Wednesday, 25 January 2017

VOICE IN FICTION


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Kirtida Gautam is a clinical psychologist, screenplay writer, and author of the unpublished psychological thriller I am 16 I can.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 

Monday, 23 January 2017

STORY TELLING AND INDIA.

If the competition is "How To Compose Good Prose In English," I am not even taking part in it.
If it is about fabricating a good story, I am in the game to win.
This might sound arrogance, but it is not. It's plain and simple cultural difference.
I come from a culture where Panchatantra, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata are fed to the kids since they are 4 years old.
Stories of horror and evil and injustice are as acceptable as "children's literature" as stories of sugar coated goodness of the world.
Good, bad, and ugly are not differentiated.
Everything is put on the table for the young minds to explore.
What J K Rowling started doing with the minds of the western children in 1997, Indians have been doing with their kids for centuries.
There is a reason why Joseph Campbell studied Indian Mythology in detail before he came up with the Monomyth.
Carl Jung too studied Indian literature before coming up with Analytical Psychology.
Indians can cook brilliant stories with Bhava and Rasa (emotions) and food (with spices).
As simple as that.