Fiction writing workshops

TF Carthick
TF Carthick
from Bangalore
7 years ago

What: Story writing workshop.

How: Detailed plot will be given. Everyone has to tell the story using their own narrative style. Different narrative styles will be evaluated by fellow participants and judges. 

Takeaway : Improvement in story telling techniques. First episode focuses on narrative style for a given plot.

Judges: TF and C Suresh for first episodes. Next episode will be judged by 3 of the top participants from this edition. They will also decide on plot and story telling technique exercise.

Where: New blogspot blog created by CS.

http://indifictionworkshop.blogspot.in/2012/09/plot-for-exercise-1.html

How to join: Add CS to Indi network and send CS an indimail requesting for the workshop e-mail id. He will give you mail id. Mail the story there.

What should e-mail contain: Short introduction of author and the entry to be mailed to e-mail id given by C.Suresh in the body of the email and not as attachment. Only words, no multimedia

Posting in personal blog - Yes. But give link to workshop blog and credit for plot to blogger who gave plot. Don't worry about page rank. The workshop blog will be disabled for crawlers.

Dates: Sep 16 - Confirm participation to receive mail id for mailing story. Plot will be up on the workshop blog

Sep 30 - Last Date to send story

Oct 15 - Results

Oct 20 - Next round to begin  

Word limit - 2500 words

Final word: Judges promise atmost integrity and best judgement within their limited capability. Focus on learning than winning. Judges are human and literary judging is subjective and person dependent. So request people not to challenge when results are out. In very contest somebody has to come last.

Edited 7 years ago
Reason: change in date
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C. Suresh
C. Suresh
from Bangalore
7 years ago

Thanks TF for setting this ball rolling. I hope we get the opportunity to learn from each other as we go by.

If I may add a suggestion, I think the participants and other interested people could also comment here on exactly what they liked about the narratives, as well as write concretely about what they feel could have been done better.

To elaborate on the issue, in the general contests there is a mix of genres making it difficult to assess what sort of fiction works best. Even when it comes to contests that is based on fiction alone, it is a combination of plot and narrative that is read and liked.

By and large, anyone interested in writing fiction has his own ideas of plots. What normally needs to be sharpened is the skill to narrate the plots such that it captivates the reader. This idea was floated so that the variations in plot-lines get eliminated and what remains for comparison is the narrative alone. Even without the critiques as well as the judgement, reading various other narratives for the same plot can, in and of itself, give you an idea of what can be improved in your own narrative.

That, in short is the idea. If you find merit in it and are interested, please come forward so that we can all learn from each other!

Deepa Duraisamy
Deepa Duraisamy
from Mumbai
7 years ago

Suresh, thank you for letting me know about the forum. That's a great initiative TF and Suresh. I am all for it. Though I blog about varied stuff, my ultimate desire is to be able to pen good fiction and as we had discussed in a different forum a few days ago, there's not a lot of readers (and hence critic comments) that are interested in reading fiction on blogs. Considering that the jump from blogging to penning a novel is a huge one, it makes sense to have an exclsuive group like this one simply for interested fiction writers who can help each other get better at it! As for group communication, we could probably have a closed Facebook group - my personal opinion is having a website would again run into maintenance efforts - FB becomes a collaborative effort just like the Indiblogger family. Plus, it gives everyone a chance to post - we could notify others of other contests and such too. Just my two cents. But like TF says, that's for later! Right now, as Nike would put it - lets do it !!

Arvind Passey
Arvind Passey
from Delhi
7 years ago

An excellent idea. I'm IN.

I also extend an invitation to use 'The Real Fiction' as the communication platform on Facebook.

**

So, when does the first plot float in? I'm sure there will be more than just 8 or 10 interested in this project.

TF Carthick
from Bangalore
7 years ago

I think we can get it started this weekend.

C. Suresh
C. Suresh
from Bangalore
7 years ago

I would probably like to have a separate blog where the posts can either be linked or guest-posted. If we are providing links, then with one link per post, the comments section can serve for the discussion about that specific post.

The reason why I express this preference is because it is possible to moderate comments on a blog unlike on Indichat. If we end up getting flamers on this thread it would be difficult to control - not necessarily abusive enough to warrant blocking Indi-membership but abusive enough to bruise budding authors. The intent is to build up the authors not to tear them down.

