Friday, April 4, 2014

Object Writing - the new buzzword for creatve writing!

Why not try object writing to open a whole new world of creative possibilities. As people have said the journaling style with a prompt gives huge reward once you get into the groove of this Pat Pattison’s object writing method to open you creative soul.

So say for example if today’s prompt is ‘Bluetooth’ - give yourself 10 minutes of nonstop writing – no stops; not for spellings, no error check, no typo check - just follow your thoughts, don’t question them and take the route they want to go, It’s a bit tough in the beginning but easy as can be once you let your experiences and thoughts flow from the prompt to a inner being that gives you those nuggets that you won’t when be aware when you are writing. 

Choose your prompt
Go ahead; choose your object, for an early morning warm up (preferably) or a break time refresh. Choose the first word in a book, dictionary, TV, newspaper heading, hoardings, from snippets of conversation, online prompts (check and then GO - without thinking about the topic or mulling about it. Let it just flow!

Read this from for generating ideas for songs, the sense bound or object writing through the senses technique is something i am truly inspired by "...anywhere you go is okay. Try bouncing off of each sense-image to wherever else it might take you, using each new sense-image as a sort of pivot to the next, a kind of sensual free association. Always with your senses, all seven of them. All within ten minutes. Don’t worry about story lines or “how it really happened.” No rhyme or rhythm. Not even full sentences. No one needs to understand where you are or how you got there. Save more focused writing for your songs.

Of course, instead of association, you certainly can stay within the framework of a story or event if you like, like “Back Porch” above, but let your senses drive the bus. As you remember the events, remember with your senses. How did the park smell? Were children giggling over by the duck pond? Italian sausages with steaming onions? Let us experience it too by engaging our senses; stimulate us to see, smell, taste, hear, etc., to really experience the story for ourselves.
Even more important, your listeners will each fill your sense-bound words with their own sense memories..."

Polish the gems!

Once you’ve finished with the writing, then you proof it - underline the ideas, change, edit, add, whatever to get the gems out of what you've written. You could find it giving you concepts for ads or a story, a poem, a song -  it could turn into anything – just probe it later not when you’re writing.

Object writing is developed by Pat Pattison the famous lyricist and poet and also a Professor of song writing at Berkelee. He has taken this craft to another level to open up creativity in every field. He also teaches at the Berkelee’s online Song writing course!

You could join and complete the courses you join or leave it anytime and enroll for another one. The songwriting course opened to me new ideas and method of writing  I have paused the course for a while and i do not know if i will rejoin at least until I learn a little of Western Music. I have come a long way from just knowing what chords are to actually playing a few basic ones. I feel empowered with all the online learning art journaling, drawing, writing which have enriched me. These are my mentors, guides, and I would say search and you will find! 

But, we are digressing – a habit I absorbed from my journaling practice with a timer set for ten minutes or even five or just glimpsing at the clock!! This helps me in my work, for sure, to get things out of my system instead of letting them steam inside. So, it is therapeutic for sure! I feel anything is possible after all I did write a story for kids ages 5-7. I think is the most difficult age to write for. My next one might be non-fiction with a few short stories on the anvil.

So go ahead and try Pat Pattison’s Object Writing method and unleash your creativity. I hope to get my hands on 'Writing Better Lyrics' by Pat Pattison to hone my creative writing.

Visit for prompts posted there (they're brilliant - the ones i have loved reading and I keep discovering new ones. Read the prompt 'youngster' here.

  • You do not have to stick to the prompt - digress all you want - here it is a plus and a bonus! 
  • The five senses apart let you inner feelings when you say butterflies in my stomach, tight knots. Play & have FUN!
  • Use your perspective or kinesthetic sense vis a vis the world around you (like you felt when you spun around or were in a gut spinning ride or something as mundane as brushing, combing!
  • The essence is to get into a mode of opening up your creative senses!

PS  Did i mention use all seven senses as Pat Pattison says in his video. Yeah I'm getting there!
Post your comments.

Check the next post for the prompt 'Salmon' and Champagne a take – off from the prompt salmon, birthday. After I write the prompt I polish it a bit to craft it into flash fiction or short story. Sometimes I just underline key phrases, words for future use. It takes time to get into the ‘senses’ groove as you can read from example: Back Porch

Back Porch

I must have been four. Memories from that time are a rare species—lobbing in like huge bumblebees on transparent wings, buzzing old Remington shavers torn free from those thick and brittle wires tangled in webs under our porch where I loved to crawl and hide; black snaking wires disappearing up through floors and humming into wall and socket. I still hear them.
I hid under the back porch, smell of damp summer earth cool under my hands, ducking, scrunching my shoulders tight to avoid the rusty nails waiting patiently above for my back or skull to forget them. The tingling along my back and neck kept reminding me, don’t stand up.Under the back porch, a place tinged with danger and smelling of earth, the air tastes faintly of mold and hollyhocks twining around the trellises that I see only the bottoms of, speckled gold by the shafts of sun slipping through high elm branches in the backyard, weaving shadows like Grandma’s lace dresser doilies. When I squint, I can blur the sunlight into a bridge of green-gold. Crouching there fetal and content, I could feel Mom above me, could hear her high heels tap-tapping.

"As I drove up the incline of the bridge I began to feel ball bearings running about in my stomach. I always get a little nervous being so high, it's like being on top of a skyscraper. You feel yourself swaying in the breeze and get that sense that you could almost fall over the edge. There's also that fear that the whole bridge could just drop away, like a plane dropping in turbulence". There! That was that a bit more engaging than "I drove over the bridge" wasn't it!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

My First Kid's Fiction - Dinoz Wears a Tux

Check it out on Kindle here and on Smashwords here. It is also available of flipkart for a 25% discount. Kids of age group 5 -7 onwards will love it and so will the eternal kid in you. The Book is priced at 0.99 dollars.

