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Where do writers get ideas?

Everywhere. Tell me one place you don’t think a writer can get ideas and I’ll prove you wrong. And they’re not tall claims. It’s true.

I’ve got story ideas while sitting in a car on the highway, while in an auto, while looking out of a balcony at the road, while looking at a child sitting with his mother in a rubbish strewn narrow alley as she chewed paan and explained something to him while he listened avidly. Story ideas are everywhere and it’s the writer in you who needs to spot it, hold on to it, tame it and hone it and make it into something.

At our creative writing workshop, we do an exercise in ideation and participants often groan in dismay because it just seems so impossible. But when they do get started, when there’s that little click in their brain, when they start writing, most often they just don’t feel like stopping.

Ideas are born out of sheer boredom, ennui but also an active interest in the world around you. People like me couch it well by looking lost and forgetful, and my family assumes I’m in that other world, not really listening in to interesting conversations or observing people. Ha. *evil grin*

Where do you get your ideas? Chime in, in the comments section!

[P.S. We have a creative writing workshop coming up in Mittal Towers this Sunday. Register here if you’re interested, if you want to reclaim your writing and want to know all the ins and outs of publishing!]

Andaleeb

How do writers write?

That’s a subjective question and one that every writer will answer differently. But what we do know is how we (Sajita and I) write and it works for us.

In our numerous workshops, especially with young people,  I always make it a point to stress that writing a book is not a glamorous job. We’re often stuck at home, hammering away at our laptops, halfway between the real world and the world we have created for our characters. In fact, as the book progresses, it’s quite easy to slip into our imaginary world, more often than not. And we still do it because we love writing. We love creating numerous worlds with just our words and we hope to continue doing that.

It takes a huge amount of discipline first of all, to write a book. That combined with plenty of bullheadedness, a somewhat clear idea of what you want to write, and then actually sitting down and doing it. Believe me, that’s the toughest of all. You’ll want to check Facebook every ten minutes, or stream a TV show that you’ve been watching obsessively, or you’ll want to traipse over to the balcony and check on your plants, or look at the road or sky, basically anything that will prevent you from writing.

The key is to want to write your book above all that. Many accomplished writers will agree when I say that you don’t need to be in the mood to write. You just need to do it. That’s all.

If you still think this is dodgy, do remember, we’re having a Creative Writing Workshop on 5th February and you can enroll there and ask us in person. Details for this workshop are provided in the link above and you need to register of course.

Enroll today because seats are limited!

 

– Andaleeb

 

Children’s Writing Workshop

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Our workshop for children at Urban Solace had little wordsmiths enthralling us with their creations. They required some nudging initially, but when sparked with writing prompts and the company of each other, they came up with not only some engrossing stories but also beautiful illustrations.

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Through activities and writing exercises, they learnt more about story ideation, plot, narration and dialogues. We saw creativity at its best as they let their thoughts and imagination soar unrestrained. By the end of the session, their eyes sparkled at the thought of all the magic they could create with words. And as facilitators, that is precisely what we set out to achieve – kindle in them the love for writing.

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Coming up – A Fiction Writing Workshop

Everyone has a story inside them. Some live their stories, and some tell theirs. We, of course, being writers know nothing much else than to keep telling our stories.

On hearing that I’m a writer, a young girl once told me, ‘Isn’t making up stories like lying? Why would you want to do that?’ To say that I was stunned is an understatement. I had never thought of it that way. And although I wasn’t able to convince her otherwise (she was rather staunchly opinionated), I realized that telling stories is the way we live vicariously, through our characters and their (sometimes) filmy plots. And we may be telling a lie, every now and then, but if it entertains y’all, does it really matter?

Okay, so the point is, that being writers ourselves, Sajita and I, have decided to share our learning with those who are interested, through our workshops. Our recently concluded workshop at Atta Galatta was a huge success, going by the enthusiastic feedback we received and requests for follow ups.

We are conducting a one day Fiction Writing Workshop on 26th March at Fragrant Kitchen. We would love to work with interested and enthusiastic participants and we hope this too, is a success. Register for this website here, or pass the word around to someone who might be interested.

Our first workshop

It’s wonderful to see a dream take shape. Nutcracker, which until recently was only a little blue squirrel scurrying in and out of our mindscapes and conversations, has finally taken a concrete form!

The venue for our first workshop was Atta Galatta, which provides just the right ambiance to nurture creativity. To say that Andaleeb and I were exhilarated is an understatement. There is something about ‘firsts’. The excitement, enthusiasm, the ‘atta’ and some ‘galatta’ interspersed with quiet moments of reflection made it an insightful and memorable event. Participants delved deeper into various elements of creative writing through writing exercises and activities. Some of the flash fiction stories written using props and prompts were brilliant! We look forward to seeing our participants as published writers.

With this workshop, we also brought together like minded people to form a Nutcracker community of writers. Time to nudge each other, revisit writing goals and get cracking!

Workshop at Atta Galatta

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Ever since we started registrations, we’ve been getting a lot of interested inquiries, follow ups and finally, confirmations, which is a heartening thing indeed, for two writers who are trying to get together to do something new.

My association with Atta Galatta started in 2013 when I first had an event there for My Brother’s Wedding. It’s a charming space, the kind I’d have loved to hang out in, when I was a student, many moons ago. Nevertheless, Lakshmi and I clicked and we’ve been good friends ever since. I’ve had many a book event there, including one for More than Just Biryani where my mom brought prawn biryani for all the attendees!

Naturally, Atta Galatta was my first choice when Sajita and I started talking about where we wanted to hold our first workshop for Nutcracker. We’re planning more workshops in numerous other locations as well, but we will be coming back to Atta Galatta as well in May.

The workshop that we’re planning for 5th and 6th March will be an intensive primer on creative writing, the different kinds of creative writing, genres, plots and plot devices, characterization, dialogue, writing exercises and then, we’ll also cover topics like how to approach publishers too. We can’t get you published but we will put you on the right path definitely. At the end of it, we hope that participants will feel motivated and energized to work on their stories and come up with something new.

We’re super excited. Stay tuned for more updates!

 

Andaleeb

Well, hello there!

Thanks for stopping by. We’re kind of excited about starting Nutcracker because it’s something that’s quite close to our hearts.

Our first creative writing workshop (through Nutcracker) will be held on 5th and 6th March, at Atta Galatta, Koramangala. Do sign up on the home page if you’ve always wanted to kickstart your writing but didn’t know where to start.

We have also been invited by a few schools and colleges to conduct our creative writing workshops there. If you’re interested in inviting us to your school, college or even organisation, do get in touch with us at info@nut-cracker.in and we’ll get back to you.