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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

On writing...

Since I've recently finished writing the story 'The Magnolias Still Bloom' on this space, and have heard/seen a lot of online and offline comments, I've been thinking about the feedback I got.

I'm glad a lot of you liked reading the story, even though it has a sad ending. I'm just an amateur writer, trying to learn to write better, but I thought I'd just share what makes me tick. (Perhaps it is presumptuous of me, but I think I'll still do it.)

When I write, I like to 'live' the character, so that's why most of my main protagonists are simply 'I' or 'He' - with no names specified. That helps me blend into the character better, and assign him my thoughts and my emotions.

And since I actually imagine myself going through all the experiences that a character does, I think I tend to be more visual, more descriptive and more 'raw' in my emotion. (That's both a good and a bad sign, as far as I know.)

When I started writing 'The Magnolias Still Bloom', I wanted to write a story about how a boy has a chance meeting with a mysterious girl, and how his infatuation changes to love. I wanted to write about how she spurns him, and is not very comfortable with the idea of a relationship.

But between the time the story was conceptualised and written, the boy grew up. I discovered that I could no longer believe in a fairy tale romance - 'and they lived happily ever after'. (Make no mistake, it's not that I don't believe in love; it's just that with love one also has to accept disagreements, arguments and other 'negative' emotions.)

I didn't want the boy and the girl to end up as two bickering middle-aged people, bored and frustrated with life. I didn't want the love they had to fade.

Even though she died (and I did feel very sad when writing and editing that section) I would like to believe that their love lives on. She died in pain, but happy at having found true love.

He lived (for many more years, hopefully) with the knowledge that true love exists and he shared it with her. He will always be able to go back to memories of happy times spent with her, and smile, even though that smile may be tinged with a bit of sadness.

Nevertheless, the magnolias still bloom.


Kaddu said...

Hey true love can be nurtured right through into the middle age too! Despite the differences in opinions & arguments n stuff! The romance can be kept alive even after years of living together... it just needs a little bit of work though... from both parties! :)

Scriber's Web said...

OH NO!!!! I am saving these posts to read when I have some me time. It is too good for a quick read. You gave away the ending!!! I only briefly read this post and hit some button to get me off to another page.

I've read until part 5 and the story is great. Don't give away the ending dude! You are killing me!

Saurabh said...

being an amateur writer myself (and believe, not possessing half of your talent), it's always a pleasure to read a writer's perspective. i have a question, though- was there a concelaed optimism in the story that true love lives on, or was it simply a taste of reality that people die and we've got to accept that. secondly, do u always prefer sad endings or was it the case only with this one.
anyway, love ur story !

Corinne Rodrigues said...

Hi Sumit - Kaddu (now which one is that?) beat me to it - just what do you mean about love and middle age!! I'll have you know that my husband and I met and fell in love when I was 41 and he was 51 and got married soon after. Love and middle age (yes, we're not old yet!) go very well, thank you!!
Thank you for sharing your 'process' - I've said it before, keep working at it and soon I'll be glad to have known you when you 'only had a blog' ;)
Take care.


Sumit said...

@Kaddu... agreed. Perhaps, I didn't phrase it well. I meant that I would've found it tough to make my characters age gracefully, and still be in love.

@Scriber... oops! :D

@Saurabh... thanks! The story was intended to have both - a optimism on love living on, and also a touch of realism. I think I write stories with sad endings better, but I'll try and write a happier one next.

@Corinne... wow! :) I didn't mean that middle-aged people can't be in love. All I wanted to say was that I don't have the skill to make my characters grow old and still be in love.

As far as the 'only had a blog' comment is concerned... AMEN! :D

floreta said...

hmm i tend to write "i" "he" "she" when writing too. i don't specify names to characters. i guess for me the general feelings and emotions are more important. so that the reader can enliven the story..just as you say!

Sumit said...

Floreta, I'm glad you agree. :)

Bhakti said...

oh u keep writin nd it is important 2 FEEL wat d character feels..we lrn (in scul) dat d bst talented prsn is d one who gets into d skin of d KEEP it up!