Tag Archives: publishing industry

A Writer’s Diary: Sylvia Plath on Understanding Market

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1 August 1950

It is hot, steamy and wet. It is raining. I am tempted to write a poem. But I remember what it said on one rejection slip: After a heavy rainfall, poems titled ‘Rain’ pour in from across the nation.

– Sylvia Plath

How Writing has Evolved

 

Originally published on my old writing blog, Writer Revealed (March 2009)

 

Countless times, I have read advice from professional authors, agents and publishers about sticking to one POV in one scene, about keeping a straight enough narrative that the reader doesn’t get confused.Currently, I am reading Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. It’s considered a classic. It’s wonderful story, no doubt about that. However, with regards to the writing style, it jumps from one person to another in a heart beat.┬áMrs. Dalloway is not alone in this. Majority of what we consider all time classics, are written in pretty haphazard manner that an agent wouldn’t touch today.

Is it a sign of evolving times? Or merely a sign that we – as readers – prefer less complicated things? Is that because we can’t be bothered to spend effort on following a story with care? Or because we are incapable of it, going after instant gratifications and becoming less intelligence as a race?

These questions could be debated for a long while, and we still won’t come to a conclusion. But the fact remains that the publishing industry has changed a lot since the days of Virginia Woolf. Perhaps, it’s just as well – we don’t see many writers – even the novice ones – living in squalid, dark rooms and starving these days. There is poetic value in that image, but I prefer my comfortable sofa with electricity, Internet, and DVD player.