Sunday, January 31, 2016

You, my hurricane

Image Source: Magpie Tales



I entered that lane,
My heart humming a tune
I didn’t know the plan of fate,
No one told me it was insane.

You smiled, I was dazed,
You approached, nodding a greeting
Your sparkling eyes,
That weightless gaze,
Was it a whirlpool or a hurricane?

I twirled and whirled at your behest
Your warm voice swept me away,
Your fingers danced through my hair,
Your lips kissed away my fear.

And when I had lost myself in you,
You vanished leaving me,
my shattered soul and battered body.
While you had rushed past,
You crushed what was whole,
A heart that loved love.



Linking this with Magpie Tales 303

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Newbie Corner: Nilabh Verma

Today on Newbie corner we have for the first time, a Hindi author.
Please welcome Nilabh Verma who debuted as an author with a beautiful mythological tale, Swayamwar.

Connect with Nilabh at his

Blog: 
http://nilabhverma.blogspot.in

Swayamwar Tag: Swayamwar


Tell us a little about yourself. How did you begin writing?

I am an Engineer by profession and working in the IT industry since a decade. I am basically from Bihar and currently live in Hyderabad. Writing was an accident. Actually, my sister Tarang is also a writer and she often discuss her ideas with me. She always used to tell me to write something as my hold on Hindi language and Mythology is sound but because of my tight job schedule, I was not able to do it. One fine day, I lost my job and got enough time to complete my novel. See! Sometimes bad things give you an opportunity to do good things.

What is your favorite genre in writing?

Mythology; without any doubt. I grew up reading all Hindi mythological books and it’s in my blood. I don’t find any other topic more interesting than that. It not only motivates me but I also learn more about our history, culture and traditions.


Who inspires you most and to whom would you dedicate your creative growth?

My family, especially my sister Tarang. Fortunately, I belong to a family where we all are fond of reading. We had a kind of small library when I was a kid and still have plenty of good books to read.

What kind of a writer are you? Do you plot the entire novel/story or make it up as you write?

 I have written just one book (Swayamwar) and I already told how it started. I really don’t know the terms that generally authors use. But if you will ask, I don’t believe in plotting. I just write and things flow. 


Do you have a favorite place to write or a scheduled time to write every day?
Not exactly. I don’t write every day. But yes, I prefer to be alone at home when writing.

Who are your favorite authors and what is the genre that you like reading most?

Once again, I love reading Mythological books, especially Hindu mythology. I’m interested in Greek mythology but it has some limitations in terms of language. However, if I don’t have anything, I can read any book. Premchand is my favourite! I also like reading Narendra Kohli, Hajari Prasad Dwivedi, and Acharya Chatursen.


Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?

At a senior position in IT industry. As an Author, I don’t have any position to achieve. I have only one goal as an Author which is to create a difference in Hindi writing and help Hindi literature to get its previous position and dignity.

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

Anything on self-motivation. We have a long list of writers and books who try to teach us how to live. I don’t understand how anyone can teach you what to do and what not do in your life as everyone has their own version of life. I believe life is very simple and we should accept it as it is without having any set rules.

How much important do you think marketing is for the success of a book?

Earlier it was 10% but now a days it’s 90%. I have always believed that a strong content and interesting writing style can lead your book until my book got published and failed. Forget about your content and writing. The main goal is to make the readers know about your book. I’m sorry, but there are so many best sellers which don’t deserve to be as popular as they become. And on other hand, some good books and authors are completely ignored. Here marketing makes a difference. However, I personally think it’s not good for the future of Literature.


What is the message that you want to convey to the readers through your writing?

Be yourself. I write exactly what I think or what I would have done if I was at that particular place. Pretence is not good and shouldn’t be practiced. If you are genuine, the outcome will also be genuine and readers will like it for sure.

Thank You Nilabh! It was very interesting. I wish you all success.


My pleasure!  To be featured on such a nice blog that values new writers. Thanks!

