On Writing

Ever so often in a writer’s trancelike life of observation, he comes across characters, persons so unique and well defined, whose experiences seem beyond reality and they seize his imagination and hold it hostage unless he writes about them. He is reduced to a state of a mere commentator or a narrator, and often it doesn’t affect him; for without the contribution of the writer, his playing with and moulding of happenings with words for tools, even the most interesting of events and experiences can become as interesting as watching a wet towel dry on a cold wintry morning.

Even commentators are given to sensationalising.

The writer gifts immortality in words to the living, and sometimes, with a baroque detailing of events, he gives them a life they never had. He becomes a god – not a creator, but a puppet master – making the characters dance to his tune; he exaggerates their attributes and makes them laugh and cry, and using them, he plays with the thoughts of the reader.

The twists and turns that life affords one are best related by the writer. But even then he remains a narrator, a mere commentator. To him does not belong, the field of play; to him does not belong, the tale construed. It belongs to fact, and fact constructs the tale in its own characteristic and coarse manner. But fact is a poor story-teller.
Such an imbution, which transforms the writer from a creator, an architect, to a commentator and a labourer, robs him of a licence to fabricate. It is an unenviable state of wilful acquiescence to fact, though he often isn’t aware of it; such are the pleasures of writing.


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