January 5, 2014

Tying the story with a rope

Dear M,

Some stories are skin deep, some live in flesh and blood. You can almost feel the veins and arteries pushing against you, the nerves telling you tales.

Having recently had the occasion to encounter both one after the other, the difference is so pronounced in my eyes. The first, the skin-deep kind, commonly referred to as "light", "quick read", etc. was funny and a straightforward narration of events without a lot of in-depth analysis about anything. The focus was on the events and the dialogs.

In the case of the second, it was also a straightforward narration of events. But it was fixed to things I know like a floating balloon tied to the ground with a rope. There was always a comparison to something I knew, an analysis, a detail that placed the story where I could sense it. Yes, that is why it was no light read. I had to toil through it, drink as much detail as I wanted to, bask in it, to make sure I was not missing anything.

We all dream of writing something like that, that makes the reader spell-bound. Either we do not try hard enough, or we are too shallow that we cannot produce profound stuff, that we end up with quick-read material. (And then we say, I like reading and writing light-read books that anyone can read and understand; I hate to read books that are award-winning type.) I think if we are ready to put some time in it and some thought into each, we could ground our stories to reality too, tie them up with rope so they do not fly away with the wind.


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  1. Wow..!! You have correctly mentioned what should be the approach of writer. Not only to entertain but also to make reader contemplate.. to bring change in their lives..