Wednesday, 27 August 2014

My current way of outlining!

There are myriad of ways and techniques in which any kind of artist work on his craft. There isn't any right or wrong way. So the discussion on whether to outline or not is pointless.

I am right now on pretty early stage of learning the craft of writing. So, right now, I don't know myself what work for me.
My technique is a work in progress. Since I was committed from the beginning to share every aspect of this journey with you, I decided to share my current way of outlining the novel. It is working for me, maybe it will work for you guys to.
What I do these days is :

• write one of his/her compelling need (the thing he needs most at the time)

•put some conflicts in his way, put a cast of characters and stuff to do......

•and write a kind of skeleton about how my story will progress

•after having a complete idea and skeleton sketched out, I start writing.

If you are unsure of how to actually get started, try this way. It will get your muscles flowing, until the day you discover what works best for you.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

The Power of Story Which is Ready

I had always heard that when deciding which genre are you gonna write in (or for genre hoppers like me, which genre will you write in next?) you should consider about which genre you actually read. I always loved reading fantasy, watched anime's and fantasy movies, so writing a fantasy was a no-brainer for me. 

Luckily, a concept did come to mind. I started thinking about it, planning it more precisely. But....maybe, I waited too long to actually start it. 

And when I actually did, it was a mess. Words refused to come out in the paper. I was always unsure about almost anything. 
Characterization, world, fantasy elements, and of course, the actual concept. There was so much work undone. 

That wasn't nearly what actually bothered me. My problem was, in my leisure time, my mind would refuse to dig into those things. It was actually more interested in other things. Other characters in other situations always kept it filled. 

And then I learned that the actual place to find a story to write isn't the bookshelf. It is the dreams,  daydreams, where there are the stories ready to be told. 

Now, after pausing my fantasy project and starting off the other one. I have completed my concept building completely, working on detailed outlining (kind of writing the first draft) and researching. I am so excited, all my work is going on so passionately.  Almost everything is being work out on its own.

So, I would say that from now on, pick your projects from where you dream. Not your bookshelf, it will work miracles on your productivity.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Morning Rituals for a Great Working Day!

Mornings are the most important part of your day. If start off correctly, it can add layers upon layers of productivity and almost guarantee a good working day. If done it right...

So my mornings comprise of small rituals which I am currently loving; stretches. Which I learned from Michelle Phan's website.

Then, a quick creative brainstorming exercise. Which goes like this:
Sit on a comfy zone, with pen and a paper nearby. Think about a small situation_ It could be a plot issue you are currently working on.
Then take a deep breath, close your eyes and let the movie play itself by your brain. Just be the audience. If you are not in a tight schedule ahead, let it flow until it stop itself and write down every detail you remember from it. But if you do have to go to work or school or some other restrictions. Set a timer in your clock, at least 15 minutes. After it buzz off, write it down and get running.

After these morning rituals, I tend to my humanly needs AKA hygiene.

Then to the most important part of the morning; breakfast.
Bonus tip: Always eat it. Don't ever, ever think it unimportant. It is a really major part of life.
In breakfast, it is good to consider the nutritional part and the impact part. Keep the taste part in back of the mind. You want a good head start of the day filled with tasks to be done. So eat something that would freshen up you, not slow you down. So avoid anything oily and sweet. Best breakfast, in my opinion is cereal. It helps you get filled up, it has milk so it is healthy and it tastes good too. But having an egg is a better option. Doctors recommend eating an egg a day. And there is no better time to have it then in the morning.
So think about your breakfast routine wisely (and share it with me).
I myself like to jump around in these two option. Someday's I experiment with new kinds of omelette's, others I just fix up a bowl of cereal and eat it.

P.S If possible, try to give morning's as much time as they deserve. Try to start off a little earlier. Mornings are best meditations and rejuvenates us in a great way. And makes our day better.

Kinza Sheikh
Enjoy your life and work your passion.

Monday, 21 July 2014

The most valuable lesson for a beginner!

Internet is a treasure trove of any kind of knowledge one seeks. And knowledge about writing is one of them. But when one absolute newbie, just get started at the road. A quick google search about "How to write a novel" is absolutely natural. And then, brace yourself ;)

A whole flood of links rush in your screen. Fill with complex issues like POV, sentence structure, hooking start, foreshadowing, the list goes on. And since we are talking about an absolute beginner, they ought to get confused and throw up there hands in the air and exclaim "Man! How am I supposed to do all that stuff. I am not good enough"

The thing is, at that stage the advice one wants is the following:

Start doing it. Make a time to write and stop doing everything else at that time and write. Questions will pop up themselves, researching material will naturally be found and the work will be done.