Guest-posting rather than providing links may be better in a way, since the critic can readily cross-refer the post for his critique.

This is just a suggestion. If it is felt better to continue on the thread, I am game.

DS
from Mumbai
7 years ago

You can use inlinkz for linking up the posts.

It will be better and more professional then putting links in the comment section!

Rajrupa Gupta
Rajrupa Gupta
from Kolkata, India
7 years ago

Wow! This is a great idea...thanks Suresh for letting me know abt it. I am definitely in. Laughing

Pradip Biswas
Pradip Biswas
from Kolkata
7 years ago

This is a great idea. But ifeel there should be comments from every one, who writes and who does not write but only reads. I am definitely in.

Thanks for letting me know Suresh. I am definitely in. The thing is, about the consequtive editions, I am not sure if everyone would be good enough at judging others. Y not make it a 360 deg thing where all participate and each will have to give their views on the rest? Just a suggestion

TF Carthick
from Bangalore
7 years ago

@jaish - The problem with voting is participation makes it obligatory for everyone to read other's entries. All may not have time for this. And voting often results in various negative behaviours as witnessed in Indivine and blog-a-ton. (Voting for friends, cartel formations). So I thought we will make rotational judges with winners becoming judges for next edition. And their qualification to judge also comes automatically from the previous win. 

Feedback everyone will give each other. The competetion is only there to make it more intresting and spur people to give their best shot.  

C. Suresh
from Bangalore
7 years ago

Mmm! Actually Jaish I am very wary about being a judge too! Not sure I am capable of weighing posts and selecting a couple. I'd rather you saw that judging part as simply a way of picking up two hapless people to give the next plot and selecting the next two people to carry the torch rather than as some sort of win/lose thing. Will make it more comfortable for me :)

The main purpose is to get people to see the various ways in which the same story can be written. Like selection of point-of-view character, dialogue-based vs. description-based narration, ordering of events and the like. I think it will help to select the right set of options for our own tales as we go forth. Incidentally, comments from other writers as well as readers could give you pointers about what to improve in your own way of telling a tale. That is the main intended take-away.

Yatin Khurana
from delhi
7 years ago

umm...!!the same problem can be here too, what if the judges make their friends the winner and then they become the judge and make their very friends again the winners.i think a veto power too should be there, for turning down the judges.and a compulsory post by the judge regarding a lesson on goog writing or sort (just for the sake of it maybe)

Deepa Duraisamy
from Mumbai
7 years ago

I don't get it. What's this about voting for friends? We're all writing so we can get better. Can we not be simply honest and judge the best keeping aside the fact that we might know the person? How hard can it be? Blog-a-ton has the same kind of stuff. I don't remember voting for someone just because he/she is a friend. That's a main point of this exercise. Where we can all help each other improve, be good constructive critics. 

TF Carthick
from Bangalore
7 years ago

@Yatin - My belief is when in open public gare, judges dare not behave unfairly. That is why in many cases judges chose to remain behind the curtains. Voting on the other hand is a one with the crowd activity. So people think no one will notice and vote very carelessly. Anyways here winning is only added incentive. There is not going to even a t-shirt for the winners. The true winners are those who learn something and get their stories across to publishers or sell them on kindle.

@Deepa - I have been in blog-a-ton for a long long time and know almost every member's voting patterns. Let me tell you - a lot of this happens there. 

C. Suresh
from Bangalore
7 years ago

@Yatin : Well! We are starting with TF and me as judges! So, first of all I'd like a disclaimer that you are not questioning our integrity! I wish people would think about how their comments sound in the context of a discussion before rushing into print.

Secondly, i do not understand this fixation about winning and losing here. As TF points out, the idea is about the learning process - the issue of judging is, for me, merely the icing on the cake.

As far as my personal disclaimer about judging went it was not a doubt about my own ability to avoid declaring my friends winners. It was about being able to discriminate between posts and decide which one is better in my opinion. The recent blogaton has shown me how posts can get too close to call.

And, are we not all friends here or likely to become so over the period of this activity?

