Thursday, July 3, 2014

Writing Class 1

Have been delaying for a while. This needed a post. Could delay no longer. So, my husband enrolled me in a fiction/short story writing class. First I was looking forward to it,  but quickly was oscillating between the excitement and the skepticism I felt. How can someone tell me, teach me what to write? Shouldn't it all come from within? And if it is just not there then how can he bring it out. If it is all in there then why do I need a class to bring it out?

Anyway after the class my thoughts are even more skeptical. I imagined the serious faces around me react to my declaring all i really want from this class is to be able to put into words my feelings for Arnav and Khushi (My IPK hero and heroine) . And maybe am over reacting or just reacting negatively but am worried that this should not feel like a serious thing with rules. A certain way of doing it the correct way. No. I want it to be fun and spontaneous and exciting. Madly compulsive. Rewarding. I want to write exactly the way I do now, just better, because there is always room for that right? And also so that all the people who read also enjoy as much as me. Compliments would be an added bonus in that sense.

We started with something that I think about writing. My answer - I want to write what I would like to read. And I like reading things which are not too heavy. It should have a certain lightness, love, adventure. Should be touching. Should be intelligent. (Hmm am not sure if a lot of the books I like fall in this genre, but sometimes a lot of the so called books for grown ups feel listless)

2 problem areas I want to tackle. My actual answer was an edited version - 

1. How would you start if you don't even have a story in your head. Lets say I want to write about Arnav and Khushi. If I don't have a story then how do i start. And I don't think that answer can come in a class. Actually even phrasing it this way makes me sound stupid I feel. Anyway this was my question.
2. I like reading mysteries and suspense. No idea where to start writing such a story.

Towards the end of the class we were given a prompt and ten minutes to write a short story of around 500 words. The prompt was -  You are worried and you take a walk in your neighborhood. You cross a house and see two people. This is what I wrote. I have kept it almost as I wrote it in the first draft. (P.S It didn't really make sense to write with so many strangers in one room facing each other across the table and being told that you need to write 'now'.)

It had been a tiring busy day. No time to do any of the things I liked doing the most. My head was too full of unwanted thoughts. Too much outside interference in my mind tonight. I knew the thoughts couldn't be pushed out so I decided to step out for a walk, hoping the clear night would clear my head as well.

I walked down the familiar quiet street of y neighborhood. There were hardly any clouds overhead. The sky was full of twinkling stars. Yet try as I might I could not get myself to calm down. To match the uneasiness in my head I picked up speed. I had lost track of all the turns I had taken.

As I went up a steep lane I noticed the house in front of me. It was white on the outside, newly painted. Pretty white flowers on the lush green climber were visible on its walls. It looked breathtakingly beautiful.

The lights were on and the curtains were open. The door suddenly flung open and a young woman came out. Even in the darkness, just by the light of the full moon I knew she was beautiful. She had a wide smile and a cup in her hand. I imagined it had hot tea in it. Her fingers gracefully curled around the cup as she sat down on the front steps of her house.

I stood still, watching, completely mesmerized. My breathless expectancy was rewarded because almost immediately a lean young man stepped out from the same open doorway. He wore a blue polo pullover. Short hair, angled bones. He looked young. His features were striking. The girl was looking up at the stars and had started to hum.

The man's face broke into a smile. It was like the first rays of sunshine had burst out from behind the clouds. His expression was tender as he went and sat down next to the girl. His eyes still on her. Never once had they moved away from her face.

The girl turned and with a lot of enthusiasm, her arms waving wildly, started talking. The man's smile had turned indulging. Was he smirking? His body was lazily stretched across those steps. He was relaxed, but something in the grace with which he held himself told me there was immense vitality within that lounging man. Now he was laughing too. His face looked years younger. Boyishly charming. His shoulders moved up and down to the rhythm of his laughter.

The girl hit her forehead with her palm. She was muttering something inaudible. Though I couldn't hear the words I knew she was delighted.

They looked so happy sitting on those steps laughing. They looked so much in love. I could feel myself smiling. This was happiness. My spirits lifted I decided to find my way back home and leave these two young people in love, in their own small little private world, untouched by the outside world. The cacophony of sounds in my head had died down. I felt brighter and lighter, a sense of peace. Was I glad that I had decided to take that walk!

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