Confessions of a writer wannabe

I have had different ambitions at different points in life but to become a writer was never one of them.But seeing my passion for reading, my friends in different stages of life had suggested I try a hand at writing. After resisting for a long time, I finally decided to throw my hat into the ring and started this blog in April 2008. Though I am still even nowhere near becoming a professional writer, my journey into the world of writing so far has been fascinating nonetheless. So as my blog is nearing its second Birthday, I wanted to reflect upon my experiments with writing.

When you begin to start writing the easiest thing to write about are opinions. As the crude saying goes opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one and they all stink. The saying might be a bit harsh but giving opinions is the easiest thing. The key things to take care in expressing opinions is to structure ideas in a logical flow and to back your arguments with sound examples. Some humor and an anecdote can add a bit of spice to the otherwise bland piece. The main challenge with these type of writings is that it usually matters more who is saying than what is being said. When Brahma Chellaney the professor of strategic studies at the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi talks about India's foreign policy, he has credibility. When an obscure blogger who calls himself 'The Fool' talks about China's intentions and why India should not be talking to Pakistan, nobody cares.

Once one gets into writing grove, personal experiences are the next easiest. This is more difficult than opinions however  because one would have to use words to bring to life the green experiences in one's mind.Unless one has a way with words, some of experiences that feel so exciting to oneself may look mundane to the reader. In this type of writing, there is a risk that one might go overboard and share too personal experiences. Everyone likes to peer into other people's lives. That is the core reason for people's love of tabloids, gossip and reality shows. So one might end up putting up one's own personal life on the stands for entertainment. The writer's purpose is to entertain with his writing and not to sell out the personal moments of one's life. So utmost caution is needed to ensure that the writer's description of an event is the source of entertainment and not the personal details.And the other drawback is there is only a finite number of interesting experiences one can draw upon and soon they run out. Take Chetan Bhagat for instance. His works based on personal experiences - '5 point someone' and 'Two states' were the most popular ones. Now that he has exhausted personal experiences, I wonder what he is going to come up with next. Maybe one on the world of investment banking. After that, what next?

One of the key components of any story is perspective. In real stories the difference in perspectives are subtle. But it is easy to understand perspective if one were to consider perspectives that are really divergent. I experimented with really skewed perspectives such as an ordinary event in present day viewed by a person from the past or the future, a film hero as a difficult company CEO, the election manifesto of a cow belt politician with ludicrously regressive ideas etc.

The most difficult aspect of writing is creating a completely imaginary story totally consistent within itself. It will have a healthy mix of different pieces from author's personal experiences blended with ideas from other works that the author might have read cemented together by the author's imagination. In doing this one has to freshly create the setting, the characters and the events and ensure consistency. For the past 2 years I have been waiting for my writing to gain sufficient maturity before I venture on a full length short story. Recently I came across a online story writing contest. I decided to take that opportunity to make my first foray into the field of short story writing.I managed to put together 'The Lonely Bus Stand' and 'Mohiniattam'.

Going ahead if I am able to manage these stories well, the ultimate challenge would be science fiction and fantasy stories. Whereas in regular stories, one tends to take the basic laws of the world as constant,in fantasy and science fiction one gets to vary them as well and see how that affects the interaction between characters and the event possibilities. Novels of course are a different league and writing an grand epic like 'Lord of the Rings' would be a dream for even established best selling authors.

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8 comments:

Abhinav aka Ricky said...

Since past few days...i have been following your blog....i love your work..read nearly half of all your posts...but am commenting on this one.
I do agree with one of your facts "it usually matters more who is saying than what is being said"...and the line "As the crude saying goes opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one and they all stink" was really a master stroke...keep writing....

The Fool said...

Thanks for your comment, Abhinav. Do keep posting your thoughts on my writings. Comments only let me know people are reading what I write and what they think.

Aphron said...

I religiously follow your blog! I am a Novice when it comes to writing,I learn a lot when i read your posts.
I love your style.

The Fool said...

Thanks, Aditya.

Shanmu said...

Nice LKa. Very Nice...

The Fool said...

thanks shanmu

Sairam said...

Wow! This post was in 2010 and I am reading it now :-)
So what has happened in last 3 years. Time to post another one??

The Fool said...

Wonder how you landed on this one. Been posting many more like this ever since.

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