Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Writer to Author - A Continuous Journey!

Baby Steps
When I started writing my book The Sinister Silence, I had titled it Silenced. I had intended to write a love story. However, I do not remember exactly when I started to kill some of my characters. At the risk of sounding sadistic, I admit that I enjoyed the process. Soon after, I was writing a murder mystery. 

Plot and Characterization
I was happy with my writing – it transported me to a world of my own. I could set my own rules or decide against any, my characters conducted themselves the way I wanted. If they acted up, I let them. As I explored them more, especially my protagonists, I had a better understanding of their expectations from me. I did not need to put everything I knew about them in my book. Nevertheless, getting to know them was a refreshingly novel experience.

Edit, Edit, Edit
When I finally completed writing, I was thrilled. I started editing my book and in the process, there were several cuts and omissions. I requested my family and a couple of close friends to read the book too. Receiving different perspectives on the same book was a HUGE learning experience. I loved the fact that my characters had behaved differently with different readers J.

Get Published
I knew what the next logical step was - to get published. All that I needed to do was to send my manuscript to publishers. Once selected, I would see my name in print in the following two or three months.
Ah - wake up, my inner voice nudged.


Just the Beginning
As I initiated the process, I realized that writing is one thing. But getting published is a different ballgame altogether. Simply writing your book is not enough. You need to familiarise yourself with writing impactful query letters, taut book synopses, and engaging sample chapters – and neatly stitch them together in a book proposal. Some publishers will only accept submissions via literary agents – so factor that in too. All in all, if you are a greenhorn in the publishing industry, you have to invest time in research, learning, and unlearning. Gradually, you will evolve through trial and error. There is no shortcut to getting your book published.

Never Stop Writing
Once you set the ball rolling, do not put your life on pause. Meet friends, interact with people, and if possible – get started with your next book. If not, at least write 250-500 words every day. You do not need to share with anyone – but just write for yourself. When writers are in the process of becoming authors, sometimes, they give up writing… because they are waiting to get published. I did that too and it is a horrible thing to do!

The more time you spend away from writing, the double the time and effort you will need to get back to it. If the writer’s block is real bad, at least stick to reading.

Be Patient
The getting-the-right-publisher process may take months…sometimes years. It is tedious and sometimes heart-breaking. But never give up and never lose faith in your ability to write. Even though this sounds clich├ęd – when there is a will, there is always a way. Just stay calm and keep writing.

My book The Sinister Silence will be published in November 2015.
 

9 comments:

  1. Heartiest best wishes Moitrayee :)

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  2. Lovely piece. Lots of good advice to budding authors. All the best for the book! :)

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    1. Thanks a lot Indrani :). Good luck to you too and to US for our next ;)

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  3. Great news, that your bokk is to be published soon. How did you find your publisher ultimately? And how can I access the book short of buying it?

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  4. I liked this blog of yours. Reminded me of Shobha De, who once wrote that come what may, she must write a few pages daily to get into her groove for the day! and by writing she meant writing by hand, where the pen must toil over the paper.
    -Pradipmama

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    1. Thank you very much Pradip mama! Great to learn that about Shobha De. I enjoy writing with pen and paper too :). The book will be available online as well as in bookstores from November. I will keep you posted.

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  5. Love your summarization! It speaks a lot about your beautiful journey of writing the book. :))

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