Kiran Desai, daughter of India’s renowned author Anita Desai, is a wonderfully talented writer in her own rights. While Ms. Anita Desai was nominated for the Booker prize three times, Ms. Kiran Desai actually won this coveted award with her very second novel, ‘The Inheritance of Loss’. Her debut novel was also highly regarded and praised by critics. There is a lot to be learnt from this internationally acclaimed writer and her journey to greatness.
1. Prepare Yourself
Once a person decides that he or she wants to be a writer, it is important to equip yourself with the necessary tools of the trade, in this case, the art of writing. Kiran Desai loved literature from an early age, having been exposed to the world of words by her mother. To prepare herself for her writing career, she enrolled in several creative writing courses and workshops at some of the best universities. Without taking her talent or her literary background for granted, she studied the craft of writing for many years before writing her first novel. She continued her university studies while she was planning her second novel.
2. Find Your Style
According to Kiran Desai, she learnt important writing tools from her courses and workshops. But she always tried to use her own style and voice. The formulaic writing guides at these writing workshops are not really suitable for everyone, and one must experiment to discover which style works best. While formal training is important, it must not over-refine or standardize the writing style and creativity of writers.
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3. Start Off With Your Best Foot Forward
Having your debut novel be a success, is a great blastoff for a writer, and motivates them to do even better the next time around. When you have a burning desire to be a novelist and have a wonderful story inside of you, don’t rush to spill it out until you are thoroughly ready to produce your best (for the moment). It is important to work steadily towards your goal, but also carefully, so that your work is something you can be proud of. With her debut novel ‘Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard’ receiving the Betty Trask award, Kiran Desai knew she was on the right track. Without getting complacent about this, she used this success to motivate her and improve her work to win the Booker award with her second novel.
4. Quality over Quantity
Some writers are extremely prolific, which is great for their loyal readers. However, it is not necessary for writers to get every story out of their chests into a novel. Try to make every novel your best one ever. Even if you write just that one masterpiece, make sure it counts. For example, Kiran Desai spent eight years over ‘The Inheritance of Loss’, turning it into a work of art which justly deserved its awards.
5. Use Your Life Experiences
When writers struggle for inspiration on how to create their characters or shape their stories, they should look around, look within themselves and look at their own life experiences. Kiran Desai mentioned in an interview that she drew on the many travel experiences in her past to shape her novels. Most of us have had many interesting incidents and experiences, and have met many unique people during the course of our lives. It is up to writers to realize the wealth of their real life experiences, and use it to make their books better.
Image credit: Magnus Manske on Wikimedia Commons and reproduced under Creative Commons 3.0[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/CS_Rajan.jpg [/author_image] [author_info]CS Rajan is a freelance writer who loves to write on various topics, and is currently working on her first novel. [/author_info] [/author]