Dr Manjiri Prabhu is an academic, author of several novels, a short filmmaker and an animal lover. 'Imagination To Ink' is her 16-part series on writing and its aesthetics.
Well, this is the last post in this series on the basics of novel-writing. From imagination to penning the novel, we have come a long way. Let's have a quick run-through of the salient features that we have discussed so far.
1) First and foremost, you have to be motivated to write from your heart and not your head.
2) To be a writer, you must be highly imaginative, observant, flexible, ready to work very hard, be confident of your work, be self-disciplined, have lots and lots of patience, and most important of all, be open to criticism.
3) Begin by writing what you like to read.
4) Write for yourself. If you like what you write, then there's a chance that others will too.
5) Ideas can come from almost anywhere. Relax, keep your mind open, observe everything and everyone around you and before you know it, THE IDEA will have found you!
6) A well-formed, unique central character is like the engine of a train, which leads other characters smoothly on the tracks of the story.
7) You have to believe in the character yourself. The more you know about your characters, the more credible and interesting they will be within your plot.
8) For a good plot, you need to Plan and Pace your story in a Logical and Original manner, using different Techniques in writing.
9) Similarly a Story consists of S for Structure, T for Technique, O for Originality, R for Research and Y for Yearning.
10) Style is a manner of approaching the story, either in first person singular, third person singular or multiple or as the omniscient narrator.
11) An important feature of Dialogue is that it has to make a point.
12) When you write dialogue, it must seem natural and realistic. One way of doing this is to 'talk' your dialogue. It should inform a little, hint at more to come and introduce the plot in such a way, that the reader has no choice but to continue reading.
13) Do not begin a novel saying 'I'm going to make it so many pages'. Let it evolve naturally.
14) Writing is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration!
These are just some of the features involved in writing a novel. There are, of course, many more, but this is good beginning. Remember, Creativity can have no rules. It can take any form, any length and any expression. So unleash that creative urge within you and begin writing the novel you've always wanted to!
Now, is the time to take the plunge. . .
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