Monday, 4 January 2016

Week 1- Stage 1- Brainstorming


Week 1-  Stage 1- Brainstorming
Total Number of Pages of Brainstorming- 100
Total Number of Weeks- 2
Pages Per Week- 50


I don’t like to use the adjective GREAT for anything. It gives a sense of megalomania. I like the adjective GOOD ENOUGH. It gives a sense of struggle. It tells that someone has put the effort.  Good Enough has character. I like when things give me a sense of their texture and smell. I like the words that can reach to my senses and Good Enough is a Good Enough word for me for that purpose.

I wrote my first novel #IAm16iCan. And I perceive it as a Good Enough debut work. (Here comes the narcissism, figure out the subtext.) I test marketed the book and received feedback from peers and readers that reassures my faith in the work.

After #IAm16iCan, I wrote another novel which I am self-editing at the moment. That is also Good Enough in the opinion of my Beta Readers. I am currently writing the third novel and therefore I feel I am in a Good Enough place to talk about the process I follow.

I am writing this blog because some of my readers wanted to know how I conceived my first book. Now, with my third book, I feel I can ask them to take the ride with me on the journey so they can learn from my experience and I can learn from their experience.

I call myself a Method Writer. It’s a self-coined term. It is derived from Konstantin Stanislavsky’s school of acting - Method Acting.


It’s a 36 Weeks Program and consist 7 stages of writing. I thank my mentor, my Guru Anjum Rajabali for teaching me this method for writing screenplays at Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. I have adapted the same method to write novels. 

When things get in the Belly of the Whale phase, it takes me 36 weeks time to finish my work. With my first book, the 36 weeks time was spread over a course of 2 years. For my second book, the 36 weeks got cramped in 12 weeks.




What does this mean?
It means that the time is not the critical criteria. The work is. 

The 7 Stages of this Method are-
  1. Brainstorming
  2. Research
  3. Story (Premise, Pitch, Treatment)
  4. Character Sketches
  5. Step Out Line
  6. First Draft
  7. Synopsis
The first stage is called- BRAINSTORMING.
It’s a stage during which I follow STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS kind of writing.
I don’t-
  • Stop
  • Censor
  • Let anyone read it (As a matter of fact, I don't let anyone my work in progress. Only my Beta Readers and Editors read my work in progress, it's one of the neurosis I suffer from as a writer.) 

What do I do?
  • I write
  • I write
  • I write
Brownie Points for Reading: 
Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg







Walk the Talk: This week, I plan to write 34 pages for Book 3 of Yin Yang.

See you guys next week.

In Real World:
Following except is what I wrote when I started working on my novel #IAm16iCan
The readers who have read the novel will notice how different the plot line is from the actual book. That is how Work In Progress looks like. 

Friday, November 15, 2013
Another dark night. Again I am in my room next to my laptop. I dread writing all the bullshit I keep writing. Today some interesting points came in my head.
The gang who rapes Subhangi:
  • Aarush
  • Pratik
  • Vijay
  • Madhav
These are the 4 boys. Other than Vijay, rest of them are juveniles. There are things. I got to make notes. One of them try to see everything from physics point of view. What is going to be their mentality? 

I am feeling scared. I know that first time in my life I am going to put myself out there. I will be judged for what I write. People will either like what I write or they will not like it. It scares me to think that they might find my work banal. I don’t want to be perceived stupid. Honestly, I am quite scared. 

Don’t worry, I stick by my word. You get to come here and start writing. You are going to write 10 pages every day. I will give you the story in due time. I don’t see how that will happen. Moreover even if that happens, I don’t understand how what I will write will make any sense. These are the dark hours of soul and I can be honest. I don’t see myself as a writer. I feel like a fraud all the time. I feel I have been able to fool people in believing that I write good stories but in reality I am not a good story teller. No person would be interested in reading what I will write.

Major Plot Changes in Final Book:
  1. There are not 4 but 2 boys in gang rape
  2. One of the boys is a math and not physics genius 
When I say PAGE, I mean Courier Final Draft Font- 1.5 Space. Approximately 300 to 400 words

Kirtida Gautam is a clinical psychologist and the author of the novel #IAm16iCan. Follow her on Twitter @KirtidaGautam




6 comments:

  1. I would say yes, you are pretty much on right track as I am also using these techniques for my novella but I have never named them..but glad to know that you are taking things seriously.. Its hard for me to be regular with writing these days.. So, from now I ll be keeping myself on a tight strict schedule for writing.. This post is worth helping.. Keep up the good work and stay blessed.. :)

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    1. Thanks Surbhi, writing can be a lonely process. Everything that qualifies a person as neurotic in real world makes a writer- which is scary and assuring at the same time. The people who sail in the same boat can give an assurance, "You are not crazy, you are just like me" :)

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  2. 👍, pretty much you have brought the psyche of the writer(we all go crazy while in that phase).

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    Replies
    1. It's most reassuring to know that I am not lonely in my craziness. I have fellow travelers on this journey :)

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  3. I would say, this is a great, no not great, good enough blog to help aspiring authors from any problem. Keep posting.

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