About his Book:
Buy Swayamvar from
Diamond Books: Diamond Books
Flipkart: Flipkart
Amazon: Amazon

Do pick up his book, folks.

That is all for now.
Have a great weekend.

Much Love,







Friday, January 22, 2016

5 don'ts for every writer


( Quote from my book
Liked it: Buy the book from Amazon by clicking HERE )


What are the things that impact your growth as a writer? Have you thought about this?
Why do many aspiring authors remain just that even after years and years of trying? Here are some of the things that affect your creative writing career. Here are some of the ‘don’ts’ that you need to give attention.

1.       Don’t allow the stress of  your day job to kill your creativity:

We all have bills to pay and need a day job to help us do that. If you’re lucky enough you might start early in your life and become a bestselling author raking in money, your books being made into films and so on. In that case, you can forget about your day job and become a full-time writer. But even if you work on a day job, you can set aside a little time every day dedicated to your passion, which is writing. Write whenever possible. Treat it as your method to relax, to get out of the tensions created by your day job.

2.       Don’t fall in love with your words:
Editing is mighty important. When you fall in love with whatever you have written you hesitate to ruthlessly edit out passages or paragraphs. We have to look at our work through the eyes of a reader. We have to edit out words that make our writing wordy or lazy. The concise your writing, the more power it has to touch the heart of your reader. The trick to edit your own work better is to leave it for a while, maybe a few days or weeks, and come back and read it with a fresh, critical eye. You will find plenty to cut and edit.

3.       Don’t bury your work:
Another worry that plagues any writer is the fear of acceptance. Will my work be liked or will it be rejected? Is it the worst story ever written? Such fears stop you from sending a query letter to a publisher. It makes you hesitate and turn back from submitting your work to a story writing contest. But if you want to get published you have to show more confidence in your work. You have to send it out into the world.

4.       Don’t be afraid of rejections:
It is probable that your work will face rejections. If you face multiple rejections, there might be something you can do to improve it. Create some friends in the creative writing field. Ask them for help with your manuscript and work on it. Ask for advice that would help improve your writing.  Making the right connections often helps in getting your manuscript noticed. A friend’s friend might be a publisher and your friend might put in a word about you to him/her. Don’t be shy to ask for help.

5.       Don’t take negative feedbacks to heart.
This is very important. Once you start querying or once your writing gets published, you will start receiving all sorts of feedback. Both positive and negative.  Know whose suggestions to trust and what to discard. You cannot please one and all with your writing. Every writer has his own audience.
I hope these are not some of the things you are doing. If they are, it is time to change them.
All the best!


This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

5 Websites for Writers

Begin Small


Writing is a craft. Like any other craft it can be learned. There are some basic things that every newbie writer should learn. Once you recognize or choose the category of creative writing to adopt as your own, you should dedicate time to learning the craft. As in every craft, practice and study makes it perfect.

Literature itself is divided into many genres. Comedy, Drama, Realistic fiction, Non-fiction, Romance novel, Satire, Tragedy and Tragicomedy are some major genres. Find the one which attracts you most. The trick is to go for the genre that you like to read most. So, if you are a romance fan, it is quite possible that you will be able to write a good romance.

If you aim to write poetry, there are many varieties of poetry that you can try to express your thoughts in. You can choose from over 50 different types of poetry. They are categorized based on the number of lines, words in the poem, whether it rhymes or not, and what it is about. Some popular ones are Haiku, Sonnets, Ballads, Name poems, Cinquains and Epic Poems.

If you are venturing on writing a novel, start small. Start writing short stories first to get a grip on the dialogue structure, plotting, and the flow of narration. Writing a short story helps you to create and develop a character and to take a plot from beginning to end in a limited number of pages. Once you become an expert in writing short stories, you become adequately prepared to venture to the next level; writing a novel. I treat each chapter of a novel I am writing like a short story. I know what will happen in each chapter, how it begins and where it should end. That is exactly like writing a short story. Doesn’t that seem simple?

