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Scholar-Journalist of the Week: Destined To Die – A Book Review  

This week’s winner Lakshita Kandpal from AIMC says, “the book is so binding that readers can’t resist reading what happens next.”

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Currently pursuing Corporate Communications and Event Management from Apeejay Institute of Mass Communication (AIMC), Lakshita Kandpal is a risk taker, an optimist, and a storyteller. The 22-year-old feels that she is the most creative, productive, and efficient while brainstorming ideas for stories, campaigns, and events. Hence, she joined the course to polish her existing skills and learn a lot of new ones while preparing herself to be industry-ready.

Besides writing short stories and poems, her other hobbies include photography and travelling. Lakshita also has an Instagram page by the name of ‘Chitrakatha’ which is an online compilation of all her hobbies. Read how writing taught Lakshita to give her ideas a narrative and her aspirations to be a storyteller. Edited excerpts:

What’s the inspiration to be a part of the journalism and mass communication field?

Stories have the power to transport us to different places, be they traditional fairytales or the new-age corporate stories. I believe each story fixes a need, a demand of the listener/viewer which compels them to relate with the story. I want to contribute to the field of corporate storytelling to create real life, unforgettable brand experiences for the consumers.

Why did you decide to review the book – Destined to Die?

Suspense thriller is a genre which does not let you leave mid-story. Moreover, I have a personal connection with the book. It’s written by my cousin. I had the honour to read the manuscript even before ‘Destined to Die’ was an actual published book.

The very 1st sentence with which the book starts is so binding that one cannot really resist reading what happens next. The plot, the characters, the suspense after each chapter, it all just adds up to the total, unimagined reading experience that the book gives. I’d surely recommend ‘Destined to Die’ to the readers who seek adventure in the stories they read.

You have shared several articles with us. What kind of topics do you enjoy writing about?

Most of my pieces are poems. I enjoy writing about life, the chapters it unfolds, and the emotions we go through in different phases of our lives. I follow a rhyming scheme in almost all my poetry.

Lately, I have been experimenting with long stories as well. I just tend to put all my heart into my pieces. So as long as I can justify the topic, the theme to myself, I can pretty much write about it.

When did you start your writing journey? Which was your first piece?

It was back in class 6 when I wrote my first poem for my mother as a school assignment. I still have it with me. It reminds me of the time I didn’t even know what writing truly is, yet I managed to pen down my love for my mum (helps me in times of writer’s block).

I started writing frequently from class 9. Initially, I just wrote my journal, which I have been doing till date. Gradually, I started writing poems and stories as I indulged more into the world of storytelling. My mother also writes, so I can literally say that it’s in genes.

What has been your personal learning experience from this writing journey?

Writing taught me how to give my ideas a narrative. It taught me how to organise my thoughts into words that can convey a meaning.

My writing journey started when I was 12 years old. From a kid who just rhymed hat, cat and rat to an individual who now understands the nuances of creative writing, it surely has been a great ride. I remember looking at published blogs and articles as a kid wondering when I would be a published author. I believe that since I started journaling first before moving onto creative writing, it helped me understand my style of writing.

Share three tips to improve writing skill

The following 3 points are the ones that I also keep in mind every time I write something:
1)      Write to express, not impress – during my initial writing days, I used to look for big, fancy words to incorporate in my writings. I thought if I wrote words that people have never heard of it would make me a smart writer. However, I have realised with time and experience that it is not how writing works. The main point of writing is to convey a message, to convey what I or the brand wants to say. So, the writing should be very easy to understand.

2)  The 2-hour rule – another rule I follow is that I always come back and read my article/poem again 2 hours after finishing it. I believe while writing, I get into the zone, I get restricted by the words and thoughts I have already penned down. Reading the same piece after 2 hours widens my horizon and lets me make better edits.

3)  Find your unique style – when we write from our heart, it reaches the heart of the reader. There are numerous writers in the professional world with years of experience. The competition out there can be extremely overwhelming. Now in such a scenario, a writer must find their unique style of writing, what makes their pieces different from others. Sure one must look up to the legendary writers for guidance, but eventually we all want to one those legendary writers and not someone’s copy, right?

Do you wish to become a writer in the future?

I’d rather say I wish to be a storyteller. Writing helps me build concrete ideas and concepts. When someone reads any of my pieces and tells me that they could relate with it, I feel like I am doing something correct in life. 

Harshita is Assistant Editor at Apeejay newsroom. With experience in both the Media and Public Relations (PR) world, she has worked with Careers360, India Today and Value360 Communications. A learner by nature, she is a foodie, traveller and believes in having a healthy work-life balance.

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