19 infection.

 IWSG is the brainchild of Alex J Cavanaugh, the author of several amazon bestsellers: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars. Alex can’t your super powers do something?

April 1 question - The IWSG group's focus is on our writers. Each month, from all over the globe, we are a united group sharing our insecurities, our troubles, and our pain. So, in this time when our world is in crisis with the covid -19 pandemic, our optional question this month is: how are things in your world?

This situation in India is getting worrisome. We are currently in a 21 day lockdown from 25th March to 14th April. These next few days will be crucial for India, it will decide our country’s fate where the covid pandemic is concerned. All our social media is flooded with Corona Virus news, there is no escaping it. To distract myself I’m trying to focus on my writing.

For a change I’m not going to say that I’m looking forward to reading all your posts, because I know that all the countries are under the covid -19 grip.

I pray for each and every one of you, to be safe and healthy. I pray for everyone. I hope Corona Virus leaves us soon, that some miracle happens soon, that a vaccine is made soon. All I can do is pray.



Wednesday, March 4, 2020

My March IWSG Post and Using My Family Traditions in my Books


January and February flew away into the sunset super fast and March marched into our lives quickly. The last few months I have been writing so much, that my brain has become scrambled. No wonder I am coming up with these silly lines.

It’s time for another IWSG Post. IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) is an online group of writers, posting on the first Wednesday of every month. In our posts we talk about all our writing related issues, worries, fears and doubts, and get support and help from other writers. Do check out the IWSG website.

IWSG is the brainchild of Alex J Cavanaugh, the author of several amazon bestsellers: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars. A warm-hearted human, Alex has several clones helping him, no wonder he writes such amazing books so fast, catches up with his thousands of followers by visiting their blogs and leaving his sweet comments there and gets the time to play his guitar. Alex, help me out, I can do with a couple of clones.

March 4 question - Other than the obvious holiday traditions, have you ever included any personal or family traditions/customs in your stories?

In my last book Festival Stories Through The Year (HarperCollins Children’s Books) I have used a whole lot of our family traditions in certain festivals. India is so culturally diverse, that families celebrate the same festivals differently. During my research I wasn’t getting proper information on a particular festival, hence I used the customs my grandmother followed, which are now being carried on by my mother. And luckily for me as one of the characters in my book belonged to my community, it was easy peasy to introduce my family customs. And the best thing is that character has become a firm favourite with the readers.

What about you all? Have you all used your family traditions and customs in your stories?


Wednesday, February 5, 2020

My February IWSG post and a Photograph that Inspired Me


I have deliberately slowed down the pace of my writing in the last few days. In the middle of January I managed to meet my deadline and submitted my manuscripts to my editor and now comes the waiting game. Waiting isn’t easy. But that’s life. In the meanwhile I’ll catch up on my reading, until the revision notes pour in.

Then I realized that it was time for another IWSG. January just flew away like a bird. But I’m glad that I wrote a lot in the first two weeks of the month, but after that it was nil writing. Its Sunday night here in India and I’m scheduling my IWSG post, well in advance. How is that for being organized?

IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) is an online group of writers posting on the first Wednesday of the month. Our writing posts usually hover around our writing insecurities and worries and more often than not other writers help us out with their words of advice.

Though I have only met one writer Elizabeth Vardan, when she visited India a few years back, I feel like I know many of these IWSG writers personally, especially Alex J Cavanaugh, who started this wonderful group. Don’t know why I feel a connection with Alex and few other writers, like they are my close friends. Alex Cavanaugh is the author of several bestsellers: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars. A warm-hearted human, helpful and kind, he is universally loved, though none of us have even seen his picture. That’s because he is shy.

February 5 question - Has a single photo or work of art ever inspired a story? What was it and did you finish it?

In my case it would be a big YES. Many years back I saw the picture of a dog online and that picture inspired a middle grade novel. Though I did submit it to a couple of agents, it didn’t work out. I hope to revise it in a few weeks and start submitting it.

What about you all? Has a photo or work of art inspired a story or a book?

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

January 2020 IWSG post and How my Writing Journey Started


The first IWSG of 2020 is here. A new year. 12 months of new opportunities and growth. 365 days of writing and reading. 2020 somehow has a nice ring to it.
Insecure Writers Support Group or IWSG is an online group of writers posting on the first Wednesday of the month. Our posts can be on any aspect of our writing, a complain or a celebration, an achievement or an anxiety. But we insecure writers are smart, we often make the IWSG question of the month the focus of our post.

The IWSG website is a wonderful source of information. IWSG has a Twitter Pitch Event coming up on 15th January. Do check the website for more details on how to participate.

IWSG is the brainchild of one of my favourite bloggers - Alex J Cavanaugh, Alex has several bestsellers to his credit: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars and more on the anvil.

January 8 question - What started you on your writing journey? Was it a particular book, movie, story, or series? Was it a teacher/coach/spouse/friend/parent? Did you just "know" suddenly you wanted to write?

I think it was my degree in Journalism and Literature in college that started my writing journey. I also think the seed for my writing dream must have been sown in my childhood, when my grandmother narrated a story while making me eat everyday. My voracious appetite for stories made her run out of new ones, so she would narrate the same story for a week, changing the ending every day.

As for the book, movie, story or series, I want to write them all ;)