Dinoz Wears A Tux is a simple, fun tale about a Nysasaurus - Dinoz, who is born to an Ostrich in a classic exchange of eggs!! Here at the Den, as the forest officer, Peter, tells us, the guys and gals live the fun life - skating whenever they can. Hurdles come - like the bully, Alex the bear; the older ostrich clan, who do not accept Dinoz, how will he deal with this? Dinoz meets Dolphie, the dolphin and has a hoot of a time! 

Will the ostrich clan ever accept him? And, what about Alex the spoilsport bear! The icing on the tale is the underwater party thrown by his ‘bestest’ friend, Dolphie and yes, Dinoz wears a tuxedo, where everyone has a whale of a time!!

The book is inspired by a tuxedo to be worn for a wedding by the youngest one in our family - all of 1 year+ for his uncle's wedding. His aunt living in the US of A dispatched the tuxedo. This one is dedicated to him. And my daughter,, who inspired me to go ahead and write my story! 

  • Your feedback will be a plus for me but no hassles.



Thursday, January 9, 2014

Indic mythology is fascinating - a review

Recently i read an article in the #Times of India’s, ‘Speaking Tree’ column; an article that was surprising not only in its view, the style of writing was also refreshing. The article #venture beyond your comfort zone speaks about Indic Mythology with a view that Gods and Goddesses were actually aliens(referring to their ability to transform and travel through time),taking that they could transmute from point one to distant planets in a jiffy!

The author, Sophia John, says, “Indic mythology has been around for generations. Yet its lure hasn’t dimmed. Each time I’ve read anything in mythology, I’ve found something new. One of my favourite theories is the existence of extra-terrestrials and our interactions with them...”Read more here.

The example given in this article is from a story in the Mahabharata about King Kakudmi and his daughter Revathy who travel to get the blessings of Lord Brahma for her marriage. Only to be informed that they had travelled four yugas, which translate, to 1,728,000 years of earth time, (i glean this from these: article and Wikipedia), which meant all the eligibles’ had long departed. The reason, for this conjecture, i believe is only in such a scenario can such a long time gap be crossed and what else could be the means for a travel but a spaceship! 

Fascinating! So how does Lord Brahma solve the problem and bless the daughter with a husband! Indian mythology is fascinating indeed and though i do not know much, than what i read or what i gleaned as a growing child on comics and television serials on the Mahabharata and Ramayana.

I find in today’s generation (and that means anyone fresh in their thoughts and ideas), the ability to go beyond your comfort zone, to understand a new viewpoint that might shake old beliefs up a bit!

Most of us in India and Asia have grown up reading comics about stories and television serials from the Mahabharata. There is this fascination even in the west on the exotic East. One of the revered experts considered a bible on Indic mythology is the erstwhile Mr. Devdutt Patnaik.

The author of the article “venture beyond your comfort zone”, also has a blog where she expounds her theories on topics like #Ravana’ and other mystic explorations.

So enjoy and do post some links to articles you have found enriching to read even if you might not necessarily agree to the content. Maybe you will find it on my blog, that is exploring new ideas to transform your ideas. Prompt Write!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Get your ebook published! Format Right!

They say there is a novel in everyone. It could be fiction or non-fiction. But, if not formatted properly it would be a reader's nightmare. So you would do well to get into formatting before you start or even now that you have reached the self publishing stage. 
Formatting right for e-books is not a choice; it is a compulsion for the modern day e reader's viewability has a set pattern

E -publishing calls you the publisher so it is unavoidable to FORMAT! Tomorrow will be a breeze i think! YES!  I Believe! But let's be honest - nobody gives a newbie writer a huge deal unless you're Stephen King or J.K. Rowling! So i'm glad there is indiE-publishing! I truly believe e-publishing is here to stay.

Useful Tips that helped me format my book

Get your file saved in another location or folder and leave that one alone.

Keep the show/hide feature from the menu or word options Display so you can see the extra paragraph/carriage returns and other formatting marks. The tab space has circle in front of the return symbol and the tabs have arrows. the extra space bar has an extra dot and enter has a mirror image of P!

 Remove all the extra spaces and paragraphs created with space and tab (an absolute no no if you want your file to flow seamlessly in the e reader - kindle, i pad, i phone...
 Just click 'Replace' in the right hand side enter ^t in 'options' and leave it blank in 'replace with' field. To remove the extra spaces in Options in the replace filed click  'two 'spaces by tapping two spaces literally, in the modify field replace the extra space with one. I literally shouted out in joy seeing the document, it looked so sparkly clean, like a house at Christmas.

Add a page break after every chapter. Instead of using other errors that will corrupt it for Kindle, Smashwords...

Use paragraph enter/returns just once.

If you are uploading into Kindle, check your book in the Kindle previewer. A tip when you do that save the file you uploaded as draft until you are satisfied for the book will be online within 12-24 hours approx. These simple tips could help you.

Linking to chapters with the TOC in Word

Word has a nifty TOC (table of contents). And, is easy if you have chosen one style for heading i.e. you chapters and another for your title and one for the body text. To ensure you are using the same style - right click and choose modify over a heading style and choose Times New Roman, Arial  Bold which are the fonts in most e readers. After you click modify, choose the point size as 14 here. Click for tips on TOC here.

I found this out after my toc included my title author name and a line from one of the paragraphs. Once i realised the toc wasn’t working on the kindle previewer, i worked on the above hints with TOC. Check them here.

Go through the smashwords style guide,which is also available free as a PDF. It is by Mark Coker and works on most e - publishing services.

Advertising writing tips here.