Friday, May 06, 2011

My tryst with fiction


Here it is: I actually completed a piece of fiction that I’d started. It was supposed to be a story, but it turned out to be more of an experiment in very subtle magical realism than anything else. I posted the thing on Facebook, ready to brave all sorts of comments. This is what I got:

·        Better than Stephenie Meyer. Barely.
·        “Not so gud :/”
·        This isn’t fiction at all.
·        Hmm. Now check out this video.

Such lovely people. So why was my story/rambling/collection of words so strongly rejected? I have a clue. "But nothing much happens," a friend of mine intoned on the phone. This made me mad. "What does she mean nothing much happens, italicised no less?" I thought. I agree nothing much happens externally--the whole thing consists of a train ride and later, some tears; but aren't thoughts, memories, confusions and yearnings concrete incidents? Don't they usually affect the course of our lives more than "real" happenings? 

Or do people always expect extraordinary happenings and twists and morals in a story? Or am I unbelievably unimaginative?

Anyway, this episode taught me some things:

·        A little of what we hate is always present in ourselves.
·        I should have used fewer semicolons (like some writer said on his deathbed).
·        The people who encourage you are the people you are grateful to the most, because you are only human.
·        It is easy to criticise the writings of other people, and the ones who take the criticism seriously are the best of all. 
·        Never call your story Sunshine.
·        It doesn’t hurt much to dabble in things that are not your forte. 

16 comments:

  1. i'd say the reason for that is people are so bollywood-based these days. A story is good if it is fit to be made into a movie and reaches the box office. Pathetic really!
    Well-expressed.

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  2. I liked this more than the story.

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  3. @The Xeno: I don't know, maybe that's true, maybe it isn't. My friends will kill me if I say that. Thank you!
    @Anonymous: Thank you! You didn't have to stay anonymous, you know.

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  4. But anonymity is very important to me, and I don't want to be recognized in public more than I already am.
    :)

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  5. Now I don't even know if you're the same Anonymous. I hate anonymity!

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  6. Xeno your opinion is stupid and you're stupid for having it.

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  7. Now I hate anonymity even more. Whatever happened to subtlety?

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  8. @Jaai:
    Wow! You've got a lot of die-hard bollywood fans as readers! Or just Xeno-Jealous people! :D

    @Anonymous:
    I'm so not bothered! But hey say what? Log into your own profile and accept that you made that anonymous comment! I'll write an entire blogpost on you! I promise!

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  9. @Xeno: I meant they probably had better reasons for not liking it. Ad yay, a fight on my blog! :D

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  10. The thing is, Jaai, many people EXPECT something to happen, or at least expect a veneer of something happening. Like thoughts of events is still something, keeps the story moving. Thoughts and feelings expressed in first person comes off as rambling more often than not.
    Most people don't know what semicolons are, sad fact of life. And yes, never Sunshine.

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  11. Yes, I wanted to write fiction and ended up writing a rambling, so I suppose I'm just not cut out to write fiction at all. And I meant you (and others) when I mentioned people who accept criticism gracefully.

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  12. Hehe.. Ur posts are cute!
    Dont write a genre, make a genre out of what you write (badi badi baatein) ;)

    aJ

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  13. Well, thank you :) When you write the amount of stories I do, there are bound to be people who have a different opinion. Can't get discouraged. You should try again using what you know now

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  14. And your rambling skills make you a great blogger

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  15. @Aakash: Thank you :) That's the first time someone's called my posts "cute" :D
    I'll keep that in mind!

    @Varun: Thank you :) Perhaps I should be content with this.

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