Author Sujata Parashar on challenges, inspirations and advice for writing short stories

Author Sujata Parashar on challenges, inspirations and advice for writing short stories

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My writing journey began in 2009 with the publication of my first novel, �In Pursuit of infidelity.� However, it was while writing my second book that I started experimenting with the other written forms. I began writing poetry and also wrote my first short -fiction (in 2011) for a national level short – story writing contest. To my surprise an delight, my story, �Wake Me Only When The Sun is High,� was chosen as one of the winning entries and was later published in the short � story anthology brought out by the contest organisers. This acknowledgement gave me a tremendous boost and ignited my interest in the short – story format.\n\nSo it has been only five years since I began reading and writing short – stories. In 2015, I came out with my first short story collection, �That Woman You See.� The book is dedicated to the spirit of womanhood and contains 9 short – stories about the dreams, aspirations and bold outlook of the new age Indian woman.\n

Why is writing short – stories more challenging?

\na) They are shorter and so the scope is limited. The author has to really be able to tell an engaging tale while keeping a check on her word count and end it powerfully.\n\nb) Short – stories often focus on a single or fewer characters than in novels and if the characterization is weak or not handled deftly, the story can fall flat.\n\nc) Readers take their time connecting to a story or relating to a character. In novels they can do so over a course of days or weeks but you don�t have the same luxury in case of short – stories.\n\nSo again, the author has to work doubly hard in developing their characters such that they form an instant bond with the reader. I think what makes a short -story unique is its ending. You don�t know what may happen and so in � between somewhere in the middle of the story, you start guessing almost invariably the ending is what you�d least expected.\n\nKamala Das, Manto, Jhumpa Lahiri are some of the short � story writers I�ve admired. I�ve not really read any of the recent Indian short – story writers though I know of a few who write well. I was deeply moved�by two short- stories when I read them, the first one was �Khol Do� by Manto and the second �The Kept Woman� by Kamala Das. Both these masters knew how to touch the human heart or torment the human mind with their simple yet powerful stories.\n\nWhile writing a short story, keep in mind three things:\n

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  1. Start well. The opening lines matter the most.
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  3. Keep your writing simple and clear.
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  5. End with a comma or a question mark. Let the reader continue writing that story where you left.
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\n\"\"\n\nAbout the author : �Sujata Parashar is a novelist, poet, short story writer and social worker. She has written seven books so far. Her debut novel, In Pursuit of Infidelity (2009) was a bestseller. She also has a poetry book series to her credit, titled, Poetry Out and Loud. Her latest book is a collection of short – stories, titled, That Woman You See (2015). She has won awards for her first poetry book and her first short – story. Sujata has served on the planning board of a couple of prestigious literature festival of India. She has also led a nature – writing initiative under Kumaon Literature Festival called Fellows of Nature (FON) to promote awareness about Nature. Sujata is a founder member of Empowering Minds; a Delhi based NGO focusing on education and mental health issues of women and children.\n\nConnect :� Facebook�: Twitter\n\n \n\n\n\n \n\nOur latest book�- Jukebox�: A collection of stellar short stories by budding writers of India is now available. It is an outcome of �Melonade – A nationwide writing competition by writersmelon.�\n

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Excerpts of all shortlisted stories are available�here.�

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Do buy a copy of the book to support this initiative by Writersmelon.

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