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Novel Writing Workshop by Akash Dhanurkar

By Swati Shrivastava

Akash Dhanurkar, writer of the novel, "Kanya - A Green Ocean of Regression", took the initiative curated by Peach Blink Publishers and hosted an online workshop on "novel writing" exclusively for the writing

club - Moutjza. The workshop came out to be very productive for all the budding writers who joined in, as it focused on some of the basic and most important aspects of novel writing. Each point was very well mentioned and explained by Akash sir.

The workshop started with a very healthy introduction, followed by a basic question put up by Mr. Akash. He asked everyone for their own definition of a "story". With all the interesting answers which came up, he finally explained in his own words - "A story is a sequence of events".

The first point he focused on was the "5W's & 1H" of novel writing. The 5W's & 1H included - who, what

, when, where, why and how. He explained how in novel writing or in any form of writing, these 6 parameters make the basic groundwork. And these are the questions every writer should ask themselves before writing.

The second point on which he focused was understanding the "difference between a Plot and a Story". Most of us get confused here, and mistake them for being the same thing. Akash explained that, a story tells us about what happened but a plot actually explains how it happened. As soon as we have a story we start building the plot for it. Because a plot is where all the details of the story lies. After the completion of every point he made sure to have a discussion round. So that any doubt coming in anyone's mind regarding the topic could be taken up and cleared then and there.

The third point was the most interesting part of the discussion. It focused on "Steps to write a novel". It started with forming an outline of the story. Then deciding the characters, naming them, deciding their description and much more. He told us that in every written draft of the novel, we keep on adding information to it, so as to make it whole. We need to make sure that the final draft which comes up should match the outline we decided initially. If suppose that doesn't happen, then we all are writers, and we are free to do our own modifications. He told us how he used people around him as inspiration to create the characters of his novel. He also told us that it's always best to get inspired from the nature around us, as it can give us enormous amounts of ideas for writing.

Before he started with the fourth point, he again asked all of us a question. He asked how many of us felt that we had a story to tell in our minds, but never had enough amount of words or vocabulary to explain it. This was a question to which almost everyone answered "yes". And then he focused on the fourth point of the workshop i.e. "How to build the vocabulary to write a book".

He showed us his diary which he was maintaining since past two years. He added 5 new words to it daily. And that way he got his own library of words. He asked us to maintain something similar, which would eventually help us to overcome the shortage of words.

The last point which he focused on was "Steps pre and post publishing the book". By far we learnt about writing a novel. But publishing a novel is equally important and so are it's steps. After the final draft is ready, one should make sure that it gets a proof read before going to the publishers. Akash told us about how his close friends helped him there. In the meantime, the writer must write the synopsis (summary of the novel) which he needs to send to the publication houses. The publishers read the synopsis. And if they are impressed by it, then they ask for a few chapters of the novel to be sent to them so as to read and judge the writers way of writing and then making a decision on whether to publish the particular book or not. And in this way the process of publishing a book continues. He further explained us about the two types of publications - traditional and self. He explained us about the pros and cons of both the publication.

The novel he wrote was self- published. He took care of it's cover design, the illustrations it has, it's marketing, basically everything on his own. He made us all believe that novel writing seems difficult only till we don't try it ourselves. Efforts are required, but the outcome is surely overwhelming. He emphasised on the point that we need to create a story which out-stands everything, and that way we can achieve what we wish for.

The workshop ended with some good learning and some real pretty smiles.

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