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Maliny Mohan

IMG_20161229_195350.JPGI see blog posts on 2016, the year that is soon going to disappear like a wisp of air right in front of our eyes and wonder whether I should be writing one on the topic too. Writing a post at the end of every month recollecting the good and bad things that completed the month was a new year resolution few moons back. When the fact remained so, pangs of guilt reappeared from that dejected, dusty corner of my heart nudging me to at least provide a fulfilling end to the year at the least. Thus arose this decision to write a post on the five incidents that happened over a span of 12 months, bringing with them reasons to smile, rejoice and be proud about.

I don’t know how it affects you, but for me, year-ends have always brought mixed emotions to my mind. I contemplate the influence…

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Writing TIPs from Madhulika

Dustedoff

I’ve been writing an off and on series on writing, and decided it was high time I got around to what most people (myself included) would regard as my core competence: the writing of fiction. Fiction, whatever its length—novel, novella, short story, microfiction—offers a lot more freedom than non-fiction does. You’re allowed to let your imagination run wild. People (except the occasionally nitpicking, editor-minded reader like me) tend to allow liberties with facts. You can create your own world. Literally.

I was told, some years back, by an editor who’d read one of my short stories, that I’d violated ‘two rules of creative writing’ in the story: one, that dreams should not play an important part in a story (she’d mistaken what I’d meant to be a hallucination for a dream). Two, that the story should not end with the death of a protagonist (which means that…

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Keep the faith and repeat this quote to yourself daily – Aekta Kapoor

100 Paths

I’ve quit my job, and what I am going to miss most is the opportunity to be a mentor (not just a boss). I have cherished my ‘Monday tips’ sessions with the boys and girls at my office, and they’ve made me promise to write them down if not speak them out every week. So here’s my first of the lot, my Monday tips to my former team across the Internet, instead of real life.

  1. A good plan implemented today is better than a perfect plan implemented tomorrow. – George Patton

A dear friend of mine was sharing her ideas for scaling up her enterprise, which is just a year old but has been getting great feedback from her clients. She was worried about the amateur quality of the videos and photos she has clicked, and the lack of a professional marketer to handle her social media. She said she…

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Ten tips to write better

Dustedoff

By which I mean writing that doesn’t make an editor wince.

Let me provide the context to this. Every now and then, I am approached by a wannabe writer who wants me to have a look at their manuscript and give my feedback. Very rarely (and what a sad reflection this is on Indian Writing in English), I find something that is a delight to read, even in its unpolished, unedited form. More often than not, what I receive is riddled with errors. Grammatical errors, factual errors, errors of everything from casing to punctuation.

When I have suggested, as part of feedback, that the manuscript be subjected to a series of self-reviews and (this is something not many Indians seem to be keen on) that an editor be  hired to clean up the manuscript, the usual reaction is, “But won’t my publishers do the editing?”

And my answer to that…

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All points please note!

On Getting Published, Good Books, and Living Goddesses

Here’s an update to the post below by Allison Williams:

I’ll add something for authors who wish to query in the USA – literary agent Janet Reid‘s blog is terrifically helpful with query and process guidance (it’s not quite as scary as ‘they’ll trash you if your title isn’t in italics 🙂 ) and the Query Shark blog is great for exactly how to write a query and where authors go wrong.

Also, the practice I’ve followed and that has helped many writers I know – send queries in batches, not all at once. Query 10 agents. If they all say no, something’s wrong with the query, so revise it before sending to the next ten. If agents request pages and then say no, revise the pages before sending to the next ten.

In the USA it’s important to send a personal query (Dear Agent X, I appreciate…

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Dear Agony Aunt

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Picture Credit HERE

Dear Agony Aunt,

This is to say I won’t be seeing you again. I thank you for all the patient hearing over all these years, especially in a world where nobody has ears anymore and family and friends don’t meet so often as they used to. However, I must confess, the eyes are growing larger and are capable of seeing wider, across the globe, as they remain glued to mobile phones.

What! Did you say, you didn’t know, what a Smartphone was?! Well, that is exactly why you have remained my best friend ever! Or else I would have washed my dirty linen on Twitter or Facebook or written a blogpost, instead of coming back to you.

Okay, let me not divulge from the point of where I started off, in the first place.

It’s been a long journey over several years and pains, aches and mood swings have littered the path, with violent spurts of irritability, squabbles, tears and anger tantrums, followed by days of uncontrollable desire to make haste to mate. Pushed around by programmed DNA to make babies, many times over I fell on a missionary position to make it with men, which the Lord knows are his ill begotten sons! Feminist though I am, I was unable to resist ‘taking help’ from THE LINGAM (see Link, if you please), that too with full consent, desperate desire to make babies!

Thankfully with modern technology, this wild attempt of mine failed. Praise the Lord!

And now, for the last two years I have been released from the chains of bondage to body, a few inches below the naval, by the kindness of nature. With all my neurological pathology cause by hormones, I am no more obsessed with the size of a man’s crotch, best suited to fertilize a human egg. Neither am I driven crazy by thoughts of losing the best crotch to the next best woman with bigger breasts. A wisdom has dawned, that the world is broken by wars about whose ‘gun’ / Lingam is bigger than whose and which breast can cause a man to stand upright till he invariably ‘falls’!

Thus, freed of the chains that bound me every month, to untold suffering, I have now attained nirbana. I am free of the vices that raked my body and my mind, jealousy being the first of them, quickly followed by possessiveness, all in the name of the illusion of love. I no more need to watch for a 36-24-36 size, which I am told is the ideal size to lock a man’s protrusion like he was stuck in a Coke bottle and could never come out.

I am therefore, peaceful and grateful to you for all the help you extended to me, in my turbulent journey of clots, plots and worry-warts.

Agony Aunt responds: Beware the aftermath of such raging wars with hormones. While they may have caused embarrassing stains and pains, but when they leave, they leave behind impressions of those terrible years, which are so engraved in the mind, that there may be, smoke, although there is no fire at all. See you soon again, my deluded child!