Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Do You Want To Write A Chicken Soup Story?

Chicken Soup For The *****!!! Soul is a very popular series of short story collections. The 101 real-life stories for a specific group( e.g, mother's soul) are heart-warming, inspiring, and touching!

Recently, Raksha Bharadia, the editor of the Indian Chicken Soup series conducted a workshop on how to write a Chicken Soup story. The workshop took place at Landmark book store in Nungambakkam, Chennai, India.

Raksha Bharadia is looking for stories for the new Indian series about Golden Soul (old people aged above 60). The story should have 300-1200 words. You can e-mail your stories to rakshabharadia@gmail.com. You can also send caricatures or illustrations. People reading your stories should feel that they are not "alone" in facing a challenge.

If your story gets published, Westland gives you Rs.1000 and two copies of the chicken soup book.

Raksha Baradia said that for a chicken soup story content was most important. Language comes later. Raksha listed the steps given below to write a story.

Step 1: Identifying a Topic
  • What was the difficult phase of your life and find one word that describes that phase.
  • Identify a self-realization that can either be positive or negative.
  • Who are the top influences in your life and why?
  • Have you encountered any paranormal situations or miracles?
Once you identify a Topic, you can look at the topic from different perspectives and start writing the story from any one of the perspectives.

Step 2: Writing Stage
When you write the draft, do not censor your emotions and words. Let the words flow. Good stories are not about fancy words. So put your internal sensors to sleep. Do not write and edit at the same time. Start your writing with an attention grabber such as a problem.

Step 3: Re-writing Stage
Add details and thoughts about the defining moments of the story. Write about alternative methods for solving the challenge or problem. Check if you have been honest and if the story flew from your heart.

Step 4:  Editing Stage
Cut off repetitions. Remove words that will make the reader run for a dictionary. Check if there is a flow between sentences and paragraphs.

Step 5: End the story with a Catchy Note

So, what are you waiting for? Send a test mail to Raksha Bharadia and shoot of your stories to her. She keeps all the stories safely and uses them for an appropriate soup heading :)))

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