There are many basic guidelines in every genre that help writers take their writing to a higher level. I wish to list some websites that have guided me in times of doubt. Some provide peppy advice that sounds like music to my ears.

Here are my favorite websites:


If you are looking for inspiration to write and writing tips, this is the perfect site for you. It contains articles about grammar, punctuation, spelling, usage and vocabulary.

2)      Live Write Thrive

This is my favorite website when it comes to articles that help to improve the quality of my writing. The owner of this site C.S. Lakin is a famous author and editor and walks you through the essentials of quality writing, plotting and writing your novel.

3)    Grammar Girl

This website helps you boost your confidence by helping you become thorough with the basics of grammar and writing through the use of quick and easy tips. If you search the archives, you can find answer to almost all the common questions or doubts that arise when you write.

4)    Write to Done

This site contains articles that deal with every aspect of writing. Be it blogging, short story writing or novel writing. A must visit for any aspiring writer.


I write romance and I love this website. This site contains articles written by experts in the field of literature and romance authors. Though the archives of this site has plenty to offer to romance authors, even other genre writers will find plenty of useful articles that focus on plotting and writing your story/ novel.



This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

Navigation through the oceans of creativity as a blogger

Navigate the oceans of creativity as a blogger

In this age where the internet provides a platform for everyone to become a writer through blogs, blogging is the place where you should begin your journey of becoming a published author. It was where I began my writing journey. And yes, it is the easiest way to get published. I get enormous satisfaction every time I hit the publish button on my blog. You are published already. Not an aspiring writer. Yeah, you might still have long way to go before you get traditionally published. But you do not remain an aspiring writer anymore. You are now a writer, who is as passionate to his/her craft as any other published author.

 So what are the popular blogging platforms where you can start a blog?
Let me help you navigate through the various options available if you want to begin blogging. My navigation skills are perfect, I assure you!
There are many blogging platforms that allow you to create a blog for free. All you need is an email id.

The three most popular platforms among them are:

1)      Blogger:
Blogger is a blog-publishing service that allows multi-user blogs currently owned by Google. Generally, the blogs are hosted by Google at a subdomain of blogspot.com. Blogs can also be hosted in the registered custom domain of the blogger (like www.example.com). So blogspot.com domain publishings will be redirected to the custom domain.
It is user friendly and I have my blog on blogger.

2)      Wordpress:
Wordpress is a blog-publishing service which was developed by the wordpress foundation in 2003. It is popular because it is easy to use, search engine and SEO friendly. It also allows you to reblog your own posts or another popular wordpress blog.

3)      Tumblr
Blogging on Tumblr is an easy platform to start blogging. The way tumblr is setup is like a cross between Twitter and WordPress. It is a micro-blogging platform. You can blog just a sentence or a big rant about your lousy day. Many Tumblr blogs mainly focus on sharing (reblogging) photos on a specific theme.

There are many famous authors who were avid bloggers before they made it big in the publishing world. Some of them continue to blog even as they continue their successful run as bestselling authors. Their blogs are the place where they unwind after a tiresome day, a place where they meet and chat with their readers and also a place where they can promote their books effectively. Here is a list of authors blogs compiled by www.writerswrite.com. You can get an idea of how to start a blog or what to write by going through the archives of the blogs of these authors. You will get a glimpse of their own writing journey, their struggles, their successes and things that make them tick.

You can connect with other bloggers and authors when you become a blogger yourself. The internet has a strange magic and connects you with the right person or page when required.
My first publishing opportunity also came through blogging when a fellow blogger announced a short story competition being conducted by a publishing house through a blog post which I happened to read. I sent my story and it was selected to be published in an anthology. So you never know! A publishing opportunity can arrive when you least expect it.  



