Sunday, 6 September 2015

Intuitive Writing

I don't need an alarm clock. My ideas wake me

~ Ray Bradbury

First let us understand the meaning of the word Intuition.

Intuition, a phenomenon of the mind, describes the ability to acquire knowledge without inference or the use of reason. The word intuition comes from Latin verb intueri translated as consider or from late middle English word intuit, to contemplate.

Human beings gather the knowledge about their environment by one of the following two methods-
  1. Intuition- With mind
  2. Sensation- With one of the five senses

When a person uses sensation to gather the knowledge of his/her environment, s/he is using the faculty of observation over intuition.

What is Intuitive Writing?
Intuitive Writing is a method of writing in which the writer creates the fictional world by paying more attention to the dynamics of mind.

What is Sensory Writing?
Sensory Writing is a method of writing in which the writer creates the fictional world by observing the world around him and then trying to replicate it in the fictional world.
There is no right or wrong method. They are different methods.

My experience with Intuitive Writing-
While writing my first fiction book #IAm16ICanRape, a psychological thriller that raises strong objection against the growing Rape Culture in India and questions the Juvenile Justice System of India, I experienced the power of intuitive writing for the first time in my life.

This is how the process went-
  1. At first, I read and researched about the topic of rape for one and a half years
  2. During the same times, I would often write around 2-10 pages every day even when I didn’t had any particular thing to write
  3. Then I wrote around 100 pages of character sketches. The details of the character.

And then I started sweating. I had done everything that had to be done and yet the muse had not turned up at my door. I didn’t know what the story of the novel would be. I was scared beyond words.
I knew in theory there is something called intuitive writing, but I had not experienced it till that point in time. I wrote a one page pitch of the novel and kept reading it over and over for next few days. 

And then, one day, while I sat at my laptop, a scene started playing out in my head as if I was watching a movie. I wrote the scene exactly the way it played out in the head.
The scene became the chapter-9.1 of my book. I knew I had to place it in the beginning even though it came much later as an incident in the plot line. With this one scene, I started writing my step out line in such a way that the characters who appear white in the beginning continue to look darker and darker as the book progresses and vice versa.
I wrote the step out line in a week, but as the book progresses most of the scenes of original step out line were changed by scenes that came out more organically from the characters. I had to be open to the idea of changing the story as the work progressed.

Today, I can assure every writer with complete confidence when they will let the story brew in the recess of their minds for long enough- they can experience a phenomenon called intuitive writing, which is pure bliss.

Link to the book-


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  2. Kirtida. Good piece about writing and thought. I have always believed that a writers mind was a gift given to the chosen. And from whom or where, l know not. Persnally, l never take credit for my creations, l leave that to the given mind. Bill. L. Old Author.

    1. Thanks Derek. I didn't use to believe in the power of intuitive writing till I had a first hand experience of it. Now, I am a convert. I write what my characters make me write :)