Tag: Writing

Work in progress.

Work in Progress

Sitting next to my mother in the car, I looked out of the window and I always tried to find the reason behind the things that I witnessed. If there was no logical explanation, I would make up a story letting my imagination run wild. Once I said to my mother that I spent most of my time making up stories for all the things happening around me, no matter how random they were and she told me I should start penning them down. Back then for a kid of eight years old, I wasn’t ready to take so many efforts and between all the classes and school; I barely had free time on my hands. My English teacher in the sixth grade told me once that my essays were imaginative and I had a way with words.

It was then I felt that maybe I should write down my thoughts and so I made a diary. At first, whatever I wrote it didn’t satisfy me, I always felt something was missing but I didn’t stop.  After school, I started reading a lot any summary which caught my eye I read that book. It inspired me and I started wondering about my own ideas about the stories, how I would change them or add some things here and there. It was during my twelfth-grade finals when I had an idea for a story, the whole plot replayed in my mind till I wrote it down. I sat down every day without fail and in two months time I had completed my first ever story. It had a few grammatical mistakes, my plot wasn’t flawless but I was proud of the fact that I had completed it.  It was then I had discovered my passion for writing.  I never looked back after that.

I started reading a lot of books from different genres from self-published writers to popular ones and it improved my narration in writing. I realized the do’s and don’ts of writing a novel-length story. One story which is very close to my heart is not any classic but “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green. The story is just so honest in its portrayal of life. It is heart-warming and about ordinary people like me. The characters are so real and you can easily relate to them, they could be someone around you. Though being a fan of happy endings this story justifies the sad end because life is not fair and oblivion is inevitable. This story inspired me to be honest about life and emotions while writing. The other stories by the author also leave an impact on you.

Another such writer whom I am a fan of is Khaled Hosseini. His stories tick all the boxes for me. The descriptions about his country Afghanistan are so well written that you can picture how everything had been before the war and after, while reading. The characters though brave have flaws and like everyone, they have done things they aren’t proud of but they try to the right thing.

I spend a lot of time reading self-published author’s works on my tablet and even though not all stories are up to the mark some are remarkable. There are a couple of self-published authors I have a lot of respect for; A. Meredith Walters, Jamie McGuire and Kirsty Moseley to name a few. Their stories make you laugh, cry, agitated but in the end, they always manage to make me smile. These are some writers which inspire me because I wish to write contemporary romances with ease and precision just like them. If I say so myself, I am a hopeless romantic. Writing about two people falling in love and facing ups and downs together is something which excites me as a writer. I read love stories for inspiration but they are also my escape from the reality. Losing yourself in reading and writing soothes my mind and soul. “As a writer, you ask yourself to dream while awake,” says Aimee Bender which I find very true.

I have always been a dreamer often being scolded for my lack of concentration but writing gives me the freedom to dream, to be as creative as I want to be. I want to create characters which in no way are perfect; they have flaws. They all have their own baggage to carry; I want to show character development as the story progress. I am not fond of the characters that seem unrealistically flawless which makes them unrealistic to many readers. “To Kill a Mocking Bird” by Harper Lee is also one of my favorite novels. The story is told through the eyes of children and their innocence is displayed in a wonderful yet subtle manner. This story is inspiring to me because it also has a social message along with a good plot and characters. The characters like Atticus Finch and Calpurnia are strong-minded people who couldn’t be defeated by the social norms of the time. It’s the kind of writing that is fearless and something I aspire to do.

As a writer, I want to be fearless. I don’t want to hold back my feelings or restrict my creativity in any way. I want my imagination to run as far and wild as my mind allows. What I write is a part of who I am, it is a big part of my identity. I want to take my characters on a ride they and the readers will never forget. I want my work to appeal to emotionally to the readers like books I read appeal to me. I want them to laugh, cry, and even hate along with my protagonists. “Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to split open,” says Natalie Goldberg. This is what I hope to achieve. To write what I want, how I want without holding anything back or worrying about people who may not like it is the way I wish to write.  It is important to be in touch with reality even though it is a work of fiction. The touch of reality that the fiction shows along with imagery created by the writer is what attracts the readers and captivates them. There is no way writing can be perfect right from the first draft. It is a process which requires time, patience and dedication. I feel that I should spend more time writing than I do now because the more I will write the more I will keep improving.

