Hey there welcome to Anasua’s Bookish world. I am really sorry for the long absence. It had been a busy month for me. Durga Puja the biggest festival of Kolkata (Calcutta) had been in the beginning of this month. Then before the frenzy was over Diwali shopping and preparation began. Along with that my work as a mentor and life coach continued. To top it all, I am also 20k words down on my upcoming novel Kingdom of Clay Book 1. So, you can imagine, I could not schedule time for a blog post in this rush.
Thankfully, the festive time is over and I can once again go back to my normal routine. Yes, I had read a lot. I am reading a lot too. But that is a different topic which I would discuss in a different blog post. Right now, I am going to talk about writing tips that totally puzzle me.
Thanks to online resources we have everything at our disposal. Just one search and viola we have a flood of search results. Writing tips are available in abundance as well. But the question is – how many really works? When I was getting started as a writer, I followed writing tips like crazy. I was totally into it. I would strictly follow every tip that I could find. I thought that would make me a better writer. I was wrong. So, today I am going to list a few tips that almost ruined my writing career.
Show Don’t Tell
I am really not sure who invented this rule. I would love to sit with this genius and have a lengthy discussion. Show don’t tell. This is storytelling, not story showing. Hollywood shows stories and many times poorly so.
There are times writers forget that the stories we remember and connect to begin with Once upon a time there was a king. That is telling and showing cannot surpass that. Of course, there are times you need to show the scars and the pain. But other times tell the story with honesty, please. We are storytellers. We don’t show stories. Stephen King is a storyteller who does not try to show and look where he is right now.
Write what You Know
This advice made me really doubt Agatha Christie. Write what you know huh? Well, if she had been writing what she knew how come she was not behind the bars? This is a rule which I would like to burn in public and then bury it six feet down under. Who invented it anyways? Who writes what they know? Only non-fiction, self-help writers with A-Type creative disorder write what they know. This is not for us the fiction writers. I don’t think high fantasy would have existed had everyone wrote what they knew.
Kill Your Darling
This is not a spiritual journey. This is writing. Yes, to me this is spiritual. But come on, this is not Nirvana. You don’t have to kill things you love. Getting attached to the writing style might create adverse effect on writing. But that does not mean you should omit all the sentences that you love. If you don’t love what you are writing, why should others do that? Yes there are times we create paragraphs that are not required in the story, yet we fail to get rid of them. Those are the times we should kill that darling. But it is about that particular darling, you don’t have to kill all your darlings. Please.
Now, these three advises are the ones I get to hear all the times. I have tried to follow these (except write what you know – that is absolutely rubbish). Eventually I gave up. Of course, just because I find them to be useless, you should not abandon them. If they work for you, all the best. But for me – well I rather tell a story; I rather plunge into the unknown and keep my darlings close by.
So, that’s it for now. I will be back soon with my reading update.