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Do you Become the Person you Need to Become to #Write Your #Book?

Junot Diaz

In order to write the book you want to write, in the end you have to become the person you need to become to write that book– Junot Diaz

While writing, a short story does not take you over like a novel does. It can influence you to an extent as you write it, stay like a strong memory of people you once knew.

But a novel is a different beast. Taking apart my first draft, I find myself grappling for the story, and I find it has changed me. For the better or worse, I do not know. I only know that I’m not at the same place as a writer and a human being as when I began to write it.

Has this happened to you? Did you become the person you needed to become to write your book?

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her next literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and was published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • BiYaGo says:

    I've never written a novel….and in future also I would not be able to write novels because my Grammar is very poor. Though I have written many short stories…. Technology News and Updates

  • Julian Gallo says:

    I've absolutely had this experience. Not that what I write is necessarily "autobiographical" (far from it, actually) but I do draw on things that I've either experienced or lived through in some way, but then blur it all out of proportion from my own life. However, if I think about it, the themes & ideas definitely reflect certain issues I'm trying to work through – and feel changed when coming out the other side.

    • Damyanti says:

      My novel is far from autobiographical, as well. But I find that I'm examining the issues/ themes/ emotions I'm writing about, and in a way I can't really put my finger on, I'm changing with the book.

  • Jeff Faria says:

    In my own experience, I believe you're quite right about this. The only way to write a true (and therefore worthwhile) book is to walk a true path. That is likely to change you.

    • Damyanti says:

      I don't know if I'm writing a worthwhile book. But I'm trying to be honest in my emotions as I write, and that seems to be changing me.

  • I've never written a novel. But I did some short stories. First, I would get a spark and cud chew it for months on end. Finally, when I finished writing a piece, I always find it pedestrian not the one I had envisioned. So, I end up not becoming a person I very much wanted to be. It happens many times.

    • Damyanti says:

      I feel I've managed to capture a few of those sparks, but you're right what's in our heads doesn't translate very well on paper. I just have a waking dream and let my hand do the writing most times, and that ensures a somewhat greater degree of success:)

  • Dana says:

    I agree with Sherry. I think it all has to do with the time you invest in such a large project. It's bound to change you.

    • Damyanti says:

      I guess you and Sherry are right. I'm living eating breathing this thing, and it is making me question my beliefs and fears.

  • Sherry Ellis says:

    I've never written a novel, so I haven't had that experience. I can imagine that because of the time invested in writing one, it does have more of an effect on you.

  • Jan Newman says:

    Maybe in the sense that I find out more about what I believe and need to say, and who I want to say it about. Interesting question.

  • Jan Newman says:

    Maybe in the sense that I find out more about what I believe and need to say, and who I want to say it about. Interesting question.

    • Damyanti says:

      I'm not sure i want to say anything when I'm writing a story. I just feel the need to shape a story, so I do. But during this novel, I feel parts of myself shaping as I shape it.

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