5 Tips From Ruskin Bond To Help You Become a Better Storyteller

Get better ideas, hook your readers, and develop a unique storytelling voice.

5 Tips From Ruskin Bond To Help You Become a Better Storyteller
Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Get better ideas, hook your readers, and develop a unique storytelling voice.

I grew up reading Ruskin Bond’s stories.

From the comfort of my room, he’d take me on a virtual tour of cities, villages, and the mountains and rivers of India. His words would show me how beautiful the world looks.

His words contain magic. I always wondered if I could ever write visceral and powerful stories like him. When I read his book “How To Be A Writer”, I realized this was all I needed. It gave me the foundation I could use to become a published author someday.

Now that I’ve authored three books, it’s like a dream come true. I would dedicate most of my success to this book.

In this article, I’ll share five writing tips from “How To Be A Writer” that helped me carve my writing career. I hope they’ll help you grow no matter where you are in your writing journey.

Image clicked by the author.

1. Being alone boosts creative thinking

In today’s world, being alone is difficult. We’re always occupied with something or someone. If we don’t have anybody around us, we’ll start binge-watching Netflix or scrolling through social media.

But as per Ruskin Bond, if you want to become a great writer, you have to become best friends with solitude.

Because when you’re alone, your creativity rises to its peak. You’re able to put the best word forward on your writing pad.

This doesn’t mean you have to remove yourself from society and live a solitary life to become a great writer. But, you do need some time alone with your thoughts to reflect and be more creative.

“I prefer walking alone to walking with others. That ladybird or the wild rose would escape my attention if I was engaged in a lively conversation with a companion.” — Ruskin Bond

2. Find a familiar setting

“You must know a place before you write about it” — Ruskin Bond

Making your readers feel as if they’re physically interacting with your world takes a lot of research.

A good way to shorten this research phase is to set your story in a place you already know well.

Looking for a place for the alien invasion to occur? Choose the village you grew up in, the city where you went to school, or your favorite vacation spot.

Pick places you’ve been to or are familiar with. It’ll save you the time and effort of creating your world from scratch. You already know the sights, sounds, turns and curves, and the leafy areas of your neighborhood.

Use these intricate details to shape your plot, and your novel would be finished quickly.

“If you want to write about life in another land, you must go there, live there.” — Ruskin Bond

3. Ideas strike at the oddest of times

Great ideas emerge as per their schedule, which rarely matches ours. They show up while:

  • Working on a project and a colleague says something.
  • Navigating through traffic wondering how noisy the city is.
  • Taking a stroll, having lunch, or getting ready for sleep.

If you want to keep coming up with amazing ideas and give interesting turns to your novel, you need to capture these ideas as and when they appear.

“Like falling in love, moments that announce themselves as your subject are rare, and there’s a magic to them. Ignore them at your own peril” — Dani Shapiro

Keeping a notebook handy is the best way to capture these ideas before they’re gone. Carry it with you wherever you go. Record ideas, thoughts, observations, good words, snippets, and dialogues that can be used in the future.

Not every idea might make its way into your professional work. But creating a goldmine of ideas you can refer to when you feel stuck is crucial for your writing career.

“A notebook is vital for any writer who intends writing full-time and at a professional level.” — Ruskin Bond

4. Create immortal characters

In fiction, most of the successful characters are usually ageless or unchanging.

Popular fictional characters like Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Jeeves, and Ukridge couldn’t have existed in the real life. But they thrive in their own world where they’re always the same age.

The reason authors create immortal characters is that they stay etched in the memory of the readers long after they’ve read the novel.

They gain the sympathy and love of readers. People want to enjoy the adventures of these characters forever.

These immortal characters make the novel and the imagination of the author immortal.

“If you want to create a popular character, don’t permit him or her to grow old.” — Ruskin Bond

5. Write the story in your head before on paper

According to a survey done by Laura Brown in 2016, around 78% of writers responded they’ve experienced writer’s block. That’s a lot of writers!

According to Ruskin Bond, “How to beat the writer’s block?” is the major question he’s asked all the time by writers, regardless of their experience level.

It shows how prevalent this problem is among writers, and how frustrating it can get if you’re stuck while crafting a masterpiece.

As per the author, the best way to beat writer’s block is to write the story first in your head, and then on the paper.

“I see it happening, as you would see a movie unfold. I see the characters, the action, the situation, the outcome, I hear some of the dialogue. It is already written. After that it is only a matter of putting it into words and sentences, beginning them into the real world and giving them life.” — Ruskin Bond
“Stories like ‘The Night Train at Deoli’ and ‘The Eyes Have It’ were written in my head — more than sixty years ago — and they are still happening on the printed page.” — Ruskin Bond

Final words

Ruskin Bond is the king of writing. He has authored 500+ books in his massive writing career spanning over 70 years. “How To Be A Writer” gives you a glimpse into his career and how he dealt with the common issues that every writer faces at least once in their journey.

Whether you dream of becoming a great writer someday or are feeling lost and stuck in your career, this book is for you.

Summarizing, here are the five tips that can help you grow in your writing career:

  1. You need some time alone to let your creative juices flow.
  2. Give a familiar setting to your stories to cut through the research phase.
  3. Carry a notebook to jot down ideas whenever they appear.
  4. If you want your characters to be popular, make them immortal.
  5. See your story unfolding in your head first before putting it on paper to beat the writer’s block.

I hope these tips will help you thrive in your writing career. The book is full of more such amazing tips along with beautiful illustrations to help you understand the points better.

I highly recommend you to read this once if you’re serious about pursuing writing as a profession.

Get yourself a copy here. (Affiliate link)

I’ve made a FREE 5-day course on how to be a highly paid writer. Join here and be a part of this journey towards financial freedom.