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  #1  
Old March 13th, 2019, 10:17 AM
Shringarey Shringarey is offline
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Advice Needed on Story Writing

Hi friends,

I need some advice on story writing. I have been writing short stories for a long time. I write because I like to. But I am a closet writer, writing only on echarcha and to some very very few and close friends. I don't even tell to most people that I write. I prefer to work patiently and improve my craft. And I believe my skills have improved over time.

Now something has happened. A relative of mine has got a job in one of the top five entertainment houses in the world. It is a US company. She is in the Films-India division. She is a script reviewer there. They get scripts for Indian films from all sorts of places. Her job is to reject the "really bad ones" without actually commenting on even those which she thinks are good. Her mandate is that even if a script is "OK or a bit good" she has to accept it. Nearly 90% scripts are rejected as being "really bad". The ones that are accepted are then moved to the inbox of her boss. From those, the actual scripts to follow up on will be chosen by the seniors. She is a junior and has no role in that. Her role is limited to removing the really bad and reducing the load on her seniors.

I am on good terms with her, but not particularly close. I am very very very close to her mother. Her mother, My mother, I and a couple of others meet every month at least. We had such a meeting today. Her mother told me - "My daughter has got such and such a job. Why don't you show your stories to her?" To put things in perspective, her mother is herself a writer of some standing in the Hindi "saas-bahu" serial category (TV/Hindi). She has absolutely no interest in books (my forte) or films (her daughter's work)

When the mother said this, I was all excited, and tonight I phoned the daughter. She had been briefed about this by her mother. She agreed to review my work.

The question is - should I send it to her for review? The points of consideration are -

i) She is much younger than I
ii) She is in films - I am in stories
iii) Will she give an honest opinion - considering our relation, she could just say "Yes, good, good"
iv) I doubt I can get a lead from her - she is quite junior, but her work is appreciated even by the CEO (all India, all media)
v) Should I "spruce up" the stories before I send them to her?
vi) Should I wait for some time - improve my craft and then send?
vii) I am scared she will say "All Rubbish"

Please give your perspective.
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  #2  
Old March 13th, 2019, 10:59 AM
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Re: Advice Needed on Story Writing

what have you got to lose? All the points you mentioned are about something good that you dont currently have and might lose... but what do you really have to lose?
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Old March 13th, 2019, 11:02 AM
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Re: Advice Needed on Story Writing

second thoughts, if you expect her to pass on the script above - then maybe it makes sense to get her perspective - does the story have to be longer than x pages, should it be a novella or a novel or do you get a chance later to expand if someone higher up likes the premise? that should dictate whether and how much would you spruce up your stories. a film needs material to fill up events on screen for around 2 hours after all....

also when you send them to her (I am not saying IF you send), make her comfortable, tell her to feel free to reject without worrying about what you will feel.
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Old March 13th, 2019, 11:38 AM
Shringarey Shringarey is offline
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Re: Advice Needed on Story Writing

kkkk,

Arre yaar. I am NOT sending her script for a film. She has only agreed to review the stories as stories - book format. NOT FOR FILM.
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Old March 13th, 2019, 12:14 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Advice Needed on Story Writing

Shring,
I am not a certified author or a published author nor a successful author. I too have written stories here and you know them.

However, I have had the good fortune to have read a lot of fiction by several established authors and from different genres.

Your stories are good. I really like them. But I can give you some feedback. Hope you don't take it in the wrong way.

1) Your ideas are really good most of the times

2) Sometimes you write a story as if its a screen play. A screen play is what a screen play writer writes after having read a story. You should not worry about writing a screen play. Get the story out first and then worry about how it will be portrayed on screen.

I can give you recent examples - Your story about two fellows robbing Shetty and then losing it to demonetization was excellent. It was a story and not a screen play because there was conversation between the two characters but there was a lot of story too. Like you explained why Shetty gang would be fooled by the Panvel gang.

Now the other story you are writing - The secret room treasure hunt. It has way too much dialog and the story does not move ahead. For example, we know that the police have arrested the professor and is being blamed for all kinds of things. In the last two episodes you kept up the dialog between characters instead of writing a more concise and tight description of what the police were accusing the professor of and what the professor was thinking.

3) Read some authors like, for example, Michael Connelly. He is the author of many police procedural type of crime stories. His central character Harry Bosch has become a successful TV series on Amazon Prime for the last 4 seasons and the 5th one is about to be released in April 2019. I have read his novels, all of them. And so I enjoy the series too as the screen play writer has done a fantastic job of translating the 'story' to a 'screen play'.

