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A Star is Born – Movie Review!

I had the pleasure of watching A Star is Born yesterday and was completely mesmerized by the music, screenplay as well as acting! No wonder this storyline has been remade so many times, it is a classic in the true sense.

Both Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga have played the characters so naturally that you get immersed in their world and live their journey with them. Every song is beautifully composed and lifts the movie to a great level. I knew that Lady Gaga is a great singer but I was so surprised to know that Bradley has sung his own songs too! What a talent!

I am used to watching love stories in Bollywood but it was a refreshing change to see an intense love story in Hollywood. With amazing music and acting, this movie is an awesome watch!


Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Tips for writing College Essays

Essays are an integral part of undergraduate college admissions here in the U.S. Essays define who you are and provide further insight into your personality to the college admission staff.

Here are a few pointers to consider:

  • Find your unique voice while writing your college essay. You don’t have to use flowery language but you should definitely make an effort to write it in a unique way so that your essay stands out.
  • Write, review, revise and get your essay proofread before submitting.
  • Most of the essays have a word limit. Be aware of the word limit and try to construct your essay within the limits and still get your point across.
  • Ensure that you are actually answering the question asked in the essay prompt. Many times, you may revise your essay several times and may lose the main point while doing so.
  • Space out your essays so you are not writing all of them one after the other. You don’t want to compromise on the quality.

Essay writing is the creative part of college admission process. Enjoy it!


Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Cheese Fondue!

After having eaten at Melting Pot, I fell in love with fondue especially cheese fondue. Of course I had to order my own fondue set so that I can enjoy this savory treat any time I want!

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Although the fondue set comes with its own recipes, I wanted something close to what we ate at the restaurant.  Apparently someone had already experimented and perfected this recipe .

 

 

fondueTried it today and it turned out simply delicious…almost as good the one we had at Melting Pot. We enjoyed it with french bread, carrots and cherry tomatoes. The only change I made to the recipe was I used provolone and gouda cheese as these are easier to find.

Next time, I have got to get wine with the fondue and it will taste even better!

 

 


Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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5 Tips on writing nonfiction!

IMG_1070Nonfiction writing can seem daunting at times. Here are certain tips that you might find useful:

  • First and foremost, ensure that you have a definite purpose for your book. There may be several books on the topic, therefore you need to make sure yours is unique and has something definite to offer to the readers. Spell the uniqueness out!
  • Organize your chapters in a logical fashion to attract readers. When I browse through a nonfiction book, first thing I look for is the chapter list to determine if the book is useful for me or not.
  • Include examples, anecdotes and practical ideas in your book. Textual books are good for school/college curriculum. However, practical books attract all kinds of readers.
  • Choose an apt, yet attractive title for your book. Title is the first thing that attracts a reader!
  • And of course, just like any other book, proofread, beta test and edit your book before publishing.


Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Interview with Pamela Fagan Hutchins!

Let’s welcome best-selling author Pamela Fagan Hutchins and chit-chat with her about various aspects of writing! 

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  • Congratulations on your book release, Pamela! Please tell us what has been your most rewarding experience as an author?

Recently, I’ve coached other novelists who have gone on to experience joy and success from their writing. While I have loved and continue to love each and every review I get, awards that my books receive, and emails and letters and Facebook posts and blog comments and every other heart-warming contact with readers, I am shocked to find how much I enjoy helping other writers achieve their best writing in their stories, and find their own readers.

  • That’s fantastic. I agree, that giving back is highly rewarding. Please tell us, how much research do you do for your books?

I do tons of research for my books. Everything from culture, geography, food, and religion to current and historical events, legal and criminal procedure, and mythology. For Hell to Pay I researched on following topics:

  • The Native American Hopi tribe and its vision question/spirit animal tradition.
  • Lake Meredith and the Colorado river basin in West Texas.
  • Diabetic comas: types, symptoms, treatment, and recovery.
  • Religious cults.
  • The process and rules for adoption in Texas.
  • Crime scene procedure in multi-jurisdictional situations.
  • The process of arrest, charging, arraignment and bail in a first-degree murder case.
  • Snake handling as a part of religious tradition, especially in the Southern U.S.
  • The professional rodeo circuit.

I really enjoy the research aspect of writing. I want desperately to get it right, for my stories to ring with authenticity.

  • How do you go about developing characters of your book?

Most of them occur pretty organically. But it starts with storyboarding with my story partner, my husband. We discuss plot lines and character arcs for years, I write them in outlines, ultimately I draft them into novels, and then I send them right back to him and we do post-writing storyboarding. Sometimes a character is way, way off in a first draft. I’ll go back to the drawing board and ask myself what characteristics define this character, what events have shaped them, and what is in and out of character for them. Ideally, for a protagonist, you then want to put them to the test in every single scene, ratcheting up the tension and pressure on them and seeing how they react. As much as I storyboard and plan, though, sometimes the story and characters take on a life of their own. It’s a lot of fun when that happens, and some of my most authentic characterization comes from just letting them have their way!

  • Dialogues are important in fiction. Do you want to share any tip for writing dialogues?

Dialogue needs to be authentic and it needs to be concise. Authenticity means that it sounds exactly like that character would say it. Concise means that you take that, and you make it shorter.

I am writing a What Doesn’t Kill You prequel novella right now. Six different protagonists in alternative points of view tell it. I’m killing myself on voice and dialogue in this one, making sure that readers will know who said what whether I tell them who it is or not.

The way I check my dialogue by reading it aloud, in character. My husband finds this quite humorous. I walk through the scenes and do the accents and body language.

  • I agree, reading the dialogues out loud is a good practice. Thanks for all the tips on writing! Before you go, tell us which scene in your book is your favorite? Why?

