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Showing posts from 2017

Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018

Photo by Norwood Themes on Unsplash.com It's time to say goodbye to yet another year. The end of the year is always a good time for reflection and anticipation. For me, 2017 will always be a milestone year for two reasons. One of my feature screenplays made it to the semi-finals of the Nicholl Fellowships . Yet another highlight was the making of my short script "7 Lives" into a film. I also had the good fortune to interact and meet with fellow authors and readers at the Noida Lit Fest. Perhaps the biggest learning for me is this: Every writer's journey is unique. Just like the stories we tell are different, so also are our experiences. While we all  chase "success", it can be interpreted in a myriad ways. Trying to set our own individual goals and go past them is perhaps the whole point of writing. Whether that comes in the form of book sales, write-for-hire projects, or getting your script made into a film, every milestone, every goal counts

Trailer of 7 Lives - A short film on #OrganDonation

Dying is a topic that no one wants to talk about. It's not surprising then that organ donation, which needs to be discussed in every family, gets brushed under the carpet. Come to think of it, organ donation is perhaps the only act that can enable a human being to live beyond death. Robert Test encapsulates this thought through his beautiful poem, To Remember Me At a certain moment a doctor will determine that my brain has ceased to function and that, for all intents and purposes, my life has stopped. When that happens, do not attempt to instill artificial life into my body by the use of a machine. And don't call this my 'deathbed.' Call it my 'bed of life,' and let my body be taken from it to help others lead fuller lives. Give my sight to a man who has never seen a sunrise, a baby's face or love in the eyes of a woman. Give my heart to a person whose own heart has caused nothing but endless days of pain. Give my blood to the teenager

Writers need to believe in themselves and their work

Writing can  be -- and is -- a hobby for many people. It  helps them de-stress and relax, connect with readers and writers and provides immense enjoyment. Writing can be -- and is -- a profession for many others. It helps them earn a living. Screenplay writers, authors of best selling novels, content writers fall in this category.  For them, writing is not only an enjoyable endeavour but it is a form of livelihood. I belong to this category. In August, I found myself in the happy position of having my script COACHING CLASS placed as semi-finalist in the reputed Academy Nicholl Fellowship (2017). It was a major milestone in my writing journey. From a professional point of view, it meant that it was a kind of a stamp or certificate if you will, for filmmakers who are on the look out for professional screenwriters. Sure enough, I began to get requests from talent management companies almost immediately and one of the top Indian production companies showed interest too. All very

Story = Conflict

Photo by Tanja Heffner on Unsplash.com Life imitates art. Or does art imitate life? Whichever way you may look at it, you can’t get away from the fact that in life and in art, there is conflict.  While in real life you do your best to avoid conflict, if you did the same in your writing, your story would be dull, drab and downright unreadable or unwatchable.  Imagine a movie where all characters live happily and there is no conflict.   Or a novel where page after page is a no-conflict-zone?   Boring, right?  Conflict in your story ENGAGES your reader/viewer. That’s the top reason why you need conflict in your story.   It keeps them watching the movie or turning the pages.   It gives them reason to root for your hero, fear for him and hope that he will be able to bring down the villain or triumph over the obstacles.  Different types of conflict Having conflict however does not mean that every scene needs to be a ‘fight’ scene. Conflict can be   about   o

The Story of a Nicholl Semi Finalist

“Writing is a lonely art. You tend to sit on your own in a room without a whole lot of feedback, and frankly, your mother’s feedback, your dad’s feedback is not really what you want because they love and adore you. You actually want to read the tough feedback from professional readers or from the agents or managers that you submit your material to in your great quest to get representation.” – Peter Samuelson, screenwriter. Contests are a great way to get feedback that every writer needs—to understand what is working in the script and what’s not. I chose to enter my drama screenplay, Coaching Class in the Finish Line Competition in 2016 because they promised to give me feedback for my script. What’s more, based on the evaluation, I could re-submit a revised draft. This enabled me to improve my script taking it to the top of the contest table and winning a first runner-up place.  While a contest win can be a great ego boost, it actually is much more than that. It enhan

The Art of the Title

Finding the right title for your book is crucial. An inspired title can create the right buzz for the book and help it along in its journey towards success. Today, I have on my blog Debeshi Gooptu Bakshi. She is a former journalist turned author who lives and works in Gurgaon. Debeshi's book which was published by Juggernaut Books in January 2017 goes by the intriguing and creative title of Dragon Aunty Returns In this post, Debeshi talks about how you can ensure you have a title that is unique and memorable... Do not judge a book by its cover. Isn’t this a proverb all of us have grown up hearing and believing? Ironically though, proverb aside, books tend to be judged by their titles and covers. People do it all the time. How many times have you walked into a bookstore and been wowed by a fantastic title and cover of a book whose author you knew nothing about? I’m guessing – quite often! Despite what life tells you, the cover and title of a book

Celebrating the Release of #Avishi and #MySingaporeFling

This Weekend has been a particularly busy one for two of my #MyNoWriMo author buddies, Saiswaroopa Iyer and Sudesna Ghosh. A book release is no mean feat. Writers, who prefer to be left alone to create beautiful tales, have to come out of their writing dens and market their precious creations. Believe me, marketing can take the mickey out of the best of writers! While Sai's book Avishi is set in Ancient India and tells the story of a warrior queen, Sue's is a modern romance set in Singapore and is titled My Singapore Fling . Intrigued, aren't you? Well, I will let Sai and Sue introduce their books to you and what prompted them to write these stories... Over to... Saiswaroopa Iyer:  Avishi is the reimagined rendition of Rig Vedic legend of Vishapala, the female warrior with a prosthetic leg. It felt wonderful to work on a relatively unknown character from the ancient lore as opposed to retell the same stories (Nothing against retellings here!). The readers can

#MyNoWriMo Writer Buddies Pen 150,000+ Words in May!

The #MyNoWrimo Update One month after we began the #MyNoWriMo initiative , we are a bunch of Happy Writers. We motivated ourselves and each other to kick procrastination and kickstart the daily habit of writing. It's amazing how despite our pretty hectic schedules we managed to find the time to indulge our passion. Along the way, we exchanged tidbits of information, learned from each other, celebrated our writing achievements and bonded over everything from love for cats to drooling over cakes! While we all had flexi writing targets and each of us was working on different projects of varying lengths, the collective output was more than 150,000 words. That's the power of motivation! 😎 Here's what the #MyNoWriMo Buddies have to say about their key learnings: Saiswaroopa Iyer 30,000 words in 30 days (Actually a day less!). A month ago, I did not dream I'll be able to declare the early draft of my novella this soon. And what's more, I had delig

#MyNoWriMo Update... Writing is a Celebration

http://www.aditebanerjie.com/2017/04/mynowrimo-because-all-manuscripts-dont.html Ten days into #MyNoWriMo , each of us have had our epiphanies, our writing triumphs and challenges and multiple mini-celebrations. The best part of this initiative is that it is completely flexible. We are all working on our own WIPs, with our own targets. Sue is working on a series of short stories while I am writing a 50,000 word book that I had been procrastinating about for a year. Ruchi is working on a half-finished novella while Vandana has breathed new life into her historical novel. Esha Pandey, the newest member of our group -- please say hello to  policewoman, mum of two and romance writer -- had a semi-finished WIP. But after she joined us on Day 5 of #MyNoWriMo she has already powered through another 6000 words and we have just celebrated the Tenth Day of our Writing Initiative. So, over to the Magnificent Seven Writers who tell us about their learnings.... Saiswaroopa Iyer:  The