Wednesday, 25 January 2017


There is a lot of conversation around the voice in fiction. The industry often says, "We want writers with strong voice." Bad idea. Counterintuitive, but a writer must work really hard NOT to develop his/her own voice. 
Good fiction is not one strong voice overpowering others. It's like a bouquet of flowers. There has to be diverse set of colors and smells and textures and shapes for it to appeal to the eyes. These flowers (characters) need to be arranged in such a way that together they create the impact. There has to be harmony and symmetry in this arrangement. It's science. It's NOT subjective. 
In order to reach to this perfect symmetry or melody or what is called Sur in Hindi, it's critical that as a person the writer doesn't develop a strong voice. 
Ideally, the writer should be like God. Omnipresent. Listening to every whisper. Noticing every nod. But not taking part in any of this. For the writer, the most heinous character of his/her novel should be as beloved, as the most pious character. 
If the writer within his/her mind start to differentiate between good and bad, moral and immoral, the writer might be able to write good social science, but not good fiction.  

Kirtida Gautam is a clinical psychologist, screenplay writer, and author of the unpublished psychological thriller I am 16 I can. The novel questions Juvenile Justice System of India and raises opinion AGAINST rape culture. Follow her on Twitter @KirtidaGautam 

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