Yatin Khurana
from delhi
7 years ago

well !! i cannot question anyones integrity and all. i did thought of adding a disclaimer, but i skipped it cause i didn't think it was needed. i too mentioned somewher below this thread, that this is not a contest so winning and loosing won't matter. but if think i make a general comment on judges, you must to realize when we generalize, half of the general(population) is already kept out. it can be any judge whatsoever, whosoever and may declare his friend as a winner. i can't say. i hinted at a possiblity ( a probable possibility). if you need it i'll attach an apology for offending you !!

C. Suresh
from Bangalore
7 years ago

I do need one and apology accepted.

Yatin Khurana
from delhi
7 years ago

:-| ...........................   Smile

TF Carthick
TF Carthick
from Bangalore
7 years ago

Thanks everyone for the response. Thanks to Animesh and Mr. Passey for offering their platforms for this purpose. But let us think about it in the next edition. First let us get the content (the concept execution) going right. The IT infrastructure and publicity can come later. Recently lot of us were involved in an event where they did a great job on IT infrastructure and publicity but serious gaps came up in the content.

And let us be clear on the purpose - this is not about getting traffic or readers - Possibly even everyone with our group may not read our posts. It about improving as fiction writers through critical feedback from fellow writers and see and learn where we see how somebody else does the same thing. This would help each other get into the big league - all said and done blog-o-sphere is still a small pool for fiction writers.

Animesh
from Mumbai
7 years ago

Totally agree

Ok makes sense. But just a word of caution, lets not let decorations promos etc swallow the basic purpose of this whole exercise. Let it be purely for writing-thru writing! 

Arvind Passey
Arvind Passey
from Delhi
7 years ago

Just a few observations:

1. Voting never leads to anything positive. Please do not have voting here.

2. Different judges is a great idea. Why bog down their perspectives with some archaic and meaningless regulations? Let them judge according to their sensibilities... and let them give their reasons for choosing the winners etc. Their comments must be acceptable to all.

3. Everyone in this 'program' must actually chip in with their creative output at least once in every 3 plots!

4. Commenting on posts will, of course, be commendable... I think everyone must do that. It is not to influence the judges but to give the writers a feeling that their work is 'actually' read.

 

Yatin Khurana
from delhi
7 years ago

i did not get the third point

Nabanita Dhar
Nabanita Dhar
from Bangalore
7 years ago

Wonderful initiative ...I am definitely in... !! There is so much one can learn from this is really what excits me the most !!

manas kumar sahu
manas kumar sahu
from kashipur
7 years ago

thanks for giving chance to us .may be this is a platform where i may also participate and have a chance to write

Ghazala Hossain
Ghazala Hossain
from Kolkata
7 years ago

An excellent initiative, I must say. In fact, since I became active on Indie, I was missing the same. The idea is good but how you take it further is crucial. As I have some experience in being part of such a project and hosting it a few times, l must share here,

1st point: One blogger say Fool, announces the contest (It will be a contest, as their will be winners) on his blog with a title ABC-1(A Blog contest). He will give the plot, I prefer an idea or a picture, because believe me reading same plot gets boring and the surprise element is lost.

 

2: Anyone can participate by leaving his contest entry url in the comment of the mother blog. (Which gets added into the mother blog, serially in a list). So anyone, who wants to see all the entries, needs to go to the blog.

3: It is only mandatory for both the judges to read all entries. After the last date, both judges decide between them. And the second Judg,e C. Suresh announces the result and welcomes the next two Hosts.

I hope this helps J

 

TF Carthick
from Bangalore
7 years ago

I think I like your idea of logistics, ghazala. Think to start with I am thinking of something of that sort till some of our more technologically advanced friends sieze initiative and take it to a different level.

But we don't want to do the picture stuff because the idea of this is not to entertain. I started another thread and it came out very clearly that not too many people read blogs for entertainment purpose. The idea is to practice and learn story telling techniques here so that we can use them to write good stories to submit to publishers.

Yatin Khurana
from delhi
7 years ago

i think getting reading the same story through different people itself is an element of surprise.

 

i was looking for something similar. every other contenst have the same thing/ and this is not even a contest either.

 

also it is upto you to read the entries i think. maybe you can bookmark 'em and read them at periodic intervals.

