Writing, Time and Ideas…

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Guest Blogger: Qaisra Shahraz

Readers and aspiring writers often ask me about the writing process. For each writer, it is a unique experience depending on their lives, personalities, and other demands on their time.

For me, the writing of the first draft – getting scenes, dialogue, and description onto a page is the challenging part of writing, but also exciting. The story begins to take shape and characters come alive.

As a scriptwriter too, the jig sawing and joining of separate scenes to create exciting episodes as well as embedding as much conflict and drama is also difficult. Scriptwriting is demanding in terms of using my imagination and creativity. I was taught on my degree course in scriptwriting to ‘milk’ each scene for drama – otherwise it becomes redundant.

The question I’m often asked, how do I manage it all — different strands of my life as a woman and writer? Always I have had to snatch time to write as my writing is sandwiched between my education and interfaith work, and a demanding extended family life.  I have successfully managed all that over the years. However, I am now facing a new hurdle in my creative writing life. There is a new distraction on the scene which is eating up my creative time quite significantly – online social media.

I find myself often being lured either onto Twitter, or Facebook. When I wrote my first novel 17 years ago I had more ‘quality’ writing time. Also, there were no world literary tours or promotional events to plan or being hooked on social media.

And where do I get my ideas from? Often, people eagerly want to pass on their stories or ideas for me to write about. These days, with a lot of international travel, I am picking up ideas for stories from different sources. I am now in the middle of adding both color and flesh to the skeleton of a new novel. Can I do it… and successfully? Let’s wait and see.


About The Writer

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Qaisra  Shahraz, is a writer, a novelist, a scriptwriter, and an educationalist. By nineteen, she already had two of her articles published in SHE magazine. Her first short story,  A Pair of Jeans, published in the UK in 1988, also serves as a literary text in the German school curriculum. She was  also the scriptwriter for an award-winning drama serial, Dil He to Hai, aired on a Pakistani television network. To learn more about her and her novels, please visit Qaisra Shahraz