Timeless Advice on Writing

This must be one of the shortest posts here but has to be one of the best! Thanks to a tweet from Maria Popova, the amazing creator of Brain Pickings, I saw this awesome collection of quotes on writing in Readlists. Continue reading “Timeless Advice on Writing”

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How Good Is Your Author’s Website?

It has virtually become mandatory for an author these days to have a website. Some of them are extremely well done while many others indicate that this is something the author is struggling and coming to grips with,  something he/she doesn’t know too much about. Simon Appleby, director of digital agency Bookswarm lists his “Ten Author Websites That Really Do The Business” in this article in The Writing Platform. Continue reading “How Good Is Your Author’s Website?”

Manreet S. Someshwar’s latest. Also Writers on Writing.

Manreet Sodhi Someshwar’s latest novel, ” The Hunt for Kohinoor” (Westland, 2013) is slated to be released  in mid-December 2013. As is common these days, you can pre-order this at Flipkart.  This, if I am not mistaken, is a sequel to her earlier book, “The Taj Conspiracy” which was very interesting. I loved her first book, “The Long Walk Home,” which was set in the Punjab at the time of the Partition. My best wishes go out to Manreet. May ” The Hunt For Kohinoor” be a super hit!

Many people have the urge to write and write well. However, not everyone makes the grade. In this context, I liked this blog post by Maria Popova in Brainpickings called, “9 Books on Reading and Writing.” With gems from authors like Ernest Hemingway and Stephen King, this post points you to books that can transform your writing.

A few extracts:

  • Anne Lamott in ” Bird By Bird, A Few Instructions on Writing and Life,”

“Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It’s like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can’t stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.”

  • Stephen King in his classic,  “On Writing:A Memoir of the Craft”

“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”

  • Ernest Hemingway in ” Ernest Hemingway On Writing”

” The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof shit detector. This is the writer’s radar and all great writers have had it.”

After Effects of NaNoWriMo

This morning I wrote a blog post on my recent effort in the National Novel Writing Month aka NaNoWriMo. I mentioned how thrilled I was to complete it successfully for the fifth successive year.

In this post I wish to dwell on the after effects:)

  • What you  seee before you id the editied version. (sic) Nothing proves a point more than a demonstration. What I meant to key in was, “What you see before you is the edited version.” Yes, banging away thousands of words per day with a tight deadline does that to you, at least it does that to me. Many typographical errors erupt like a particularly severe attack of acne as your mind works faster than your fingers can fly. Your mind has moved on to the next sentence while your fingers can barely keep up. Therefore you have, as per my theory, so many typos. It takes a while for you to slow down. A while before you get back the accuracy of your keying in which has become a casualty in your recently acquired quest for speed.
  • There’s also a void in your life. Seriously. For one whole month NaNoWriMo took over your schedules and grabbed the highest priority. Several other assignments remained incomplete, others fell by the wayside while you focused on attaining your goal to  write 50,000 words during the month of November. Now you need to pick up the projects you looked away from, those that emerge as being high priority now that the frenetic activity of NaNoWriMo is over. Believe me, you do feel kind of lost for the first few days. But do write a bit every day. That’s the discipline that NaNoWriMo teaches you, which can stay with you for the rest of your life.
  • You haven’t written those 50,000 + words just for the heck of it. You will do your best, I am sure, to complete the novel in all respects. It means a huge amount of work now that you have laid the foundation for your novel. The editing, the fine tuning, the building up of your NaNo Novel starts now. But wait. I would recommend you take a break. Set it aside for a month or so, then come back to it afresh. You will see it differently. You will pick up from where you left off.

In my experience, after NaNoWriMo it takes anywhere between one to two years to get your novel published. So when people say, ” You completed NaNoWriMo successfully? Oh, wow! When and where do we turn up for the book launch?” You need to take a deep breath and say NaNoWriMo was just the start. You have heaps to do before that novel sees the  light of day as a published book.

My best wishes to you for your effort to get that NaNo novel published.

Fifth Successive NaNoWriMo Completed

Yay ! I have done it. I successfully completed NaNoWriMo for the 5th successive year a few days ago. This explains why I have not been as regular as usual in posting to my blogs. I try to be regular in blogging and as part of my writing discipline. I aim to write a blog post once a week for each of my three active blogs, “People at Work & Play,” my writing blog, “Writing To Be Read,” and this my webiste/blog. Continue reading “Fifth Successive NaNoWriMo Completed”

Veterans Day

As an author I have the greatest respect for those who serve the military in India. I wish we had something like the Veterans Day celebrated in the United States on November 11. I was most impressed to see the importance given to veterans as exemplified by their having a separate Department of Veterans Affairs.

I came across this very informative link on the history of Veterans Day sent to me by Andrew of Teens4Safety.com. which I thought was worth sharing. The Vets have given the best years of their lives for your safety. What can you now do for them?

Excellent Tips on Writing That Novel

Many dream of getting their novel published, somewhere, someday. I can never forget the huge excitement I felt in November 2010 when my debut novel, “It Can’t Be You” was launched. It was a dream come true. As you probably know, getting a novel published is much more difficult than it may seem to many. I learnt the hard way about the querying process, the need to write a crisp synopsis, how a back cover copy can make a huge difference to you book sales and how the book cover has a major role in the reader’s purchase decision. You will find posts on these topics in my writing blog, “Writing To Be Read.”

Continue reading “Excellent Tips on Writing That Novel”

Survey on Historical Fiction

Thanks to my long-standing interest in historical fiction I connected with the author, MK Tod. I follow Mary’s tweets @MKTodAuthor and she pointed me to a very interesting survey she has been conducting which seeks to find out what makes historical fiction buffs love this genre. You will find a lot of information on this in her blog A Writer of History. Continue reading “Survey on Historical Fiction”

Alternate History

There is huge excitement in the air for many of us writers as November fast approaches. I have successfully completed NaNoWriMo for four consecutive years, from 2009 to 2012 and am very keen to make it 5 in 5 by successfully completing a NaNo novel in November 2013 too. This involves writing 50,000 words of a novel during the calendar month of November. The novel can be in any literary genre. Continue reading “Alternate History”