This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

How blogging impacts your writing dreams


Buy my book from Amazon


For any aspiring writer, the easiest way to get an audience for your writing is via blogging. The benefits of blogging are many. Let me list a few of the things I felt has helped me to realize my dream of becoming a published author.

a)      Impacts the Quality of writing:

One major benefit I experienced through blogging is that my writing skills improved with each blog post that I wrote. The impact of positive feedbacks from my readers boosted my confidence. I learned to string words into sentences and pour out what was on my mind faster and with improved clarity, every time I wrote. It is also a great place to vent. If you don’t actively promote your blog content, practically no one will read it. And the provision for blogging anonymously is also available on every platform. You can perform myriad experiments with your writing, explore new avenues to test your creative writing skills and also churn out masterpieces in the form of short stories, poems or start posting your novel in a series of blog posts.

A word of caution: Internet is a place where plagiarism is common. People can easily copy your work and pass off as their own and you might not even know. So it will be better if you don’t post your complete work as blog posts. Before you even start querying, your novel might end up being published as an eBook if it ends up in the hands of a ruthless person. And most traditional publishers look for unpublished matter to be published. In case you have published some chapters on your blog, delete them once you have got feedback from your dedicated bunch of readers. Then start querying with renewed enthusiasm.

b)      Your blog becomes your writing portfolio:

It doesn’t matter whether you are a poet, a novelist, an essayist or a short story writer. Your blog becomes the showcase of your writing talent. A place where you can write and re-write your ideas, stories, poems or brag about your amazing day! You can treat it like your online journal or you can post snippets from your work-in-progress novella/ novel and look for reader feedback. It in a way becomes your creative world.

c)       Classify your writing

Another benefit from blogging is that you can classify your writing under various labels. By this way, you have various sections in your blog which will display the topics you have written about, the genres your blog posts fall under or the type of literature you excel in. So if you have written poems, by clicking on a label called poems will bring up all the post which falls under the category poems. You can classify your daily journal under a separate label called memoirs or give it a special name.

d)      Connect with other aspiring writers:

Most bloggers I know are either aspiring writers or are published authors. It is always nice to connect with similar minded people. We have many blogging communities like Indiblogger and Blogadda in India which helps bloggers to connect to each other. These platforms regularly conduct blogging competitions and also provide various writing prompts on a weekly basis. Blogadda conducted a novel writing competition for aspiring authors in 2014 called Game of Blogs which was won by the team of which I was a part of. The three top teams got a chance to get their novella published by a leading publishing house and the book 6 Degrees is now available to download on Amazon, Flipkart and other sites.





This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

A fantastico date with the planets

On the first Sunday of December 2015, we went on a mini tour on a date with the planets of our solar system.

The trip was to the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium in Bangalore. Though we had been in Bangalore since the last six years we hadn’t gone there as we thought our kid won’t like the experience of being inside a planetarium and might create a ruckus there.

But this time, he learnt about the various planets through a YouTube video and was very interested to visit a planetarium to know more about the planets. Check the video below, it is very informative and peppy.




So off we went, we three, Father, Mother and Son, expecting to hear lots and lots about the planets and the universe.

The Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium is located in Millers Road and is mostly crowded on Sundays. The weekdays see fewer crowds. It is closed Mondays and second Tuesdays of every month.

The planetarium was founded in 1989 by the Bangalore City Corporation. It is being managed by the Bangalore Association for Science Education (BASE) since 1992. The most popular events at the planetarium are Sky Theater Shows, which according to statistics, gets viewed by more than 200,000 visitors every year. The shows are held in English and Kannada and covers various topics like ‘Our Solar System’, ‘The Sun: Our Star’ and the ‘Dawn of the space age’.

