Writing for a modern audience
I have always questioned what I read and learn as a part of the curriculum and wondered how it can help me outside the college. As an English literature student, I have been learning about novelists, playwrights, and poets from the 18th to 20th century, and as a book reviewer, I have been reading the current authors and their works. To understand it more appropriately, I needed a session that would help me differentiate and understand modern-day writing.
Blogchatter, as always, came up with an intriguing session on Writing for a modern audience where three authors – Tanushree Podder, Riva Razdan, and Aayush Gupta talked about social and political issues, their visions and opinions, and a lot more!
Key Takeaways from the session –
Narrative – the tone and pace should change according to the genre. You have to create that ambiance and do a lot of research to bring that era to life. It is the story that matters. Everything else falls into the pattern as you deal with it and as you go ahead.
Books should have some relevance to the social cause – It is important, that in the times that we are living, we should have a little concern for the causes. There should be a moral weight to your book, and it should not be spiritually bankrupt. It is also important not to be didactic. It should be light and breezy. There will always be controversies and differences of opinion, but as an author, there is a social responsibility that cannot be ignored. A subject can be approached, without taking sides by putting those thoughts in one character, and another character can play devil’s advocate. The message should be conveyed subtly.
Character sketch – While introducing characters, you might not need a backstory. Instead of telling what the characters like or what their defining experiences were, you rather have them do something and have them make a decision. Introducing a character in their presence is better than going into their history. While writing from a character’s perspective, especially a villain’s perspective sometimes might feel challenging. But remember, the characters act according to their conditioning and circumstances. Remember, it is not your perspective but the character’s perspective.
Audiences are always smarter do not underestimate the audience – Do not condescend to the modern audience. Even when presenting a controversial view, take into account the readers probably have their own opinions and provide a comprehensive argument and justification for the information or your point of view. Be alert and speak to them at an equal level.
Here are a few great lines by the authors quoted during the sessions that you should remember while writing:
– by Tanushree Podder:
“I live, breath, and dream of those times I’m setting my book to.”
“End of the day, it is the story that matters.”
“Books should have a strong message. The social issues should be brought forward in a way that can make a reader laugh and yet grasp the message.”
– by Aayush Gupta:
“It is not even our job to entertain. It is just to engage.”
“In our generation, it is very common to be so convinced that you are 100% right that there is no room to have a disagreement and still save a relationship.”
“Audiences are always smarter. Don’t underestimate the audience. Write whatever you want.”
– by Riva Razdan:
“I think there’s a way to convey a message: you tie it into the story and not chew on your message to the readers.”
“I think it is a popular misconception that feminism and romance are exclusive themes. I think it’s funny that it’s a revolutionary task for novels, narrative fiction, or even in films. It should be the norm. All female characters should be feminists and should want equality and basic respect.”
Blog written as a part of BlogchatterWritFest