What Writers Can Learn From the Write India Contest Debacle

Okay. So the Times of India Write India Campaign has just managed to piss off a vast number of writers, me included. If you’re new to the topic, I’d suggest you read through this post on author Rasana Atreya’s blog for some context. Otherwise most of my venting will fly right over your head. For the lazier […]

What I Learned From My First Million Words of Crap

Last week, on Friday, 26 June 2015, sometime around noon, I wrote my millionth word of finished fiction. I did not realize it immediately. But I keep a running word counter on my computer, and when I entered the 3500 words or so that I wrote that day, the magic number popped up in the […]

3 Things that Bring Out a Budding Writer’s Talent

Last week, I got involved with the good folk at Campus Diaries in their content development program. To kick things off, they got all their interns and young writers to send me a list of questions. I answered them all, of course. Then I thought it will be nice to feature some of the longer […]

Did Chetan Bhagat Teach India to Read?

It’s now a truism. How many times did you come across the statement that Chetan Bhagat made India read books? In my experience, I’ve never come away from a conversation about Bhagat without hearing that sentence at least once. Usually I nod and let it pass, but over the last week, I’ve heard it four times – […]

The Great Amazon-Hachette Debate: Why Should Readers Care?

  Debate? What debate? If you’re a reader, you probably asked that question as you opened this post. Most likely, you’re not even aware that as you read this, Amazon and Hachette are locked in a rather nasty battle with each other on how high (or low) e-books ought to be priced. To give a […]

5 Reasons why Professional Authors Should Write for Free

Sometime last year, I wrote a post on whether or not writers should publish for free. There I took the hard-nosed professional’s stance. I said authors should not give away their stuff for free, especially if someone else is making a buck out of it. I still believe in that credo. If someone is making […]

5 Things An Editor Wants To See On Your Manuscript’s First Page

You must have heard of the Mickey Spillane quote that’s often-repeated in writer circles: The first page sells this book. The last page sells your next. Editors at publishing houses and literary agencies have very little time on their hands – typically twenty or thirty seconds per manuscript during the evaluation phase. They will read […]

6 Word Mistakes You Could be Forgiven for Making

The recent Write Club Meetup on strange words – and a few recent embarrassing goof-ups – got me thinking about how often we get some basic things wrong in English usage. Some of the examples below will show that writers are not immune to these pitfalls at all. If anything, we’re falling into them more […]

4 Mistakes Beginning Writers Make while Writing Dialogue

Writing dialogue ought to be easy. We spend most of our waking lives speaking – either to ourselves or with others. (What? Is it just me who speaks to himself?) And yet when it comes to writing fiction, dialogue is the one thing over which beginning writers trip the most. In fact, an editor friend […]

2 Things You Can Do Right Now To Become a Better Writer

I run a weekly club in Bangalore for beginning writers called Write Club. There we’re always trying to come up with short, pithy advice for the absolute novice to take his or her writing to the next level. A common situation I face every Saturday is a person coming up to me and asking: ‘What […]