You can check out more details at the official site Taralaya.org.
The model of the Rocket in the science park

When we reached the place, my son was fascinated by the model of the huge rocket that stood at the entrance of the Science and Children’s park that surround the planetarium. We took his pictures where he proudly proclaimed that he would become an astronaut when he grew up. The science park has various experimental set ups that explain some of the basic elements of science to the visitors. We did our experiments and my son walked around studying the models of the planets and reading aloud the statistics of each and adding his own comments.
Board with details about planets

When he saw mercury he told me that mercury was the planet that was nearest to the sun and he wouldn’t want to visit it. When he reached near Venus he said it was the hottest planet in the solar system and hence nobody should visit it. You will get burnt! His favorite was Mars which he said he was determined to visit when he became an astronaut. On and on he went while we waited for the Sky theatre Show to begin.
Near the board about Jupiter

Once inside the planetarium, we wandered about a bit reading the posters about the various planets, comets, dwarf planets and about the Sun. There was a huge model of the planet Mars and people were taking selfies near it. Once inside the air conditioned Sky Theatre, when the show began, it felt like being on the terrace watching the heavens on a cold winter night. The show we attended was ‘Our Solar System.’ The whole show was fantastico and we learned lots about the planets and our solar system in general.

When we reached home from the planetarium, the first thing my son did was to search for the reason why 'poor old Pluto' was thrown out from the list of nine planets. He felt very bad that Pluto was now just a dwarf planet.

The aspiring astronaut is now thinking whether he should visit the planets or should just become an astronomer and discover a few more dwarf planets or comets!

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

Mysore Zoo: Fantastico

(My son watching elephants)


 On the last Sunday of 2015, we went on a fantastico trip. A trip to the Mysore Zoo with our seven-year-old son.

He had been demanding that we visit the Zoo where he had heard he could see all the animals that he had only seen in pictures or on the television. He also wanted to observe the birds towards which he had developed an interest.
Black Swan

After travelling for nearly four hours, we reached the Mysore Zoo and even I could feel the excitement, of seeing animals up close that too in their natural habitat, building inside me. The little child that hid inside the veil of a grown up was slowly peeking out. As it was very hot and sunny, we equipped ourselves with hats. I purchased a cowboy hat and my son exclaimed I looked like a cow girl! Fantastico!

Sambar Deer
As it was the Christmas vacation, there were plenty of people waiting to get inside. Long queues of school kids in uniforms were being guided around by harried teachers. Invariably my mind wandered to those days when I had gone on school trips and alongside arrived memories of the pranks, the crushes, the laughter and the punishments!

We were asked to dispose whatever plastic item that we carried at a counter as plastic was banned inside the zoo. The packet of biscuits I had inside my bag was transferred into a paper bag supplied by them. I was impressed. They truly cared for the animals.

Rhinocerus
The Mysore zoo is one of the most popular and was well maintained Zoos in India. It is spread over 157 acres and hosts over 168 different species of animals. It was created in 1892 by the then King Chameraja Wodeyar as the Palace Zoo.

There are battery operated cars inside the Zoo that will take you around if walking is not your forte. We preferred walking. My son who is the laziest when it comes to walking proved us wrong. He surprised us with his enthusiasm by hopping around in search of animals reading aloud their names, habitats, food habits and sometimes even the individual names. 


White Swans

We walked around and rested in between on the benches. The cool, green canopy of trees was a pleasant experience after being huddled inside the car for hours. Unlike other zoos where the stench of animal dung and urine makes you want to puke, the Mysore Zoo was different and gave the experience of being inside a forest. The added benefit was that we could watch the animals at close range.


Giraffe

Our favorites were the swans, the deer, the rhinos, the giraffes and the colorful birds. Fun moment was when my son asked for the Rasam deer after he saw the Sambar deer. My son screamed when he saw the ‘Exit’ board and wanted to go back once again. But, our stomachs were rumbling and our legs refused to walk any further. With promises to return, we made him agree to walk out of the Zoo. All in all, we came out of the Zoo smiling.

The good Kerala restaurant outside the Zoo saw to our food needs and we were more than happy tasting some homely food away from home.


Everyday my son wakes up asking when we are going to Mysore Zoo again. And we say, very soon!

P.S: all photos used are mine.


