As a published author I am asked very often to give tips for aspiring writers. If there is one tip I could share with them it would be this – Tell a story that you just cannot hold it within you anymore. You remember that feeling of being in love so much that you had to tell it to the person you were in love with? Telling a story is akin to that. Just like love envelops you completely, the story and its characters engulf you pushing you to tell their story.
Every time someone says I want to be the next *insert a best-selling author’s name* I am always taken aback. Why would you want to be a second-hand version of someone else? The world already has one; there is no need for another. Why not try bringing in your own USP and make the world notice you? That happens when you stop following the herd and try to do what you always believed in firmly. However weird and unrealistic it might sound, your belief in it will make it real.
Remember Harry Potter was rejected many times before being selected? Not everyone is able to judge a masterpiece in the first instance. The main question is and should always be – Did those rejections make J K Rowling give up and change her thoughts on writing? No, she kept trying because she believed in her own work.
There is also a doubt regarding cliché plotlines. To that I only have one answer. If your treatment is unique even clichés can sound refreshingly different. Famous romance novels like Love Story, Romeo Juliet, P.S: I Love You, The Fault in our stars etc. which are considered masterpieces have more or less the same premise but if you look at narrative that is where they are amazingly different making a brilliant read. There is nothing wrong in making your characters larger than life. The key is to make them relatable. That is when they leave an everlasting impact on the reader.
If you would have noticed in majority of the classics simplicity ruled the roost. When a reader is able to decipher what you want to convey and connect with it in more than one ways that is when the book becomes more than just reading. It becomes an experience which they want to relive again and again, not to mention share with others too. Make your book an experience and not mere story telling.
I personally like stories where at the end of it all I feel for at least one character. It could be hate, anger, jealousy, pity, sympathy, love, care or concern. When a reader feels for a character it means s/he lived the story. For this the characters need to be fleshed out well and made to be multi-dimensional instead of cardboard cutouts.
All this and more is worthwhile if there is at least one person who gets back to you after reading your book with these words, “You touched my heart with your writing!”
About the Author
Namrata is a published author who enjoys writing stories and think pieces on travel, relationships and gender. She is a UEA alumni and has studied travel writing at the University of Sydney.
She is also an independent editor and a book reviewer. Her writings can be found on various sites and magazines like the Kitaab, Asian Review of Books, Contemporary South Asia Journal of King’s College-London, Mad in Asia, The Friday Times, The Scroll, Feminism in India, The Brown Orient Journal, Inkspire Journal, Moonlight Journal, The Same, Chronic Pain India and Cafe Dissensus.
Her short stories have been a part of various anthologies and has also published two short story collections of her own. She is currently working on her debut novel. She loves travelling the length and breadth of the world and enjoys capturing the magic of life in her words. She is always in pursuit of a new country and a new story.
Her latest book The Lost Wanderer has been garnering rave reviews. You can grab your copy from Amazon