How to finish a first draft

When you haven’t written anything longer than a blog post in months, you get into panic situations where you feel you may have burnt through the capability of sitting still for a length of time to write a full fledged novel. 

This happened with me recently – the panic, obviously – so I decided that the best way to handle it was to put myself in a pressure cooker by trying my hand at NaNoWriMo. Spoiler alert, I don’t like to abide by rules so I failed this second attempt as well.

But, surprise surprise, I did finish my first draft – a glorious 50,000 words that not only let me revisit a favourite character, but also was something longer than 500 words.

How did I manage it?

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On turning 30

I have obsessions and I had thought, way back in October, that the first post of the new decade, and on my blog for 2020 would be a birthday post. Since it is an epic birthday, I thought it only fitting that I dedicate an entire blog post to it.

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The Travelling Librarian

Mr. Chubs was a short, round and a rather red man. No, he did not have red-coloured skin but he was so fair that any activity, even mild, turned his skin a vivid scarlet. For a round man you would think he’d be slow on his feet and you would be right but he had rather strong arms and legs. A physical feature important for all the book hauling that needed doing. You see, Mr. Chubs was a travelling librarian.

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Family Again

It’s not that time of the year without
The sun setting in the west earlier than usual
Time becoming celebratory, shedding its torment like a second skin
The smell of mum’s cooking emanating from the kitchen
Colourful lights adorning the trees
Hearts brimming with sweet cheer,
As all prepare to welcome the new year.

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Plotting and Endings

Ideas often come to me in the form of a single image that usually is the crux of the whole story. Even while writing, many times I find myself with an image in my head that I then try to describe, poorly.

While watching Castlevania on Netflix

(yes, another show, I am a Netflix addict, I have already confessed it),

I had a moment where one such image flashed in my head. Now I cannot find an image like that but I can describe it:

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Non obvious things you should be prepared for when writing your manuscript

By the time the idea for writing my manuscript came to me, I had read all writing related articles and had a fair handle on how to go about plotting, sketching, planning and writing my manuscript. I also kept reminding myself, quite firmly, one of the best advices that MP ever gave me: don’t edit while you write.

I thought I was prepared for what would happen next.

Spoiler alert – I wasn’t!

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How I do character sketches

I have noticed an interesting trend in the Netflix original series that I pursue. Right from The Crown to Mindhunter to Stranger Things and Jessica Jones, Season 1 is usually plot heavy. It is like the makers want you to keep clicking on that next button and reach the end. But their Season 2 is character heavy, like they know if you have returned for the second season, you’re already invested in the story and now what they need from you is to actually finish Season 2. And for that they need you to care – about the characters and their journeys, triumphs, and tribulations.

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4 shows to watch if you want to appreciate good writing

I am a self-proclaimed pop culture follower, and a Netflix addict. While I am working on adding more reading time into my video-packed schedule, I think there is a lot I have learnt about writing from watching shows and movies. A single camera shot may convey more effectively the setting of a place that may take you more than a page to describe, the similarity lies in the nuance, the detail and a vision for the bigger picture – all needed if you have to write a “good” story.

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3 things I don’t understand about writing

At Blogchatter, we had a creative writing e-course and when we were planning the assignments to be given to the participants, we decided to personalize it by asking them a simple question – what do you need help with.

The top concern, to my surprise, was writing an outline.

One of the things I love about working with Blogchatter is: I am at once the authority and the student. So, when the question of writing an outline came up, I thought to myself – what is my opinion, as a writer, on this point.

The answer came immediately: I don’t understand it.

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