Friday, October 25, 2013

The seductive power of a story

I was stumped when a friend asked me whether I choose the stories I wanted to work upon or the stories chose me. This question is similar to asking what came first; the chicken or the egg?

 Do we choose our stories, or do the stories choose us? It’s a bit of both. The initial advances are made by the story; the plot flirts with us, the characters whisper sweet nothings in our ears at ungodly hours, the story world tempts us into further exploring it and the antagonist stalks us like a desperate lover.

After the story has successfully batted its eyelashes and tantalizingly swayed its hips and has captured our body, mind, heart and soul, it begins its game of teasing and playing hard to get. The evil temptress (read story) knows that it has captivated us completely and we are in its vicious grip.

The story then starts playing with our emotions. It starts avoiding our calls. It does the disappearing act when we fix rendezvous with it. It runs away, with us writers chasing after it day and night.  But now that we writers have been teased and tormented by its intoxicating effect, we will not rest until we have the story in our control, until the characters and plot are at our beck and call.

From then onwards with a single minded goal we nurture, obsess and develop the all captivating brief fling into a meaningful relationship. There are make ups and break ups (read revisions and edits) but we writers are a faithful lot. We don’t lose faith in our stories and cling on to our relationship with the story, even when we hit rough patches in the form of writer’s blocks or when we have struck plot loopholes. We are the faithful type, even when other stories tempt us, we cling on to our first loves.

What about you all? Do stories try their seduction techniques on you? How do you all chase the temptress? Do share your wooing techniques with us.

P.S.  This post is getting me ready to write a milder version of Fifty Shades of Grey ;)

P.P.S.  Thanks Elizabeth Varadan for nominating me for the Super Sweet Blogging Award. I will be nominating a few bloggers next week.

Friday, October 18, 2013

When Life Interrupts

Life has this strange way of interrupting us with its unplanned moves and throwing us off track when we least expect it. Life ensured that I was not just off the internet (though I did check my emails) but also off writing for the past two weeks.

I feel bad about getting all my blog buddies worried when I announced that I would be taking a break of a fortnight due to personal issues. Most of my close blog buddies sent me private messages or left comments hoping all was right with me.

The reason I took a fortnight’s break was because my mother underwent a bilateral knee replacement surgery on both her knees on 4th October in Sparsh Hospital (Bangalore). The doctors and the nursing staff and even the attendants were a blessing. Each one’s concern and genuine care made mom comfortable and put her on the road to recovery. They all strictly followed the hospital’s motto of ‘Faith, Hope and Love.’ Till Wednesday my mom’s health was my priority, so my writing was shoved aside.

Due to arthritis and severe pain mom's movements were getting restricted for the past year. All the doctors she consulted advised surgery so that she could lead a pain free life. Mom made a quick decision to undergo the surgery. As I was staying with her in the hospital I decided to take a mini break from blogging, writing and everything else. Though I did critique my crit partner’s work when I was at home, when my dad and other family members were giving mom company in the hospital.

Thank you friends for all your concern. Now I am back and will catch up with you all. Hope you all didnt miss me too much. 

I forgot to tell you all that last week one of my books was accepted by Scholastic India for its Early Science Fiction for Young Readers. I completed the rewrites and now it’s gone for illustrations.

What do you all do when life interrupts? How do you all cope with sudden situations?

P.S. I even managed a few decent photographs of the hospital (I am one of the worlds worst photographers).

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Co-hosting IWSG and a blog break

I am super excited as today 2nd October, IWSG site is going live. This month I am co-hosting IWSG  (Insecure Writer’s Support Group) founded by Ninja Captain Alex Cavanaugh, is a support group for writers, where we talk of our writing insecurities, share ways we circumvent these insecurities and help and support each other. We post on the first Wednesday of every month. My amazing co-hosts this month are Julie Luek, Beverly Fox and Ilima Todd. To read the other IWSG posts go here.

I look forward to the IWSG posts. As sharing insecurities is becoming quite a stress buster for me. It’s nice to know that I am not alone where these insecurities are concerned.

Today I am sharing an insecurity which I am sure all writers have at some or the other point. Fear of my books not selling many copies. The first time I heard about books being pulped was the time when my heart skipped a beat. My publisher told me that when a particular book is not sold and the copies are lying in the storage room for some time, then the publishers have no option other than pulping these books. Pulping means that the books are stripped of their covers and the pages are sold like old newspapers. That really depressed me.

So far none of my books have been pulped. Actually, thank God for this blessing, they have gone into reprints. But, I still fear that word, and hope and pray that none of us writers ever face that day where we see our books being pulped.

Have you ever had such a fear? Have you heard of pulping? How do you deal with it?

P.S. I am taking a blogging break for two weeks due to personal reasons. I will hopefully be back by the third week or max by the end of October and will catch up with you all then.