Many people have asked me over the years about how I write and I’ve always felt weird giving this answer. See, I may be writing my 12th novel, even as I blog here, but I don’t feel like I can honestly tell others how to do it.
Still, people ask me for tips and I thought I could come up with a series of tweets about this and I tweeted them today.
I thought I could get into this, a little bit more in detail here in my blog.
Don’t deliberate – If you’ve always wanted to write something, don’t wait for the perfect moment. Don’t wait to retire or wait for your kids to grow up. Life goes on and writing is like that. It has to go on. The right moment will never come. You have to take a deep breath and plunge into it. And pray it will work.
When I wrote my first novel Kite Strings, I wrote it blind. I had no idea how to move forward from the first page on to the next. I had a vague idea of how I wanted the book to end and I stuck to that. But it took me a really long time to fill the space between page 1 and the last page. So despite being a creative person who normally hates plans, I like them when it comes to books. I like formulating the story beforehand. I usually follow a stream of consciousness method of putting down the story and anyone who has made an actual plan might laugh at it but it’s what works for me. It’s just me talking to myself. That’s my plan.
Sometimes having something in front of you visually, triggers words inside that may not be there otherwise. Give it a shot. Put up a cork board or even a thick cardboard sheet above your desk. Paste cutouts or use a marker to scribble on it.
This is crucial. Finish a chapter and you will feel amazed at how soon your novel will get over. Never leave a chapter hanging. Even if you don’t like how it’s going, go ahead and still write it. You can always change it in the morning. I try to finish one chapter every day when I’m working on a book. When I get more than a chapter written, it’s amazing. But it takes a toll physically. Hands, shoulders, neck usually start hurting so I try to stick to a chapter every day. Once you get that flow going, you won’t want to stop!
I love stationery especially notebooks. So I use any excuse to hoard notebooks and since I’m a writer, I don’t really need an excuse. I like to dedicate a notebook to every novel I write. I scribble about characters, about events, about possible endings in the notebook. Then I also like to make notes in Google Keep. It syncs across my devices and I can access it easily. Evernote users can stick to that and there are plenty of note apps out there. I prefer Keep though. Putting ideas down solidifies your intent. Eventually you may not use it but you can go back to it when you’re stuck and find a way to get out of a corner.
So that’s it for now. Hope this has helped! I hope to come up with more such tips and little pointers. Just a request. If you find me obnoxious and pretentious with my advice, just tell me! I’ll probably hate you, but yeah, I’d like to know.