Without doing that, the more advice's you read, the more confused you will get. At the end, you simply won't be able to do anything.

So, what are you doing here? Hush! Get to work already!

Friday, 30 May 2014

Introducing a new series!

A couple of days ago, while I was peeking through my fav K.M Weiland's blog. I saw some of her articles were about how-to learn from other writers.

Which just clicked in my mind and after that I couldn't help myself from thinking about (while reading a book) things I am learning from it and things I can share in my blog about it.

So here I am, introducing a new series about things I learn and you can learn from other authors and their works.

So there is so much to come in coming weeks.

Hoping in advance that you enjoy it. ;)

Stay tuned!

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Writing a book means writing rubbish!

Starting to write is and has always been a daunting process. For newbies like me to....  everyone around (I think I better not use the word pros here)

So when you start off with an idea, you should always be ready to do some preparation for it. It is part of the process, you have to do brainstorming, characterization, research, outlining and that's a whole bunch of rubbish in its own.
In my humble opinion newbies should start of as plotters instead of pantsers. Since all  pantsers say that "dive in the work. Let the story tell itself".

But the problem here is, the stories are much like gardens. If you decide to just throw around seeds all the place and see them grow by itself first, then turn to the editing and refining part. Just imagine how much extra burden will you pull on that little soul of yours. So do the planning and outlining part. It is worth it.

When I decided to get started with my novel. And started writing it down. Even being done with outlining part. After 2-3 days, I literally stopped myself from writing it anymore.

Do you know what was in my mind at that time? It was the question

"Who in the world will read that rubbish?"

And what I didn't realised then was; that's the point. No one is gonna read your rubbish. So simply don't fret about it.

That is just what we call first draft. The whole idea behind the first draft is to just put down whatever is lurking in your mind.

Even some pros are reported to write around 10k words in which on 2-3k is finally published. So do keep that in mind and go wild with your work. Write all unnecessary descriptions, dialogues, even whole bunch of unnecessary scenes. That is some work on its own, but has always turned out worth it. Remember our garden analogy. Just imagine you are only planning the layout of your personal heaven in your backyard.

After you are done wit the first draft, you will have all the time in the world to edit it, so you can cut unnecessary rubbish then. Even gardens tend to have finishing touch's. But until then, write without holding back.

And on a side note; there may come a point during the reviewing process in which you find something, like some dialogue, which you really love and are proud that you have written. But that particular thing is just not fitting in the story, everyone else just says that be cruel to yourself and delete that. No matter how much you love it.

I would say; don't do THAT to yourself. You would be much better off and it would be easier for you if you just cut it from your work file and paste it in another document. Which is dedicated to and should be named "Your own quotes." :D

After all, you ain't gonna get fans out there if you are not your own fan first. ;)

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Reading tricks!

As the saying goes 'to be a good writer, one should be a good reader'. This thing made me really interested, since before I had motivated myself to become a writer; I was and has always been a bookworm.

But I found out, that reading like a human and reading like a writer is two separate things. 
First of all, to read like a writer;
what I do is keep a paper and pen with me. In front of the page, create a heading named "things I don't like about this novel" and in halfway through write another heading "things I don't like about this novel." And in the back of the page, the heading is "notes".

But to do it, you must keep your conscious. The writer you're reading is trying to bring the character to life in yourself. Making you feel being in the characters mind. Instead of just getting drift by it (to simplify, he is doing an awesome thing) you should study how is s/he doing it? Pay attention to those parts. And take some notes there. They turn out to me extremely helpful.

Don't just read what you like. But those works too, which you don't like. (not that I force you to read erotica) It just mean that read different genres. Not only the one you like or the one you are writing.

Analyse the sentence structures, plot holes. How the characters are interacting with each other. How well is the setting described. Assume what was going on behind the scenes when it was being created.

Think about how much research the writer had to do to write this book.

And how the feelings of characters being conveyed.

And I will say it again, write it all down. 

Now you would say; if I keep dissecting the book, how will I have the joy of reading? 

The answer is pretty simple. The books you like; like the ones of Dan Brown or John Grisham. :P Which you have to read breathlessly. Read them as you do once, then reread it for the sake of research. 

And for those which you don't like, think of them as grammar lessons. You don't like them but they are crucial parts of the learning. So read them for the sake of learning how to avoid those mistakes which the writer make to hate me this work soo much.

And now the hardest thing; write at least ten good points of the book you hate and is a torture in itself to read. (I am going through it myself; reading Patricia Cornwell's ; Predator :( )

There aren't any points you say? I won't buy it, if I can find some in Predator. That means every book has some. Stop whining now, get to work. In fact I order you to start from those. :P