The best tips come from people who have been there and done that. Blogchatter Writfest brings us some immensely successful and talented authors who have published number of books and are inspiring budding writers and authors. Today I am sharing an insightful session conducted by Blogchatter WritFest with Meghana Pant, Kiran Manral & Kanchana Banerjee which was moderated by our own Harshita Nanda.
When asked how does an author make a strong social issue the focus of the book, without making it moralistic or preachy?
All the author unanimously agreed that whether the character is a noble-hearted man or a thieving anti-hero , if you want your readers to invest in their journeys, you have to make your character look relatable. And what makes a character relatable, their humanity, the reader should be able to empathize with your characters. Some times you might have to add some humor, romance or thriller in the story to make it light and interesting. Meghna Pant added saying that women centric books that are focusing on any social cause still needs more acceptability and requires correct portrayal of their personality by giving narratives that takes feminism forward.
" Women are neither Becharies, nor Krantikaries they are just normal Naaries" very well articulated by (in Hindi) - Meghna Pant.
Do author gets self indulgent in terms of plot twisting or language and how to avoid that and be more relatable?
According to Kanchana Banerjee, clarity while writing is the key. Writers do soak in all they see around. It is difficult to keep yourself aloof from the society and it does reflect in your writing but sometime you need to be little cautious and restrain yourself from being too self indulgent. Know your vision for your story and adhere to it with discipline. It is fine to play around for a while but don't get sidetracked from what's best for your story. Keep your writing crisp and powerful as possible.
How much trends influence writing?
According to Meghna Pant, write a story which you think cannot be written better by anybody else. Write what you like or what you are comfortable and comes naturally to you. Art is to elevate and not to suppress the creativity. Never follow trends. Both Kiran and Kanchana resonated with her thoughts and added saying that, don't write for money, write something that you cannot only be proud of but also enjoy the process of writing. Write from your heart and what gets you excited to sit in front of your computer everyday. Do not fear failure instead go with your instinct and trust your voice. A successful career in writing typically takes too long to achieve, can be too exhausting so better write what you are passionate about and believe in yourself. It is important to enjoy the journey and be authentic. Kanchana Baneerjee rightly said that, as a writer you are your first reader, if your are not liking what you are writing and not enjoying reading it, then, the end result can never be good and story won't live up to its potential.
Is it important to have a writing ritual?
We all are individuals and we all have different needs and very different points of inspiration. What might work for some might not for others. So follow your own ritual which suits you the best and inspires you to write. Anything that gives 0% distraction and 100% focus. It could be a closed room, a café or an outstation.
Is there a difference in approach for writing fiction and non-fiction books?
According to Kiran Manral, whether it is a fiction or non fiction, facts needs to be right and believable. So in fiction get your facts right and than fictionalize the facts.
What do you aim for while writing, relatability or innovation at the risk of courting absurdity?
According to Meghna Pant it is all about balancing both. You need to think out of the box and be more creative, as people do get bored very fast and at the same time try to make it more realistic. Too much of relatability makes it mundane and too much absurdity is also not relatable. According Kanchana Banerjee, it is important that characters in the story should be compelling, who can grab reader's attention instinctively.
What do you choose first, genre or story?
It is important to write what you love. The characters, plot, and setting are going to come much easier to you if you love what you write about. It's never a genre, either you choose a story or story chooses you. That's the best approach and that's how it should be.
Author's favorite books and recommendations
Kiran Manral: 3 Men In the Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
Kanchana Banerjee: Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Meghna Pant: Alice Munro books, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
If you have missed this session, here is a quick glance into the session. Stay tuned for more such insightful sessions by BlogchatterWritFest.
Written as part of BlogchatterWritFest
'Written as part of BlogchatterWritFest