Wednesday, April 04, 2012

For those who want to write a book

I get a lot of emails from people who aske me for tips. The questions are the same almost always, so i thought i will put my experiences here. So for the first time, here we go:

Be patient.
You need to be patient.. You will take months to write the novel, months to get the right publisher and months to get it into the market.Okay it might not be as bad but nevertheless you need bucket fulls of patience.

Be ready for criticism
TIB has been on the best seller list of the most reputed newspaper in the country for the last 7 months. It is really unbelievable. And all i can say is that I am very grateful for that. However all things are not as rosy.

They cant be.

You might have put in your all in your book but there will be people who will trash it completely. But then you cannot please everyone,so you will have to tell yourself that it is okay. Develop a thick skin. When TIB came out, all i heard were great reviews so much so that it was unbelievable. But ofcourse, there will be bad ones too and when those came in i was so very very dejected. I told my husband that i will never write another book. Ever. But ofcourse, those were just meaningless tantrums that Sid had to put up with. Now if i read a bad review, I look at it very objectively. See, if i can take away anything from it and move on. I am also very grateful to the readers who come back with positive reviews, as they really make my day even now.

Know who you are wiritng for.
I know that i write for one person. That one person is typing this. :)

Develop your own style of writing.
I know of people who have the entire story etched out in their heads even before they start writing the first word. For them writing a book involves a lot of planning. I know of authors who use excel sheets!

My work involves a lot of planning, if i were to plan a book too, i would probably never write it! Infact that has already happened to me. About 3 months back, done with about 40 pages of book 2, I sat down one day to set the story in cement. I spent the next week meticuoulsy figuring out the plot and all the sub plots. And never wrote the story! The 40 pages still reisde in some folder on some laptop and will probably never see the light of the day.

I like the magic of weaving the story as i write it. I enjoy not knowing the plot. I dont think i can ever write a book knowing fully well what the detailed plot is all about...however, I am essentially a dreamer and this is my style. You need to find out yours and stick with it, no matter what other people tell you.

Develop a network of people who will have faith in you and will stand by you.
This is more difficult than it sounds. Trust me. Friends People will walk away, friends will stay. :) Treasure them.

Read as much as you can. I have spent atleast 1/4th or maybe even 1/2 of my life with books. More often than not, i cannot sleep without reading. When i travel, my hand bag always has a book. Only when you enjoy being with books, can you write a book.

Get some one to proof read your book.
I have two people roped in to proof read my next whenever that is ready. I am very very glad that they are people whose judgemnet (and command over english grammar) I trust.

Always save the word doc!
And make sure you save in the right format. Keep emailing updated bits to your own email ID. Really, trust me on this one. A few weeks back, i lost about 9k words. I am still reeling.

Finally, the last bit of advice is to not listen to any advice.
No, not even mine. there is no formula. Trust me on that.


himanshu singh bora said...

thnx a lot for ur tips :)

himanshu singh bora said...

but why u posting by the name Ram pyari ?

Reema said...

thanks for the tips!

Reema said...

why cant wordpress people comment on your blog? why this discrimination? :)

Harshita Srivastava said...

thanks a ton for the tips...they are quite helpful as I am writing my first novel :)

Raam Pyari said...

@himanshu- you are welcome. Well the blog started about 7 years back and i wanted to stay that i am not anonymous, i still like to use the RP tag :)

@Reema- you are welcome. I will look into the wordpress bit shortly....should work...

@harshita- great! this post is really for aspiring authors. All the best!

AnSh said...

Know who you are wiritng for.
I know that i write for one person. That one person is typing this. :)

just love this part..
as I too write (Really a a lot) and it's for the person who typed this comment :)

nice tips

Shailendra said...

Thanks for the guidance you provided and above that hat's off for the generosity which you offered by sharing your thoughts with us..who do always think to write a book someday..even though i have not been a true book reader but i seriously want to read your book as it always hits my head whenever i think of it. I believe that someday an author like you will read my book and i would love take praise and criticism from your side.
once again thanks a lot for the tips.
Shailendra sharma.

akanksha said...

Bookmarking this post for future reference ;-)

Dr Roshan R said...

Like akanksha, I too will be bookmarking this.. and thanks for this post... I know I too feel the same way about so many of these things.. always see myself with so many ideas regarding the storyline, and eventually dont write anything cause it just seems so damn hard.

Calvin said...

Completely agree on the 'developing the plot' as you go along...actually, even if you start with something else in mind, mid way you may discover another better much better to let the story and characters evolve...

Bikramjit said...

good tips .. but someone like me can never do it i think :)

good luck to all the newbeeies ..


Raam Pyari said...

@ansh- true..its the most important thing, really!

@shailendra- sure, you can buy it is the link:

@akansha- :) sure, hope it helps you then!

@Dr R- nooo, you must write! be positive and confident, and just write!

@calvin- agreed! :)

@Bikram- i think you can :)


Thanks ruchi,for ur tips.These are really helpful.

Debdatta Dasgupta Sahay said...

Someone is plagiarising your work. Thought you should know. Check it out for yourself: