Tag: writinginspiration

Storytelling to me is…

Storytelling to me is…

 

Stories become a part of our life since infancy and stay with us to the end. Over the years the nature of the stories changes, from the mythical or fantasy stories your grandparents tell you for entertainment to the ones you read for inspiration or simply for the sake of pleasure. We all consume stories and the good stories are the ones which always stay with us for a long time.

If you ask any writer established or amateur about the process of writing, there is little possibility of getting similar answers. The art of storytelling like any other form of art doesn’t come with a specific set of rules. The most important thing to storytelling is the perspective; no two perspectives are the same so if your perspective is different it can never be a repetition. There are some components which can make for an effective storytelling.

Realism is necessary to any form of storytelling whether fiction or non-fiction, there needs to be some element of reality in the story, be it through the plot, setting or any other aspect. The audience should be able to have some connection to the story and by keeping things realistic this part is taken care of.

The next important aspect according to me is the characters; they are the heart of the story, literally. The characters are the ones through which we explore the story so the characterization has to be accurate. The characters should be grounded in reality; the characteristics of the characters should be relatable. When the characters are ideal, it is hard to find common ground with them or feel connected to them because they are far too high on a pedestal.

As a storyteller, it is necessary to spend a fair amount of time on the creation of the plot and the characters because they are most important and often the most difficult part of storytelling. There is no need to follow any other perspective than your own. Every person has different reactions to different situations and interprets the scenarios differently; this individuality must be maintained in storytelling.

Inspiration can be taken from anywhere – folktales, myths, classics etc. Personal life experience itself gives a pool of ideas to draw from and I think it can become the most natural way of storytelling as it is close to the heart. With a sprinkle of imagination and words, a whole new world can be created through storytelling.

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.