Manreet S. Someshwar’s latest. Also Writers on Writing.

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Manreet Sodhi Someshwar’s latest novel, ” The Hunt for Kohinoor” (Westland, 2013) is slated to be released  in mid-December 2013. As is common these days, you can pre-order this at Flipkart.  This, if I am not mistaken, is a sequel to her earlier book, “The Taj Conspiracy” which was very interesting. I loved her first book, “The Long Walk Home,” which was set in the Punjab at the time of the Partition. My best wishes go out to Manreet. May ” The Hunt For Kohinoor” be a super hit!

Many people have the urge to write and write well. However, not everyone makes the grade. In this context, I liked this blog post by Maria Popova in Brainpickings called, “9 Books on Reading and Writing.” With gems from authors like Ernest Hemingway and Stephen King, this post points you to books that can transform your writing.

A few extracts:

  • Anne Lamott in ” Bird By Bird, A Few Instructions on Writing and Life,”

“Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It’s like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can’t stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.”

  • Stephen King in his classic,  “On Writing:A Memoir of the Craft”

“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”

  • Ernest Hemingway in ” Ernest Hemingway On Writing”

” The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof shit detector. This is the writer’s radar and all great writers have had it.”

After Effects of NaNoWriMo

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This morning I wrote a blog post on my recent effort in the National Novel Writing Month aka NaNoWriMo. I mentioned how thrilled I was to complete it successfully for the fifth successive year.

In this post I wish to dwell on the after effects:)

  • What you  seee before you id the editied version. (sic) Nothing proves a point more than a demonstration. What I meant to key in was, “What you see before you is the edited version.” Yes, banging away thousands of words per day with a tight deadline does that to you, at least it does that to me. Many typographical errors erupt like a particularly severe attack of acne as your mind works faster than your fingers can fly. Your mind has moved on to the next sentence while your fingers can barely keep up. Therefore you have, as per my theory, so many typos. It takes a while for you to slow down. A while before you get back the accuracy of your keying in which has become a casualty in your recently acquired quest for speed.
  • There’s also a void in your life. Seriously. For one whole month NaNoWriMo took over your schedules and grabbed the highest priority. Several other assignments remained incomplete, others fell by the wayside while you focused on attaining your goal to  write 50,000 words during the month of November. Now you need to pick up the projects you looked away from, those that emerge as being high priority now that the frenetic activity of NaNoWriMo is over. Believe me, you do feel kind of lost for the first few days. But do write a bit every day. That’s the discipline that NaNoWriMo teaches you, which can stay with you for the rest of your life.
  • You haven’t written those 50,000 + words just for the heck of it. You will do your best, I am sure, to complete the novel in all respects. It means a huge amount of work now that you have laid the foundation for your novel. The editing, the fine tuning, the building up of your NaNo Novel starts now. But wait. I would recommend you take a break. Set it aside for a month or so, then come back to it afresh. You will see it differently. You will pick up from where you left off.

In my experience, after NaNoWriMo it takes anywhere between one to two years to get your novel published. So when people say, ” You completed NaNoWriMo successfully? Oh, wow! When and where do we turn up for the book launch?” You need to take a deep breath and say NaNoWriMo was just the start. You have heaps to do before that novel sees the  light of day as a published book.

My best wishes to you for your effort to get that NaNo novel published.

“Obedience Unto Death” for NaNoWriMo 2013

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In this blog you will find quite a number of posts on NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) the last one was about NaNoWriMo being like a game of golf. As you might expect, I am participating in NaNoWriMo once again this year.

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“The Last Clinic”: Gary Gusick

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” The Last Clinic” the debut novel of  Gary Gusick is set in the American South and features Detective Darla Cavannah of the Sheriff’s office in Jackson, Mississippi with all its nuances of a small town in the Deep South. More

“Little Man From The East” : Maj. Gen. M.K.Paul (Retd)

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“Little Man From The East: Marching Through Tumultuous Decades” is , in my view, a “must read” for anyone interested in 20 th century Indian history. It also happens to be the story of a soldier engineer commissioned into one of the oldest Regiments in the Indian Army,  the famous Madras Engineer Group ( more commonly called The Madras Sappers, and more fondly as ‘The Thambis’) first raised  in 1780.  Major General M K Paul (retd), the author, served with distinction in the Indian Army for nearly 37 years before retiring in 1991.

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Survey on Historical Fiction

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Thanks to my long-standing interest in historical fiction I connected with the author, MK Tod. I follow Mary’s tweets @MKTodAuthor and she pointed me to a very interesting survey she has been conducting which seeks to find out what makes historical fiction buffs love this genre. You will find a lot of information on this in her blog A Writer of History. More

More on Writing A Synopsis

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“Gee, it’s far easier to write 70,000 or even 90,000 words than it is to write a winning synopsis.” You must have heard this a million times. You have written your book and the next thing you need is to have ready a synopsis because that is what everyone, from your agent to a potential publisher will ask for. More

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