Am I stuck with writer’s block? One may wonder, considering the dwindling number of blog posts I have been churning up during the past couple of months. But the truth is that, my mind has been shuttling between matters concerning something very important in my life- A milestone in itself. In fact, it has been over stuffed with words, themes, fitting conclusions, gripping plots and eye grabbing titles; or at least, with the undeterred thoughts to conjure the same. Briefly speaking, I have been working on a manuscript for the past one month.
On times like these, one might find it difficult to divert one’s focus from the undercurrents of the writing process at hand, to indulge in even the daily chores, let alone penning down a few lines, unrelated to the theme of the manuscript. As much as the process of working on a solo book is tiring, I cannot ignore the fact that it is exceptionally gratifying. You discover parts of you that you haven’t realised existed in you all these years. You turn diligent, working on the subtleties of a story, sharpening the innateness of the characters, dissecting each shred of the plot to refine it to the desired form that has been playing around in your head all the time. Editing the work, quite interestingly has been taking almost double the time that had taken for the actual process of writing. I am not complaining, for polishing a story to heighten the flavours, such that it would transform into a better delicacy, is something that I enjoy a lot.
Keeping aside all the prominent factors that pop up in one’s head at this juncture, I would like to add something which has been tugging at the introspective thread of mine, over the past few weeks- The nugget that one definitely learns from his or her experience, be it a mistake or a victory. If I go on to explain it linking it to the aforesaid, I believe I will be able to make my point clearer. Let me put it as a small list, as it would help to make myself clearer.
1. Sometimes you need to strike through heaps of words that you painstakingly wrote down, to make your story better. Hesitating to do so might cost you a lot; that might even make your story hollow. Read through your work, again and again and rewrite it hundred times before you come up with something you are satisfied with.
2. The word count should not limit your writing. Take as many words as you want to make your point vivid and flawless. Unless you are writing for a contest, there is no hard and fast rule that your story should contain only a limited amount of words. Do not start writing with a pre determined words count in your mind. Write as much as you want. You can always edit it to a particular length later if you are that adamant (do make sure that it is not exceptionally long, for it might cost you in the selection process). This is my opinion, for I happened to come up with short, incomplete stories in the beginning, which lacked a soulful essence. I now feel that if I intend to write a short story, I should keep it in the 4000- 6000 word count range. You may differ in your experience or line of thought. I would love to hear it from you, if so.
3. Make a second person read your story. It can help you pick out those tiny thorns on your bed of roses, that a reader alone might notice, which in turn can prompt you to remove those seemingly unobtrusive loop holes and loose ends in your story, before you send it out to the publishers.
4. If uninspired along the way, reading good books can lead you back to your track. I have heard people being inspired to create fresh changes in their story that way, but for me, reading is a process that simply inspires me to just write. It is alluring enough for me to sit down once more and let my mind be blown over by the sublime beauty and intensity of catharsis.
5. You learn to look around more while in the process; you learn to observe people and mind you, there is no dearth of inspiration in this multi hued, multi cultured society that we are living in. I feel that, moreover, you learn to sympathise with people, with their agonies, joys and turmoil. You learn to empathise with them. You learn to decipher the raw emotions that have been a part of your soul forever, unknowingly, implicitly. You are made a better person, in more ways than one. Again, my opinion. One may find it unlikely.
So, that is all for the time being. I realise that the learning curve has just commenced. There is a long way to go before I judge me not being a novice anymore. And I hope dearly that I continue to pen down my thoughts here regularly from this day onwards. Keep visiting this space to know more about my journey and my new books.
I am including here, a small excerpt from my new story, that forms part of a short story anthology, my first sole project.