Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Creative writing workshop in Bangalore


I am happy to announce that I will be conducting a workshop in creative writing, one of my favorite things in life.

Writing is a tough and lonely job, not to mention thankless and confusing. At least thats what it seems in the beginning, middle and ......well...every single time one needs to lay me down on that blank page, it stares back mutely does it not.

But its also the happiest moment when I need nothing else in the world except to write the next word. To see a painting emerging out of just two colors, white and black. To hear the rhythm from just one instrument: the tapping of the keyboard. To see the story unfolding on the biggest screens of our time: the mind.

More than anything else, writing has cleared my mind and heart of an extra baggage: the self-esteem issue. Who cares if what I write is good or trash. When my written words are in synch with my path, I feel like I have a sakhaa, (dost, friend) to whom I can confide my darkest fears, who will never betray me, and who will forgive me everything except giving up writing.

And so, a workshop in creative writing is one of the best ways I can think of spending the weekend.

This is the announcement in Times of India:

Manjushree Abhinav, author of the recently published novel, 'A Grasshopper's Pilgrimage', will be conducting a Creative Writing Workshop on the last two weekends of June. This workshop would benefit beginners as well as those stuck in the middle of a book. It's main purpose is to fuel the love of writing towards an intense and natural discipline. For details, contact manjushree.abhinav@gmail.com or call at +91 9945192862.

Schedule: The next batch will be a weekend in July.

I will post the dates here as soon as I get them confirmed by TOI.

Venue: Times Of India , MG road, Bangalore.

Fee: Rs. 2,000/-

Author's profile :

I am a recently published novelist of A Grasshopper's Pilgrimage. This book should be available in most of the Crosswords and Landmarks. You can read reviews of this book on this blog. Just type the title in the search box.

I am also a film maker. I was trained at the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune in Film Editing. I have made several documentary films, and taught the various aspects of film making at NID (National Institute of Design), Ahemedabad and also at the FTII. I have conducted a creative writing workshop at the Srishti School of Art and Design last year.

I write for the creative outlet, deep fulfillment and clarity of mind that sometimes comes as a gift with a good session of writing.

A tentative structure of the work shop :

class 1: in the beginning was the word

What is creative writing? How is it different from other kinds of writing? Creative writing is that aspect of writing in which the other, the reader, is not more important than the writer. All through childhood, we learn to write for the teacher. Our understanding of ourselves is rooted from what others think of us and tell us, again and again. An artist is a person who can look within for inspiration. The inner space has to be cleared of all the baggage, by emerging out of the layers of parental and societal conditionings. Writing becomes an art when, and only when, it comes from an unselfconscious space. Creative writing happens when the writer has transcended the need of appreciation of anyone except herself or himself.

We shall begin with an exercise, a ritual for overcoming the writers block, or to get started. Participants will be given blank papers, with a manageable word limit. Lap tops will not be needed.

We shall do more exercises to stretch the mind and work the writing muscle.

class 2 : the short story

The class will read out a couple of their favorite short stories and we will analyze the story-line and compare it to the structure. Then we will work on a short story structure. To begin with, we will write a short story with a straight narrative, and then we will play with the structure.

Those who have a story in mind will write their on their own. Others can follow a guideline.

Completing this story will be the take home assignment for the week. You can mail me the drafts and we can continue to work during the week.


class 3: Writing a novel

Everyone has a novel inside. Lets write ours. How does one write a novel? The masala formula. Or, the nine rasas.

The kind of education we have had, the information overload, the media inputs, have made intellectual zombies out of us. We think with our brains, not with our minds.

Which is why, the first step is to become aware of what 'rasa' one goes through when writing something. Writing is a lonely job. Words have to become alive, they have to gain the power, a power more intense than a human ear, a sense of fulfillment more satisfying than an orgasm.

Where do novels come from? What is the essence of the novel?

class 4: Elements of the novel:

Characterization: The back bone of a good novel. Class will read out the characters and discuss their difficulties in creating an imaginary human being from words.

Exercises: Two different approaches to creating your character.

Understanding the synergistic effect of music, dance (or any physical activity) and writing. Identifying the enemies of writing: the idiot box. Replacing old habits with new ones. Sell your TV and buy a pen.


Note: There is a limit on the number of participants, so please register by calling me @ 9945192862.


Banno said...

Sounds like so.o.o.o much fun! Your students are going to have a great time.

I love the idea of writing as a sakha. True enough.

Rajashree said...

Hi! Both of us are conducting workshops around the same time. What fun!

All the best to you and your students!

Grasshopper said...

Thanks, Banno. How is your novel coming along?

When do we see it in the book shops? What is it called?

Rajashree said...

Hey, I didn't know that Batul is working on a novel! All the very best!