Friday, February 20, 2015

Changes we see in ourselves after we start writing

 I have noticed a few things about myself after I have started writing full-time. No, no, I have not sprouted an extra pair of hands (that would have been wonderful and with that I could work on more than one task at a time). I mean to say that I find myself observing everything around me with an intensity that was earlier missing.

Earlier whenever I was out in a public place, I would spend my time either chatting with friends and family or texting a friend. That way I would seldom study things around me. And that reflected in my writing. I would struggle when it came to descriptions and details.

Nowadays, I spend the time I am out of my house studying my surroundings, watching people, soaking in the ambience, and absorbing the details. I watch people’s expressions (without staring at them, else they would take offence or label me a peeping Jill), I listen to the sounds and notice the way people walk on the roads, or interact with each other.

I am not sure whether I should be saying this without coming across as pompous or sounding silly, but all this is making my writing better; a few agents have said that they love my descriptions, as have my critique partners. And I also find it easy to describe things without struggling for the correct description or words.

Observing things has become the new meditation for me. And the benefits have been amazing. I am enjoying my writing, and more and more shiny new ideas have been dropping into my head. My ideas folder has become fatter and fatter.

Have any of you seen such changes in yourselves after you have started writing more and more? What changes do you see in yourself after writing full-time?

Friday, February 13, 2015

When a new story tempts you

 “Does a story choose a writer, or, does a writer choose the story?” this question asked by a friend stumped me. It triggered a series of thoughts, each more puzzling than the next.

This question is akin to asking what came first; the chicken or the egg? Do we choose our stories, or, do the stories choose us? I think it’s a bit of both. The initial advances and overtures are made by the story; it comes knocking on our door, eager for us to tell the world about it.

Then we (the writers) take the second step; we mull over the story, decide whether it’s worthy of our time and effort. Perhaps we even do a rough outline.

The story teases and tantalizes us to follow it, throwing all kinds of temptations our way, seducing us with its newness and easy availability. Thoroughly seduced, head over heels in lust, we are completely smitten. That’s what a new story is doing to me. It’s an adult fiction, with elements of a thriller and romance in it. I think this story has chosen me to write it. It’s just not leaving me alone. To get away from it, I started another MG Fiction. But, my mind is always going to that particular story.

I am wondering whether I should give in to its charms. This will be my first adult fiction. I am slightly worried as it will be a big leap from middle grade to adult. There is so much confusion in my mind. To write that story or not to write. As I don’t want to waste time working on a story that I may not do justice to it. There are all kinds of doubts in my mind. Will I be able to write an adult fiction?

A friend forwarded me this link to write the first draft in 29 daysNext week I will start writing my new story. I think I can afford to spend 29 days working on it and see where the first draft is heading.

Any advice for me? Have you all written for different age groups? If yes, how have you managed it?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

IWSG Post – Doing too many things

The year has changed from 2014 to 2015, but our (a writer’s) worries, doubts, fears and anxieties remain the same. We are already into the second IWSG of 2015. IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) an online group, where writers can talk of all their writing problems with other writers, without worries of being judged or being labelled silly. Because, most other writers have the same fears and anxieties.

Ninja Captain, Alex J Cavanaugh (the author of the Amazon Bestsellers: CassaStar, CassaStorm and CassaFire and the upcoming Dragon of the Stars ) created this wonderful group. IWSG members post on the first Wednesday of the month. The IWSG website is a wonderful resource for writers.

This month my main worry is doing too many things. Not just me, I think this is happening to all the writers. Most of us have a job; either full time or part-time. Many of us free-lance as writers or editors. Then, there are the family responsibilities. Let’s not forget that we were all supposed to build a platform: blog, Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites as a part of our writer/author duties.

 I teach part-time in college, write features for the newspapers, do book reviews for a newspaper, maintain my blog, and ofcourse work on my manuscripts. How can I forget that?

To get more time to write, I have reduced my feature writing as well as other distractions. I keep my distractions to the minimum.

With so many balls that I am juggling, I always have the fear that I am not doing full justice to my stories. I often wonder what would be the result if I had loads of time to devote to my stories, blocking out all the other activities. Would I write better stories if all I did was concentrate on my writing? Would my world building be better if I had more time on my hands? Would my characters benefit from my undivided attention?

Do all of you feel the same? That you are doing too many things and having less and less time for the actual writing?