Indian writers discuss the craft of storytelling
Karachi: Two Indian writers talked about their struggle with the pen, which they called “a craft and a tool”.
In a session titled; the art of storytelling, Jugal Mody author of a book, Joke, and Annie Zaidi, a journalist, poet, playwright and author of two books discussed their experiences, as Mohsin Siddiqui, moderated the event.
According to Mody, “It’s that obsession in you that makes you tell a story which will compel you to sit and write one day.”
In a workshop he attended before he began writing his first book, he learnt, “Read what you would like to read.”
“One should know the nuts and bolts of writing. The most beautiful story is anecdote. Through your anecdote let the reader feel he is at the place,” he said.
And the best way to practice is to create your own blog. “Your readers will give you feedback, and you will know when you’re ready to write a book.”
As for Zaidi, she only began writing when she got access to the Internet. “When my write-ups got positive feedback I gained confidence.”
Despite having authored two books and some scripts, she considers herself someone who is still struggling. “I generally know what my story is, but not how I will go about it. Sometimes I realise that I am not going anywhere, and this is when I stop, go back and write again.”
For a story to be powerful, she believes it is the character which is most important. “Whose story are you telling? Is the person interesting enough to be read?”
The worst mistake beginners make, she thinks, is when they begin telling their own life story. “Hard as it may sound, your life is not as interesting as you think it is.”
An important tip for poetry she says is developing a narrative somewhere along the way. “Where are you in this big city?”
“The reader in this case will relate to loneliness, himself, city, big, and somehow develop the context to what you are writing.”
Nevertheless, she advises, “it is important to get over the fear of how people will react”. —Sidrah Roghay