5 Writing Lessons from Amish Tripathi
Taking mythology and creating a story of everyday life out of it isn’t easy. You’re taking a Hero of great deeds and legendary proportions and bringing him down to the life of a lay man. Doing this without reducing stature, is exactly why Amish Tripathi’s Shiva Trilogy is so widely appreciated, and why he’s presently on an INR five crore advance for his next series.
However, like many writers out there, he’s worked hard to reach the position he has. His success is based on great effort and experience in two additional areas: A rich cultural past and heritage, and strong experience in marketing.
When it comes to writing and selling books, there are many lessons that can be learnt from Amish. Read on for some tips from writer Amish Tripathi.
1. Stories Are All Around You
When he was young, he would often sit listening to the tales of his elders, of mythology, of Hindu beliefs and the classics like Mahabharata and the Upanishads. He was taught to question when he had a doubt and thus he learned a lot about his own culture. Many years later, this knowledge when he decided to share his spiritual views through literature, would become invaluable. Thus, his first piece of advice to the amateur writer is to watch out in life, because every situation, every detail in your life could be the basis of a story.
2. Never Give Up
There is no fixed advice that anybody could give you to write a bestselling book: Whether people accept the book or reject it can only be decided by time. When Amish Tripathi tried to get his first book published, he was told repeatedly that it would fail, that it lacked action, and that the philosophical core in the book would lead him to his doom. He refused to acknowledge them and now, 2 Million sales later, he is glad he did. He let his failure teach him, but never bring him down.
In a similar way, don’t allow rejections to get you down. With each rejection you become stronger and it gives you an opportunity to find alternative ways to get your work recognized.
3. Allow Your Characters to Develop Themselves
When Amish Tripathi first started writing, he would try to use an organized approach to writing fiction, where he would place emphasis on trying to create characters. However, this approach didn’t work for him. Instead of being a creator, he took on the perspective of a spectator. When he did this, characters began to emerge themselves.
If you’re finding creating your characters a challenge, try Amish’s approach. Give yourself permission to let go, to enable your writing to flow and allow your characters to manifest, naturally.
4. Realize the Audience You Write For
The books written by most conventional Indian authors tend to be too complex for the lay man to understand or comprehend. By writing his books in the common man’s language, Amish ensured that his ideas would spread beyond language barriers to all people, which was what he had hoped.
When you’re writing your books, always keep your readers in your mind and ensure they will be able to relate to your characters, and their depiction.
5. Learn How to Market Yourself and Your Books
After the numerous rejections Amish had initially got from publishers, he decided to self-publish. It was at this time that the business skills gained from his MBA came to the fore, along with marketing support from his wife.
How can you learn some marketing and promotional skills to really help spread the word about you as a writer and your work? Starting a writer blog and getting active on social media can be a great start.
Image credit: www.authoramish.com