If you have decided to embark on a writing journey, either professionally or as a hobby, you will soon realise it is a feat akin to kissing the demon. Fortunately though, Amrita Kumar, with the repertoire of her experiences spanning four decades, lays out a simple and effective method to traverse this seemingly arduous path.
She starts from the absolute beginning – why one should write, for that is the most important question a writer must be able to answer. Not to anyone else but to the self.
Once that is established, she goes on to explain the integral elements of creative writing: plot, characterization, narration, setting, dialogue, that help form a compelling story. She explains with examples which are relevant to the aspiring as well as the seasoned writer. Kumar draws parallels from notable films as well as award winning and popular books to drive the point.
What is most important, however, that sets this book apart from almost all others on the subject of writing, is that she dedicates an entire section to the publishing process, specifically tailored for the Indian writer.
Starting from when, how and where to look for a publisher and/or agent, pitching your manuscript, waiting for a response, negotiating a contract, understanding advances & royalties, to the actual editing, and finally publicity/marketing, she brings focus to an otherwise blurry image that few debut writers can claim to have fully understood.
Last but not the least, she also helps with tips and tricks to manage the complicated balance of dealing with everyday life, and staying fit while indulging in an altogether sedentary writing habit.
You may choose to read this book before you start writing, or after you have written a first draft, nonetheless it has a wealth of information on both creative writing and publishing that you would otherwise rarely come across. One you cannot afford to miss.
Title: Kissing The Demon
Author: Amrita Kumar
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers India
Edition/Year: First Edition 2017
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5 Stars
Available on Amazon.
About the Author: Amrita Kumar is an anthologist, novelist, writing-mentor and creative writing teacher. She began her career in the godowns of Daryaganj to select books for a chain of bookshops, moving on as research writer for the Department of Culture, Government of India, then on to publishing as associate editor, Penguin India; editor-in-chief, Roli Books; managing editor, Encyclopedia Britannica; editor, Indian Design & Interiors magazine; and vice-president, Osian’s Literary Agency. In addition, she has freelanced for Rupa & Co., HarperCollins India and Oxford University Press.
She lives in New Delhi.
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