On writing Literary Fiction, also Poetry


Literary fiction writing: I’ve always been someone who looks deep into something or someone. That’s because I realised from a young age that there’s always more than what meets the eye. Also I don’t like to interview people or write about what they tell me consciously. I love reading people’s silences, and interpreting what they don’t, or can’t tell.
This is why, I choose to be a literary fiction writer. And not merely to satisfy a need to prove my intellectual capacity as you might imagine. 🤓 😊

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Writing poetry: Thankfully my attention was drawn to the need for ‘pathos’ in poetry, over beautiful words and sentences, very early on in my poetry writing, by a very mature friend.
He had read my earliest poems on my blog and then after connecting with me online, had come over to meet me when he was in Chennai.
We met across my office, for lunch, sometime in 2008. It so turned out, to my utterly amused surprise, that he was not only a distinguished looking elderly gentleman, but was at the time, CEO of a reputed, gigantic MNC. As I’d not taken my writing, let alone poetry writing, as anything more than a passing fancy.
We kept in touch, and by now gaining much confidence on my poetic skills, from someone of his stature apreciating them, I used to forward my latest poems to him. He was based in Mumbai then. It was when I forwarded to him two poems on Ooty and Coonoor that I had just written, and he promtly replied, “they are beautiful, but there’s no pathos in them…” that I was taken aback, disappointedly so. As in my view, they were my best poems till then, but the only ones I’d merely vividly described the Nilgiris with no added thoughts. I left those two poems the way they are, as I prefer not to tweak a piece of writing superfluously, if it’s not how I initially perceived it. But since then, I’m conscientious about even the tiniest poem I write.
In life, God blesses you in so many ways, by connecting you with people who build your confidence, teach you – how to go about walking a path he’s chosen for you.


William Maxwell in “The Paris Review Interviews”

Interviewers: Why? What does age do to a writer?

Maxwell: “I think it makes you more serious. It makes you more aware of other people’s lives. You see more from the inside: the troubles, the sorrow, and the unfairness. And then when you accept the idea that life is good, no matter how unlucky you are, you get a firmer insight into it.”




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