In Hell to Pay, my favorite scene is where Emily reluctantly displays her snake handling skills for her fiancé Jack and his parents. I love it because it shows her conflicted relationship with her past and her parents, at the same time as she is totally tough and brave and doing something most of us would never in a million years do.

 

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Pamela’s Book Links:

Amazon.com : https://www.amazon.com/Hell-Pay-What-Doesnt-Kill-ebook/dp/B019UHL0NY

Amazon.in: http://www.amazon.in/Hell-Pay-What-Doesnt-Kill/dp/1939889367

Pamela’s Website: http://pamelafaganhutchins.com

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From Non-Fiction to Fiction Writing!

Writing-Guide

The journey from a non-fiction writer to a fiction writer is not easy. For one, it doesn’t come naturally and there is a lot of hard work involved. Some of the books that I have found useful in the process are:

I have also documented my practical experience of writing fiction in my guide, Practical Guide to Writing Fiction.


Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Manmarziyaan Movie Review!

Manmarziyaan is a really fresh and modern take on love triangles! This Abhishek Bachchan, Vickey Kaushal and Taapsee Pannu starrer will put a smile on your face for its earnest depiction of three very distinct people and their take on modern love.

Music and choreography is stylish and fresh, especially with twins, Poonam and Priyanka. All the protagonists have acted very well and bring a realistic touch to Bollywood cinema around love triangles. This movie may remind you of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam but there is no over-dramatic scenes whatsoever. Direction and editing is pretty crisp and I expect no less from Anurag Kashyap.

Overall, the movie is well made and brings a beautiful smile on your face. Watch it for good cinema and an earnest story!


Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Author Interview with Honey Kasper!

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing author Honey Kasper who has proudly written a book on a true story!

Welcome Honey! Tell us briefly about your book and what inspired you to write it?
I have been working on this book for last 20 years. It was a real challenge for me due to PTSD and all the trauma I suffered as a child. However, I wanted to share my story in the hopes of inspiring others to keep going even in the face of adversity.
According to you, what is the most rewarding thing about being an author?
I have found that completing my story and finally publishing it has been very rewarding. I feel that I still have a lot to accomplish but I wanted to document my story  till date. My life has always felt fragmented as if I’ve lived it in pieces – From the young voiceless girl that was the victim to the adult that learned to live a productive and fulfilling life.
I have since learnt how to build a family with love and stop abuse from reaching another generation. I have also learnt to build a successful career while helping others reach their dreams. In turn, I have also discovered who I am, things I enjoy, and I have had the courage to own my strengths.
What is that one thing you want readers to take away from your book?
I would really like for the readers to grasp – how to do more than just survive. Instead they should know how to build a fulfilling life.
Author’s Twitter: @KasperHoney
Author’s Email: UnpredictableTheWalk@yahoo.com
Book’s Amazon Link: Unpredictable
 

Suits is binge-watch worthy!

I am always looking for great content to watch on Television but for some reason, I never came around to watching Suits on Amazon until now.

It’s an amazing legal drama series with no-nonsense characters and brilliant writing! What I like about this show is that there is a lot of good content and very less predictability! It keeps you guessing and surprised by the turn of events within an episode.

There are hardcore legal cases and very little frivolous sex that you often see in television shows. I am hooked and definitely guilty of binge watching!


Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Fanney Khan: A light-hearted entertainer!

Fanney Khan is a Bollywood adaptation of a Belgian film, Everybody’s Famous. With an ensemble cast of Anil Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and it’s pleasant music, it is a light-hearted entertainer that will leave a smile on your face.

What I liked about the movie is the positive tone it kept throughout. There were no unnecessary scenes trying to over-explain things, no vulgarity or negativity whatsoever. The director and actors kept it lighthearted with enough messaging to not sound preachy.

Watch it if you want to be entertained and if you don’t overthink it, you will like it for sure!


Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Sacred Games: Review

I finally got a chance to watch the much talked about Indian Netflix show called Sacred Games starring Nawazuddin Siddique, Saif Ali Khan, and Radhika Apte.

Overall I liked the show and it’s quality is pretty good. Its authentic and rooted quite a bit. The pacing of the show is such that you will probably binge watch half the show and could take a break to watch the rest. Ending also leaves you wanting for more which pretty much guarantees a season 2 of the show.

Acting is superb by all artists (not just the protagonists). Nawazuddin performs brilliantly like he always does, Radhika Apte is amazing as always. However, Saif Ali Khan has certainly upped his game. He was my favorite for sure.

The only downside for me was the abuses were way too many, especially around the middle of the show so much so that I needed to take a break for couple of days to watch the rest of the show.

Overall a great start for Indian television on Netflix! I hope to see even better content from India!


Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Sanju is a Rajkumar Hirani’s masterpiece!

The movie, Sanju, is a beautiful portrayal of human emotions by magician Rajukumar Hirani! Although this movie focuses on dark aspects of Sanjay Dutt’s life, it never feels dark. Only Rajkumar Hirani can pull that off.

The emotion level is up there and there are plenty scenes that will stay with you for days. My favorite is the scene in which Vicky Kaushal‘s character pleads with Paresh Rawal‘s character. Vicky Kaushal was simply outstanding! An actor to look out for!

Ranbir Kapoor is at his best! He is pretty much living Sanjay Dutt’s life during the movie. I didn’t see Ranbit kapoor at all. In every scene, I saw Sanjay Dutt. What an awesome acting job!

All the supporting actors were well casted and did a remarkable job. However, Anushka Sharma stood out amongst them. She looks so lively and apt for the role and plays a pivotal role in telling Sanjay Dutt’s story.

Pretty much everyone who watches the movie will feel at least one strong emotion. There is a lot to feel and a lot to learn. Yet it is a heart touching entertainer!

A must must watch! Don’t miss it!


Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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