“Glimpses of a Glorious Past” : An Informal History of The Lawrence School, Lovedale

I am delighted to say that a book project in which I was fairly immersed for a year or more has finally been launched successfully. “Glimpses of A Glorious Past: An Informal History of The Lawrence School, Lovedale” has found a home in the website of the Old Lawrencians Association (OLA). It was formally released on May 22, 2017 at the AGM of the OLA by its President, Mrs. Rukhmini Reddy Krishnan, (Class of ’61).

The School, founded in 1858, is now over 150 years old. We therefore decided to break the informal history into three parts of fifty years each. Book 1 covers our Founder, Major-General Sir Henry Lawrence, KCB and the formative years of the school. It describes the first 50 years of this institution in the Victorian era of the British Raj.  Here is the link for you to read Book 1 online wherever you are and whenever you wish to do so.

 

The Lawrence School, Lovedale ( Estd 1858)

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Serial Fiction: An Update

On December 21, 2016, I had written with much excitement about  Serial Fiction, this being something new to me. As you may have seen, I then took the plunge as it were and wrote a short story called, “A Day In The Mall”.

This was serialized over four days with sequential installments culminating with the last on Christmas Day. I had to do this as the story had Christmas, the festival of giving, as the backdrop.

I was quite happy with the response this got and aim to publish more of serial fiction in this new year. Continue reading “Serial Fiction: An Update”

Serial Fiction: Can It Work?

From my reading, I believe the jury is still out on the question, “Can Serial Fiction Work?” As you know, serial fiction is a form of writing in which a novel is published in parts spread over time. Readers of early literature would know that authors like Charles Dickens were among the pioneers of this form of writing way back in Victorian Times. “Dombey and Son”, for example, appeared in serial form, hold your breath, 170 years ago!! That’s right. This story was written by Dickens in 1846. Thanks to theater historian, Kristan Tetens for her tweet which sent me racing to “Victorian Serial Novels.” 

Moving to present times, I was impressed by Lisa Manterfield’s offering of her free serial novel, “A Strange Companion.” . This set me thinking. Why don’t I try my hand at writing a serial novel, I asked myself.

Tom Farr writes in Medium about , ” 4 Reasons To Write Serial Fiction.” I was quite fascinated by the idea.

I have always loved to experiment and learn new things, even in the field of writing. My first two novels, “It Can’t Be You” and “Lucky For Some, 13” were published in the traditional way by publishers in India.

I also posted an anthology of short stories titled, “He Sees Everything & Other Stories” as an e-book  in Smashwords. Next came Wattpad where I published my third novel, “Let The Dead Stay Dead”. My learning from there: I should have serialized that novel.

I now aim to give writing serial fiction a shot. I have started by publishing Part 1 of a short story, “A Day The Mall” in Medium. Please do check it out and let me know what you think of it.

I am considering serializing the same story on this blog too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Writing Competitions & More

One of the most effective ways to hone your writing skills is simply to keep writing! There are many opportunities for a writer these days to take part in writing competitions the world over, thanks largely to the power of the internet. A budding writer keen on improving his skills and image as a writer will seize the most appropriate opportunities as often as he can. This does not mean, of course, that one participates indiscriminately in every writing competition one comes across. That would be a stupid thing to do and extremely counter-productive. Continue reading “On Writing Competitions & More”

Approaches To A Group Writing Project

All my writing so far has been on an individual basis. I framed a plot, wrote a story, and contributed to the editing and publishing of the book that emerged. I also contributed a short story to a publishing house which produced an anthology of short stories from some thirty different authors, like me. The task of the editor here was merely to liaise with the authors and make sure they sent in their stories within a defined time frame and with a certain quality. The challenge I now speak of is totally different. I am at the start of a book project which involves writing the history of an institution. I thought I would share my thoughts and experience. Continue reading “Approaches To A Group Writing Project”

Writing Non-Fiction

I haven’t had any of my non-fiction published-yet! However, I am as interested in writing non-fiction as I am in writing fiction. In the non-fiction space, I am particularly interested and drawn towards works on military history and psychology, amongst other areas. How do you go about making a non-fiction project , to start with ?  Sharing some tips from those who are expert in their fields: Continue reading “Writing Non-Fiction”

More Tips For Writers

Sharing some of the interesting blog posts and articles I came across in the last few days. I hope you will find them as useful as I did.

Are you strapped for time? Juggling too many activities which bring down your efficiency as a writer? Hear what Daphne Gray-Grant has to say in, “11 Ways To Be Devilishly More Productive.” I have always felt that editing is a crucial part of our writing work. I prefer to do the editing when I am at my best. I never choose a time when I am hassled or hard pressed for time to edit my writing. Sure, you need focus to write too, but more often than not we don’t get it right the first time and have to edit our writing eventually.

Do you prefer to write in the first-person narrative? Are all new writers enamored of this form of writing? Why do they like this? I too liked this form of writing when I started out as a writer. In this blog post, you will find reasons why a skilled writer should be adept at looking beyond this perspective from the experts at Malone Editorial Services.

As always, I conclude with a quote, this one from P D James: “Write what you need to write, not what is currently popular or what you think will sell.”

 

Punctuation and More

How important is punctuation these days? We live in times when text messages have virtually corrupted the English language as we once knew it.  People write, “hv” for “have’, “4” instead of “for” and so on. Texting reflects the way we speak rather than the way we write. It pays scarce respect to punctuation making it seem as if  punctuation is a relic of the old days. However, I am sure aspiring writers realize that how you punctuate your writing, reflects your capability as a writer and more importantly, makes it easier for the reader to understand what you are trying to communicate. In this context the Top Ten Tips from The Punctuation Guide is a useful tool for aspiring writers who seek to improve upon their skills.

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Of Childhood and Enid Blyton

Many of my social and cultural background in India started reading English books as kids thanks to Enid Blyton. I still have vivid memories of the characters in the Noddy series:  apart from Noddy himself, Mr. Plod the Policeman, Big Ears and Tessie Bear though I must read about them over 50 years ago. More recently  I enjoyed reading them out to my grandson! Continue reading “Of Childhood and Enid Blyton”