"Fiction is actually gossip," says Arunava Sinha in ScrollStack MasterClass on creative writing

In addition to being a platform for your poems, graphic novels, sketches, audio stories, articles, and more, we want to give our creators an opportunity to learn and grow through ScrollStack Academy – a place of new ideas and education. 

As part of this new initiative, ScrollStack hosted its very first MasterClass on December 10 with Arunava Sinha, literary translator, professor of creative writing, and Books editor of Scroll.in, focusing on the crucial elements of good storytelling: building characters, intriguing conflicts, a narrative hook, and more. 

“What is the most exciting, delicious form of a story that you like listening to?” asked Sinha while kicking off the hour-long session. “The answer is gossip.”

Why is that? 

It tells us something we did not know about somebody. This bit of information must be something that invokes a kind of excited reaction in you. You’re either scandalised, angry or even vastly amused.

Moreover, this gossip is oftentimes not even about somebody you know – but it’s just as exciting still and you get thoroughly involved. 

Ritesh Mehta left) and Arunava Sinha during the ScrollStack MasterClass on creative writing

“You are being told a story that is happening in the privacy of someone’s life, but in some miraculous way you’re getting to know that story,” said Sinha. “That’s what makes gossip so exciting.” 

If you really think about it, fiction is actually gossip. A story is gossip about one or more people who you do not know, whom you’ve never met until you started reading that story. But you’re getting to learn things about their lives, and their innermost thoughts and private experiences. The storyteller is giving you all the gossip about the lives of one or more people. 

“Any story we’re writing is essentially going to be gossip. It is going to take your readers to a place where they want to hear every single word that you’re writing or speaking,” said Sinha.

He then went on to share the main elements that make up a good story, starting from strong characters. “They can’t just be cardboard characters. You must make them someone people can start connecting to and start caring about,” he said.

You can watch the entire session with Sinha here:

To learn more about our upcoming classes, reach out to creators@scrollstack.com. To start creating your own stories, sign up here.

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