Sometimes the mind is completely blank and no matter what I do I can’t think of anything to write. I have to be patient while writing, it needs a calm environment and you can’t force it. When writing is forced it doesn’t feel up to the mark. I have to learn to be patient so that the words can flow easily through me then to try to write something which is not as good or satisfactory. I have to give myself more time to write every day even if it’s only a couple of sentences or paragraphs. I try to read as many different books from various authors as I can to stimulate me.  Living in a protected society doesn’t give you ideas about other cultures or new experiences. I wish to travel to different countries to meet new people and gain more necessary experience but in a way, it is easier to draw inspiration from your own experiences. Those experiences have a completely different power because they are real and ordinary but leave an impact not only your perspective of the present but of the past and the future as well; it shapes you.

I write my best when I am calm and not rushed. I want to be capable of creating a whole new world through my writing where readers can find an escape from the harsh realities of the world.

Disappeared – Short Story

I sat in my room, a bunch of pictures sprawled all over the bed. I didn’t know why I had this sudden urge to take out all the old photographs. I spent the last hour finding the one I wanted. When I saw Ben today, I couldn’t help but think of her. I use to hang out with them sometimes, just the three of us; me, Ben and her. There are so many unanswered questions. It’s been years.  It’s an unsaid rule in our family; whenever we meet no one asks about her. No one even mentions her. I don’t like it, acting like she didn’t exist because she mattered and she was real. She was a very important part of my life. I think about it from time to time, I want to know what happened. “You have to learn to let things go.” she always told me. But I couldn’t let it go, not without knowing what really happened. I have spent a lot of time revisiting that day hoping each time I might find something, some clue…

“You’re late.” I said the moment I saw her. She rolled her eyes at me. She thought I was the silly one that I expected her to be here on time when history said otherwise. “I am on time. You are early.” She said and took my arm. “We should do something different today. Hmm I know, I’ll take you shopping then we will go that lake you like so much. We’ll take some sandwiches along, have a picnic.” I was a bit shocked. She always wanted to do something epic, her suggesting we do something normal made me a bit uneasy. Then she giggled, “I am just kidding. Oh, Jen, you are so easy to tease, that’s one of the reasons you are my favorite cousin.“  Yup, back to normal. My cousin, Clara, never gave a second thought about anyone’s opinion.  People thought she didn’t care but I knew her, she cared too much. She did what she wanted; she had big dreams about her life that often was the reason for her conflicts with her parents. Being just one year apart we had always been close. I wish I could have said something that day, anything that might have changed her mind. She became quiet next to me, too quiet. “Something wrong?” I asked.  She was my best friend. I knew she would tell me when she was ready but she never did.  She gave me a serious look and then smiled, “Nothing to worry about little sis. Let’s go. I have an awesome day planned. “She shrugged it off, changing the topic and we spent a crazy day together. Every moment spent with Clara was crazy and her enthusiasm so infectious. Little did I know those were the last moments I would ever spend with her?

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I still remember that day as if it was yesterday. That was the last day anyone ever saw her. I was the last person to her. Her parents called the next evening asking us to send her back home. She told them she was spending the night at our house. Her parents became frantic, they went to the police, filed a missing complaint. They called all her friends to see if she was with anyone if they had any information. No one knew a thing. She was gone, just vanished. For months we all were disturbed, every time the phone rang, we thought it was her. But she never called. It’s been ten years now. She disappeared from our lives, just like that without a trace. She was a big part of my life, I depended on her. She was gone leaving us all behind, leaving me behind. Ben mentioned her today; he was one of her friends. Seeing him brought a rush of memories and I couldn’t help but ponder over Clara. It bothers him too I guess, not knowing. For me, that’s the worst part. If I know the reason I can try to understand, move on; have closure. I don’t know what happened to her if she is alive or dead. Looking at the picture of us from that day which we took at some carnival, I hope she would have told me. I still hope that she is out there somewhere and she is happy. No one else believes this, they think she’s dead. They think she got involved in something she couldn’t get out of. She did have her fair share of troublemaking but this was too drastic even for her. She would have been thirty years old this year, but here I sit by myself looking at a picture of us on her birthday. My aunt blamed me for a long time. She believed I knew where she had gone and refused to tell them. I explained to her over and over that if I knew I would have stopped her. It’s hard thinking about where she must be. There has to be a reason, something happened to her. I’ll never forget her last words to me “ Never change, little sis.” Maybe that was her way of saying goodbye. I should have known she would never say something like this out of the blue but I was nineteen, I dismissed it without a thought. She had always been a bit mysterious and larger than life. She told me everything, I believed but I think she told me only the good things and dealt with the bad stuff on her own. I always thought that no one knew her better than me but now I realize that no one knew her at all.