For the past one week I have been really time-pressed for various reasons. I am helping out my previous employer, Dorling Kindersley (Penguin Random House), on a beautiful book as a Consulting Editor, and that takes up most of my day. Besides this there are several other tight deadlines that I am trying hard to meet. Unfortunately the Delhi Literature Festival happened to be organized during this week.
I haven't been able to attend most of the sessions but was there for the Creative Writing Workshop conducted by Kulpreet Yadav, bestselling author of the thriller Catching the Departed, Satyarth Nayak, bestselling author of the mythological mystery, The Emperor's Riddles, and Sutapa Basu, Author and Editor. Sutapa is the editor and one of the contributing writers to India's first composite novel written by 14 writers, Crossed & Knotted.
The workshop was being conducted at the amphitheatre of Triveni Kala Sangam, near Mandi House. The evening was hot and humid and the first few minutes were uncomfortable, but as the conversations started flowing, all of us generally eased into it and forgot about the weather.
The three authors had planned the session well and divided it into three different sections. Kulpreet Yadav talked about the content of a book. He dwelt upon the importance of characters, plot, setting, conflict, and closure. The session was useful for aspiring writers who are just starting out. Kulpreet kept is simple and easily understandable.
Sutapa talked about the next step in a book's lifecycle - editing. She discussed some of the basic rules of grammars that a lot of us take for granted, but still get them wrong. She also discussed about the issues that put an editor off when he or she is reviewing your manuscript - incorrect grammar and punctuation, lazy formatting, excessive use of adverbs and adjective and exclamation marks.
Satyarth spoke last and he talked about the process of getting your book published. He stressed upon the practicality of creating a wish list of publishers you would like to approach and simultaneously submit your manuscript to all of them. He also spoke about the emerging trend of Literary Agents and how they can be helpful to debut authors. At the end he spoke a little about the option of self-publishing.
On the whole I feel the session was very informative for people who are new to writing and editing and are looking at publishing their first book. I enjoyed the session too though I am an experienced writer and an editor. On the whole it was an evening well spent.