4) I have read that great authors like Stephen King, the late Robert Ludlum, Frederick Forsyth, etc used to first just write as the thoughts came to mind. Then they would go back to it and polish it further. So maybe that can help before you send out your stories. eCharcha.Com can be your first draft cut and then you can polish them further.
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  #6  
Old March 13th, 2019, 12:17 PM
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Re: Advice Needed on Story Writing

I am sure that there is an author's association or some such thing in Mumbai. Please first register your stories, however they are. I mean even if you think its a draft and not the final version. In the creative world there are many nefarious and unethical people who will steal the idea and make a film or tv series out of it. So please do this first even if you know this person well.
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Old March 13th, 2019, 02:08 PM
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Re: Advice Needed on Story Writing

Just do it...........
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Old March 13th, 2019, 05:23 PM
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Re: Advice Needed on Story Writing

if you donít apply for job you donít even get a call.
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Old March 13th, 2019, 10:31 PM
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Re: Advice Needed on Story Writing

I think you should give it a try. If she comments, you will learn something about her POV. If she doesn't, you got nothing to lose.
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Old March 14th, 2019, 03:28 AM
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Re: Advice Needed on Story Writing

I feel you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Send them on.
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Old March 14th, 2019, 03:57 AM
Shringarey Shringarey is offline
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Re: Advice Needed on Story Writing

Thanks guys for your advice. She is far younger to me and I have a fear of imposing myself on her. Also the thought was, "What will I gain, anyway? What will possibly happen anyway?"

But you fellas are right. My thought should be - "What have I to lose? Probably nothing will come out of it - but something might. What do I have to lose anyway?" That is the right thought.

This is what I am going to do. I'm going to visit my mom next weekend for a kheema lunch. She and her mom would be there too. Ill ask her and try to see whether I am imposing on her or not. If it is OK, I'll send her one story or two. Let me see how it goes. What is there to lose anyway?

Thanks again.
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Old March 14th, 2019, 04:34 AM
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Re: Advice Needed on Story Writing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shringarey View Post
Thanks guys for your advice. She is far younger to me and I have a fear of imposing myself on her. Also the thought was, "What will I gain, anyway? What will possibly happen anyway?"

But you fellas are right. My thought should be - "What have I to lose? Probably nothing will come out of it - but something might. What do I have to lose anyway?" That is the right thought.

This is what I am going to do. I'm going to visit my mom next weekend for a kheema lunch. She and her mom would be there too. Ill ask her and try to see whether I am imposing on her or not. If it is OK, I'll send her one story or two. Let me see how it goes. What is there to lose anyway?

Thanks again.
Shring, it is very considerate of you to think about whether or not you are imposing on her. How do these stories land in her inbox anyway? Find that out for yourself first. If anyone can forward a story to her, you arent exactly imposing on her. Its a part of her job, with an added perk that you are acquainted with her.

If I were you, I would find out what genre (FILM is a broad category; within films, what does she specialise in)?If you know, then see if there is a pattern to her "selection". If not, find out casually what she approved and if that was made as a film. Your mom's friend will be able to help with this. There has to be a pattern to her selection. If you cant figure it out, take that list to a trusted friend and go through it togethre.

Then from within the stories you have already written, pick something that broadly falls in her usual "selection list". You have written so many wonderful stories, I am sure one of it will surely fit.

I think the first film/ book (trust me, I know this by personal experience) is to get within the "inner circle". Once you get there, the subsequent stories are what (most likely) will bring you fame/ money. But to get there, you still need to go through all these juniors and please consider selecting something that falls in the "good" category based on her previous selection.

This is once in a life time opportunity. Dont just send whatever "you" think is good. Spend some time and figure out what she thinks is good. Its ok, its just the first time. Once you made your name for yourself, you wont have to do this.

If everything fails and its a "no", do not forget to thank her for giving your story a chance and that you appreciate the time she took regardless. Keep the communication open, like wishing her and her family on special occasions like festivals etc. I hope this helps.
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Old March 14th, 2019, 05:59 AM
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Re: Advice Needed on Story Writing

Film makers in Bollywood actually filter and read scripts? Watched an interview of Sunny Leone where she says porn industry has better scripts and planning than Bollywood movies. Things were being changed right during shooting.
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Old March 14th, 2019, 09:27 AM
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Re: Advice Needed on Story Writing

Go for it, I say. What have you got to lose, I say. Yenna rascala, you will become rich and famous... and I can say, yes... I know that murugan
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Old March 14th, 2019, 09:37 AM
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Re: Advice Needed on Story Writing

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I know that murugan
You mean, you know his avatar on an unknown forum
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