 

i like the mother format suggested, where the focus would be narrative style alone

Rajesh K
Rajesh K
from Chennai
7 years ago

If possible, start a group blog/collaborative blog like http://youthunite.wordpress.com . We had that concept earlier and it was very popular (for a period of time). Both WordPress/Blogger supports multiple authors publishing in the same blog. Basically, we would blog using our existing WP or Blogger profile and every member of the group will be able to see it. But there needs to be one administrator who will invite people or accept people into the group. Just a suggestion...

C. Suresh
from Bangalore
7 years ago

This sort of thing was what I had suggested. Only it cannot be upfront specified as to who those multiple bloggers are as we would not be able to predict. Which is why the suggestion to have a blog administered by somebody and guest posts from all interested.

As TF says, however, we can take that up going forth.

TF Carthick
from Bangalore
7 years ago

Good idea, destination. I think we can thing of something like that once the concept has worked succesfully for one or two editions.

Rajesh K
from Chennai
7 years ago

Let us know when you start TF. I am interested to try this...

apala sengupta
apala sengupta
from hyderabad
7 years ago

great initiative TF and CS! Thanks for this learning opportunity for fiction bloggers. Count me in Cool

Sandeep Nair
Sandeep Nair
from Ahmedabad
7 years ago

I am glad to see an endeavour where Narration is getting importance. These days it is becoming the norm to concentrate solely on the story and the twist in the end, rather than to build up any sort of connect with the characters in the stories. I often see great stories fail purely because of poor narrative build up and have witnessed average plots get published because of superb narration. How can you create imagery in the minds of the audience without narrating people and scenes to them so vividly that they can see and almost reach out and touch your characters?

A group of bloggers interpreting a set plot in different ways every month? Count me in.

Rajesh K
from Chennai
7 years ago

You have brought an excellent point, Sandeep. But the issue with the Internet browsing audience is - They just don't want to read a long story even if it might have some excellent narration/character development.

Sandeep Nair
Sandeep Nair
from Ahmedabad
7 years ago

Just a suggestion. Let us make this an academic exercise, a thinktank for fiction writing, rather than just one more BlogPost competition with voting and winning and generic comments and all the usual things which doesn't help anybody improve.

Sure there has to be an element of excitement about it, and that will be taken care of by the opportunity to be nominated as a Judge for the next round. But let us not convert it into a competition.

Over a period of time, writers will earn "street-rep" by staying and participating in this exercise, and the inorganic benefits of being well-known and respected in the blogosphere should be just rewards for the time and effort anyone puts into this. Of course we will all improve tremendously as writers. I am still looking for people who can make me chop down on my writing and if anyone wants pointers for descriptive writing, I am sure I can help a bit.

I have been scratching around on the Blogosphere for 3-4 months now and I am still relying on my IRL friends for honest criticism. Maybe this endeavour will change that. A group of honest Bloggers trying to improve themselves as writers. Now that is something worth doing.

TF Carthick
from Bangalore
7 years ago

Guess thats the idea, Sandeep. If we just wanted prompts and contests, there are already enough of them available. But I have realized they take us no where. Genuine readers don't come to blogs. So let us acknowledge that we are all writers and not readers and refrain from trying to convert each other to readers. Instead we focus on becoming better writers and get published in print where the genuine readers will come.

Sandeep Nair
from Ahmedabad
7 years ago

Just conveyed the idea that all Bloggers are writers and that readers never visit Blogs to a writer friend and he concurred wholeheartedly. Then why waste time pretending to be readers? Let us all write and critique and improve. We will be read if and when we get published. Excellent point.

sibichen
sibichen
from bangalore
7 years ago

Excellent concept. I am tempted to join. Let me see the plot and decide!

Nabanita Dhar
Nabanita Dhar
from Bangalore
7 years ago

Just a suggestion guys, if possible keep the duration more than a week, for I feel a week essentially is just of two days which is the weekend... It would be great if we have ample time to write and not be hurried in any way like in case of the other contests ( atleast I feel I have so many things pending to write and no time at all!) ... As TF said that it's a monthly contest, so it would be great if we had sufficient time as well..

Diwakar Narayan
from Pune
7 years ago

I agree Nabanita. By a week, I just meant any timeline as suitable to both the judges. It's not easy to read 30-40 posts a weak and provide detailed feedback on all of them.

Pooja Pradeep
Pooja Pradeep
from Bangalore
7 years ago

I am INCool


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