7 Tips To Begin Your Writing Career – By Alka Saklani

Writing is an art and a part of it can be practised

Many people think writing is very easy, but I don’t think so. Writing is an art and while a part of it comes naturally, I believe a part of it can be practised. I am still learning and I will always be a learner, because every new novel we read or write teaches us new lessons. I’m sharing a few tips here that I consider while writing.

Get deeper into psychology

An author must be a psychologist too. They should know and observe few things like – How a person behaves in a particular situation? Is there any reason behind the character’s particular behaviour? How different people respond differently in same situation? These are some crucial points to consider while writing a novel. In my novel, Nidhi is an introvert girl. She wasn’t always like that. There is a strong reason behind it. And when she walks out of her shell it happens one step at a time. People don’t change overnight. It’s important to get in the mind of people to write a realistic story.

Get out of your comfort zone

There are going to be a lot of characters in the story and everyone can’t think like you. Some of them will behave in ways that makes you uncomfortable but its ok. Its human. Its real. If the plot demands something you are not comfortable with but your character is, write it.

Don’t’ be afraid of writer’s block

Almost every author faces it, but believe me it’s not the end. I don’t write when I am not inspired. Because if I force myself I end up writing something trivial or just prolong the period of writer’s block. Just take a break and divert your mind to your other hobbies. And I promise you will be soon back on track.

Read as much as you can

Reading improves writing. This is one sure method to improve your writing skills. Read as many books as you can possibly read without losing interest.

Show, not tell

This is one of the most important point to write a good novel. It helps the reader to connect with the character. Sharing an example from my novel, the protagonist was in search of some answers and now when the truth is around the corner he is scared to face it.

Without informing anyone I left for Hyderabad with only one question on my mind. The group of youngsters in the train tried to involve me in their political discussion but they soon tired from pulling me into the discussion again and again. I was relieved. This was the first time I wasn’t interested; earlier I was always an uninvited guest in such discussions. I soon withdrew to the upper birth and the loud debate of the young group faded behind the screams of my unanswered questions. As they discussed over a thousand topics my mind was entangled in only one question… What was the connection?
Finally, the train stopped at Hyderabad. The same path seemed different today. As I walked towards home, I felt uneasy, restless, afraid of the truth. Was every step bringing me closer to the truth, pushing me farther from my loved ones? Do I need to know it at all? I was tempted to return, to leave the search for truth in between but then if I missed this chance I may never again get another chance; it’s better to reach shore or to drown rather than float midstream.
The quest of truth was like a rope around my neck getting tighter and tighter every minute, as if only the truth was the scissor that could cut that rope but somewhere deep down I knew that along with the rope, the truth would slash a part of me as well.
How a person behaves in a particular situation? What about his body language? What goes in his mind? All this should go in describing an important event.

Do you want to know what was the horrifying truth? Well you need to read Beyond Secrets to know that.

Never underestimate editing

There is a lot of difference between the first draft and final. Yeah, I know it is really difficult to trim down or alter something that you painstakingly created. But it’s important. Sometimes editing takes up more time than writing. A story is not only about language, but good language can definitely not be ignored. If possible take help of a professional editor. It not only helps in improving the language but also helps in strengthening the plot.

Never fear criticism

Don’t ignore it though, if you think the person making the remark has point, act on it. if you feel it’s baseless leave it. Not everyone can like what you write and that’s ok.

Completing the novel is only the first part. Then comes the tougher part of publishing. Well, keep your patience. You will need a lot of it. Don’t lose hope and keep trying. Marketing is such a huge topic that it needs a different post altogether, but the most basic tactics are spreading the word through your blog, social media platforms, video trailers and taking help from your blogger friends to spread the word.

Image from: Freepik

About the author: 

Alka Dimri Saklani is the author of “45 Days in a Cancer Hospital” and “Beyond Secrets”. Her debut novel “45 Days in a Cancer Hospital” was longlisted for the prestigious Crossword Books award 2013. Her poems have been published in many magazines. She holds MBA degree in HR and worked with a leading MNC before turning to a full-time writer. Born and brought up in Vadodara, a city in Gujarat, her roots hail from “Dev Bhumi” Uttarakhand. Apart from writing, she loves music, reading, and spending time with her two naughty kids.

Author(s): Alka Dimri Saklani
Publisher: Alka Dimri Saklani
Release: August 2017
Genre: Fiction/Romance
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