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Showing posts from February, 2010

10 rules for writing

Inspired by Elmore Leonard's 10 rules for writing, The Gaurdian came up with 10 points shared by various authors. I'm sharing my favourite, Ms. Atwood's.

Margaret Atwood's rules for writing fiction

1 Take a pencil to write with on aeroplanes. Pens leak. But if the pencil breaks, you can't sharpen it on the plane, because you can't take knives with you. Therefore: take two pencils.

2 If both pencils break, you can do a rough sharpening job with a nail file of the metal or glass type.

3 Take something to write on. Paper is good. In a pinch, pieces of wood or your arm will do.

4 If you're using a computer, always safeguard new text with a ­memory stick.

5 Do back exercises. Pain is distracting.

6 Hold the reader's attention. (This is likely to work better if you can hold your own.) But you don't know who the reader is, so it's like shooting fish with a slingshot in the dark. What ­fascinates A will bore the pants off B.

7 You most likely need a thesaurus, …

What happened to my city?

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Yes Bombay is my city. Mine. I may technically not be Maharashtrian by birth or ration card, but yes Bombay is also mine. At least I made it mine when I was growing up in it. It shaped my thoughts and perceptions and allowed me to breathe. It is home and its even mentioned on my passport, so geographically and emotionally it is mine.

I never felt more attached to Bombay than when bomb blasts rocked the city during my tenth grade exams. The feeling heightened when riots ravaged the city like no one ever imagined they could. Many years later the same feeling came rushing back when terrorists hijacked the city and innocent every day people were held at ransom. I may have left the city, but it never left me. I guess when I left, I lost all authority of caring for the city. I'd like to think that's not true.

Bombay used to wake up to a multitude of voices that sang in harmony. Now anyone who stands up to bullies is almost certainly facing a lone battle. Has the city lost its voice? …