Category Archives: WritingTips

Tips on creative writing.

How to write a good essay introduction?

Essays are an integral part of undergraduate college admissions here in the U.S. and they can certainly overwhelm you.

Writing essays can easily become a daunting task, especially when you don’t know how to start. As a writer, I feel that hardest part is the beginning of any piece of writing. Once you get in the flow, you can easily move along and finish the piece.

There is a very important aspect of essay writing that you need to always keep in mind, which is “show and not tell”. This technique will make your essay much easier to read. When college staff is reading multiple essays every day, you want to make yours stand out and make it easier to read.

As far as how to begin an essay is concerned, I would say, try to paint a picture of the scenario that you are trying to describe. Describe a unique experience from your life and transport the reader to that particular situation so they can actually visualize it. Give as many details as needed to paint the picture of the scenario and go from there.

Good luck!


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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Tips on Grant Writing

I have been volunteering as a Grant Writer for a few non-profit organizations; While each organization is different in terms of needs, the community it serves and operating budget etc., however some elements of grant writing are similar.

Lets take a look at some of these important elements of writing a successful grant application.

  • Keep in mind that most funders have a process for accepting grant applications which mostly starts with an eligibility test, followed by a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) and if accepted, it is followed by the full-fledged grant application. One must pay attention to the deadlines for each of these processes.
  • While writing a grant application, it helps to have a crisp Mission statement for the non-profit and use it appropriately in the application. It also helps to show how the non-profit’s mission aligns with that of the funder.
  • While writing a grant application, it helps to highlight important milestones and achievements of the non-profit in order to show progress since inception and emphasize why the requested grant is needed.
  • Couple of other important parameters to include in a successful grant application is the community that the non-profit serves and how rich its board members are. It helps to highlight how these board members’ experience helps in achieving the non-profit goals.
  • Budget is an important component of the application and should be described in an easy to understand narrative and figures. Pie charts etc. can also be used in a full-fledged application.
  • Most importantly, all funders will provide you a word limit on the LOI and grant application. Make sure you don’t cross that and make your application crisp and easy to understand.

There are obviously other factors to consider which may be specific to each non-profit organization; However the above pointers should help you get started.


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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How important is POV?

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Point-of-view (POV) plays a critical role when you are writing scenes for your novels. While several authors write their stories from first person point-of-view, that is not a style that I am comfortable with. I am okay with reading first person point-of-view stories but when I am writing, I find it easier to write in third person. It comes naturally to me and I feel that as an author, you can be more creative with third person perspective. You can play around more with scenes and narrative.

Some of the advantages of third person POV are:

  • There are times when I have switched POV to make a scene become more powerful.
  • Although romance is always from two POVs – hero and heroine, sometimes adding a third POV enhances the storyline.
  • Often times writing a romance from a hero’s perspective provides a refreshing change!
  • As an author, it is creative to get in the head of several characters and third person POV writing provides just that.

Play with your POV and have fun writing!


Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Amit Sharma’s take on revising manuscripts!

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Welcome Amit to my blog! Could you please tell us, when you receive feedback on your manuscript, how do you go about revising/changing your story?

 I am blessed with friends who are voracious readers and could be expected to give brutal and honest feedback. I give my first draft for alpha reading and get ready for all the stones and tomatoes that my friends are going to throw at me. The real work starts after that. I keep improvising the manuscript till I am completely satisfied with it. I take a break for a few days between two start-to-end sessions to get a new perspective. Once this process is over, I give over the book to a professional beta reader. I haven’t done that for the first book but I will be doing this for all my future books.
I usually do not change my story but I might change the way it has been told based on the inputs. For example, if a character needs to be more visible, I might add a few more scenes. I might add incidents that add depth to the story, add descriptions and improve dialogues.
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About the Author

Amit Sharma is the author of fiction novel titled False Ceilings by Lifi Publications. The book launch happened on 12 Jan 2016 at the World Book Fair in Delhi. The novel is a Family Saga spanning 130 years (from 1930 to 2065) and takes us through the lives of six protagonists who are bound by a secret and live in Delhi and Dalhousie. 

Amit Sharma has been working in a Software Firm since the last ten years. He lives with his family in NCR. His wife is a teacher and they are blessed with an amazing daughter. Amit is a voracious reader and devours books. His other hobbies include watching world cinema, traveling, digging into various cuisines, cooking, listening to music, painting, blogging (he used to blog earlier at Mashed Musings), making his daughter laugh and helping his wife with her shopping.
Amit’s book Links:

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