Encouraging children to write books and stories without worrying about the punctuations and grammar, writer Saman Shamsie spoke about the significance of letting students capture their thoughts in writing.
She was in conversation with writer Sarwat Mohiuddin at the session, titled ‘The Magical Imagination’, on the second day of the fourth Children Literature Festival. Students should be encouraged to write what they want to read, she remarked.
Speaking about how students can improve their writing skills, Mohiuddin said that strategies to write better are to re-read and re-write until the story feels perfect. “Reading it thrice before and drafting it will always help formulate a good story with less mistakes,” she added.
“I was teaching O’ Levels Physics, when one of my colleagues told me that I should write stories as I talk in rhythm,” said Shamsie, speaking about her inspiration to write stories in 2002. Her first story, The Adventures of the Slothful Slough-off, was inspired by a cartoon she saw with her sister. She got the idea to pen down her second book, titled Magical Woods, when we was walking on a bridge and saw a duck flying over the water.
“I thought about why these birds fly and what ducks think while flying,” she said explaining her idea behind creating a female character who could understand the language of animals. She also shared how she writes about fairies and characters that resonate with young girls more. However, young boys do not read these stories because they prefer reading about action-oriented adventures than fairy tales, she added.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 28th, 2016.