Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Writer's Weapons

Yesterday, I came across this very intriguing Japanese folk story.
It was about this person. His neighbours and people across the street were always afraid of him, because of a very peculiar thing that happened every day. As a perplexed neighbour describes, "Every night after the Shyuske returns from the fields, a terrific, blood curdling scream bellows out of his house. Every night at exactly 12. Whenever we ask him about it, he just stares at us in utter silence and with dead cold eyes. We have stopped asking now." . Weird Indeed.
Shyuske's cousin Kintaro visits him one time, and on his first day, he comes across this story from the village people (village people. Really?). That night, after dinner, Kintaro anxiously waited for the clock to strike 12, to understand what really happens to his brother. Precisely at 12, Kintaro saw something very weird. All of a sudden, his brother started making these weird, loud noises standing by the window and after a while he stopped and went to  bed.
The next morning, curious Kintaro asked his brother about the events of the previous night, to which Shyuske smiled and replied, "The last owner of this house told me how this was a bad neighborhood. Most of these people living here are into bad things. They harassed the poor guy a lot. But I have to live here because this is closest place to the fields. So I came up with this plan. They will not fear police, but no one dares to mess with the supernatural."

What a great story. Opinions will vary from school to school but what struck my fancy was Shyuske's intent. He was absolutely clear about what he wanted to do and left no stone unturned to find a way and implement it to the tee. For me, this is very essential to writing. A writer with clear intent writes the cleanest stories. Intent gives purpose and direction to writing. It helps the reader to latch on to your train of thoughts and see things from your perspective.The next story is also very interesting and has actually happened.

There was once a man who chewed paan (beetle leaves) everyday. He would always have a paan in his mouth.And there was one more thing that he'd do.
Everyday, while on his way to work,the man would spit out the remaining paan on a giant stone. He kept doing this for years and gradually the stone turned red from all the paan spit.
One fine day, our protagonist was on his way to work when he saw a huge crowd in front of the stone. To his utter surprise, people were actually worshiping the stone! They thought it was a blessing from some deity. Men were donating wads of money, women had brought their children along to seek blessings of the lord.
The man was bemused. He did not have the heart to reveal the truth.

What this story shows us is, packing is important.It's just not a great concept, but the way you write it, that makes for a good read. What would 'The Fog Horn' be, but only a great idea, if it wasn't for Ray Bradbury's piercing documentary. 'The Raven' would be a drab poem, without Edgar Allan Poe's grim and dark portrayal of themes. The relic that people were worshiping was just a stone, but the red colour made it a reincarnation of god himself. That's how strong proper packaging can be.

So there you go. Intent in writing, and proper portrayal of your intent. Those are two of the greatest of writers' weapons. Armed with these, you can create magic in the greatest theater there is- the human brain.

Oh, and the first story, I just made that up. Wanted to make my intent clear.


  1. The third thing that makes a story great is "You". Put in a piece of you in what you write and bring the words to life. Make your story something the reader would connect to as much as you did.

  2. This post has been selected for the Tangy Tuesday Picks this week. Thank You for an amazing post! Cheers! Keep Blogging :)