This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

Impact of food memories

( Photo: My own)

“Sometimes a man needs something to keep him going. I am not talking of lofty ideals or the thought of jannat awaiting him in the hereafter. Sometimes it is only a meal that he needs to propel him into the next day… a meal that to him is representative of home and comfort.”
--- Idris, Anita Nair.    
  
How rightly said. Food often brings in nostalgia. A sumptuous feast goes a long way in deepening friendships, in creating bonds that last a lifetime. Sometimes it is food memories that you associate with a person or thing. Sometimes the smell or taste of a particular food brings in a flood of fond memories of a time long gone. The smell of coffee from college canteen, of fish fry from your favorite restaurant, of cakes baking in the oven in your aunt’s kitchen…

For me, the taste of dal curry brings in memories of my Grandmother. The taste of her simple dal curry still has the capability of making me drool. Whenever I make Rasam, I remember my father, because it was his favorite. I still remember how he used to flood the rice with Rasam and mash it before savoring it with relish. I love Rasam because it reminds me of him and his love. Whenever I feel down, I make Rasam or Dal. They have become my comfort food just because they remind me of people whom I loved and who do not exist in my world anymore. Yet, they appear before me as these ephemeral visuals whenever my taste buds recognize the taste of their favorite food.

There can also be food memories that leave the worst impact on us. Some foods which we tasted while we were undergoing harrowing times often leave a bad taste in our mouth. Even if the food was tasty and something which we loved over a time, we would never be able to eat them with the same fondness. I have a friend who witnessed a horrible accident while she was eating panipuri by the roadside. She confesses she cannot eat panipuris without remembering the blood and horror of the accident that she witnessed; the cries of the desperate mother who had lost two of her kids to a speeding car. The same food that she once cherished is now the bearer of her worst horrors. She hasn’t eaten a panipuri ever since.

There are also some foods that we become averse to during a certain period in our life. Egg omelets were my favorite till I got pregnant. Once I conceived, I couldn’t stand its smell and would vomit if I were to stand in the kitchen where it was being prepared. I used to run outside and wait till it was cooked, eaten and the vessels cleaned. Nor could I tolerate eating any non-vegetarian food. I would immediately throw up. Rice flakes of red rice or Avil became my favorite food. My husband used to joke that maybe I am having a noble soul inside my womb who could not stand non-vegetarian food and loved Avil.
Do you have food memories that have left an impact on you?



This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Loneliness

Image Source: Magpie Tales 

Fate had laid her bare,
Her chase for wealth,
Ended in a chasm so huge,
She resisted the pull with all her strength.
Her sweaty palms held tight
The rope of hope with all her might.

Her wishes, her tears,
Added to the fears,
She let go at last and fell,
She fell too deep.

Darkness, it was darkness all around,
And loneliness,
 That devoured her body and soul.
Her distressed soul decided to call it quits,
Enough was enough.
It left her yearning and whining body,
In search of pleasant pastures,
And cheerful minds.

Her body, it pined alone,
Loneliness feasted on it bit by bit.
Her heart had ceased to beat,
The lips sang no more.
No more tales of tears or happy sojourns.

Her eyes, they refused to shut,
Stubbornly hoping to watch another morn.
Her hair, still raven black, joined the eyes
 in her wait for the morn,
A rogue wind blew the hair on her eyes
And closed it shut.

Her hair continued to rebel,
Fluttering in the breeze,
Swearing at time.
Till a roaring rain came in,
Burying it in a mudslide.
Only loneliness remained.




 Linking this to Magpie Tales 302





Monday, January 18, 2016

Why you should not speed read if you are an aspiring writer



I have been a story lover ever since the time I began to understand words. Be it the bedtime stories I heard or the occasional cartoons on TV that took me to a magical world, stories were what gave my imagination wings.

They taught me to believe in fairies, about the dangers that lurked around in disguises or how an ugly duckling could turn into a beautiful swan. They also gave me glimpses into different worlds that I might never see. Some allowed me to peek into a civilization that existed eons ago and some talked about a different culture that existed in a far away corner of the world. Some made my heart fill with dread while some others taught me that every dark cloud has its silver lining.

I savored books slowly and steadily over the years. I valued quality over quantity. Some writers I learned to love, some I avoided.

Later on in my life, I started to pen down my own stories. The words, the phrases from those books subconsciously aided me to narrate the tales the voices in my head were trying to say.

After I got published, many aspiring writers contacted me through social media, to ask for tips. I repeated to them the age old advice that most writers believe in--- “Read books in the genre that you want to write in.”

But I do know of bibliophiles who cannot string together a few sentences properly to tell a tale. So does that mean that the age-old advice about reading is wrong?

The culprit, in this case, I believe, is speed reading. The highest speed that has been registered in speed reading competitions around the world is 1000 words per minute. But the comprehension rate was just 50%.

Speed reading if done correctly is good. But what often goes in the name of speed reading is skimming. Skimming is a process of speed reading that involves visually searching the sentences of a page for clues as to what is happening. Comprehension rate is very low.

Do you speed read?

Maybe then, you are reading books the wrong way if you aspire to be a writer. You need to comprehend a story better if you wish to write in a similar manner.
Image Source

If you go for in-depth reading, your reading speed can vary between 200-250 words/minute. It is almost like reading out loud to yourself. You hear the words internally and comprehend better.

You can hear the audio version of a book. This is also faster than normal reading and comprehension is definitely better than speed reading. But if your attention wavers in between, God help you!

When you skim through a book you can read up to 700 words/ minute. More if you train yourself to do it faster. But again, the comprehension rate is very low.

So why should you not speed read if you intend to be a writer? You should not speed read because you miss out on the details that go into the creation of a novel or a story.

When you speed read,

1)      You do not notice the inciting incidents, the rise and fall of action in the scenes or the way the climax was written

When you sit down to plot a novel, what is most important is the sequence in which the things happen. Even if you are penning down your own life story, there are inciting incidents, rise, and fall of action or what might be termed as a climax. If you treat a book like a study material for writing your own story, you will notice how the writer has used a particular scene to bring about suspense in the story. How the writer has written a particular scene making you live the life of the character. Or how the way he described a character made you visualize him/her in a three-dimensional manner or understand him as a person.
You miss out on all these if you speed read a book.

2)      You skim through sentences, paragraphs which you find uninteresting.

What happens when you do this is that you miss how the writer brings about a twist in the tale or builds the anticipation of what is about to happen. Some writers use a single sentence to bring about a twist. Some evocatively describe a transition. Classic literature has many grand examples. You might want to go re-read a few; this time thoroughly.

3)      You don’t study the turn of phrases, new words, the dialogue rendition or the scene transformations.

When you speed read, you are interested only in the story outline. Not the details. In the end, all you have left is the thread of the story. There are no memorable dialogues that you remember. You don’t remember how the writer had sketched the characters or how the plot twists were accomplished. You might remember what caused the twist, but not how the writer had written the scene.
You will not also have a clue as to how to punctuate a dialogue or what dialogue tags to use.

4)      You miss out on vital details

When you speed read an 80K long novel within a span of two hours or less, which I have seen many readers claiming to have done, you get so many details wrong.
For example, you might be confused as to why a certain character did what he/she did. Dear speed reader, it was clearly explained in one of those paragraphs you had skimmed through or skipped. In your haste to ‘finish off’ the book, you conveniently ignored them and then complained vociferously about the lazy writer who created a faulty character.

5)      You miss out on the beauty of evocative descriptions

What makes a book memorable for me are the evocative descriptions or the scenes that tug at my heart. When we speed read, we miss out on all of these as our main aim is to finish the book rather than enjoy the journey that reading a book is.

I believe that summarizes the reasons as to why one should not speed read if writing is your passion. Reading and writing are soul sisters. One enriches the other.

But, if you speed-read through this article as well, God bless and Goodbye!



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