Friday, May 18, 2012

What kind of an amateur writer are you?

I have an admission to make. I did read one issue of Cosmopolitan when I was in college. Yes, I know. I wouldn't be caught dead with that magazine today, but those were the days when I was younger, broke-er and preparing to give Electronic Power Instrumentation Circuits (EPIC) for the third time. And between an EPIC text book on Instrumentation and death itself, I'd prefer the latter and reserve the presidential suite in hell.

So coming back to Cosmopolitan, I remember being really fascinated by the magazine's personality quizzes.And ever since, I've been wanting to become a personality quizmaster. (If you know of any quiz clubs that help you hone your personality quizzing skills, let me know)

So here's one I just thought of for all the guys out there who've read Cosmo at least once, but hate to admit it :


 What do you do when you come across a word like maladroit?
a) You work it out from your knowledge of word roots, which you learnt while preparing for the GRE.
b) You check out the dictionary and try using it the next time you write
c) Really? I didn't notice that word at all. I follow the flow of thought and don't stop at every odd looking word. The stream always finds its way across any boulder, after all.

What do you think is the hardest to write
a) A Letter to the editor of a daily for the intellectuals
b) A Letter to GQ magazine, which wins you Satya Paul tie
c) A Letter to Penthouse

Who is your favourite book
a) Facebook
b) Ayan Rand, especially "Fountainhead"
c) Did you just say "Who" is your favourite book? Was that a typo or were you trying elevate the book from its inanimate form?

What is the best thing you've written?
a) A FB status I wrote the other day when I wrote "I just failed a How Well Do You Know Sudhir Pai quiz". Got it? Well it got me 10 likes, 6 friend requests and 4 pokes.
b) Well, this article that got published in my college magazine. It was a big deal. Why I even mentioned it on my CV
c) A note I wrote for someone. Which was promptly returned with her phone number (Wink!)

If you were to attempt writing a book...okay lets make it easier. So if you were going to start writing a blog, what would be your first post about?
a) About Me? Duh!
b) The name of the blog. Yes, those need to be something inspirational.
c) It would be just like the intro I've written, for the book I've been attempting to write, but just cant find the time to complete it.

What did you think of this quiz?
a) You mean it's over. Cool. Let me check out the....WHAT THE....
b) Aren't you surprised I'm still here? I've seen these quizzes before...did you actually write it yourself?
c) A very decent attempt as an amateur writer. But there's much room for improvement. Especially with the humour, which at times seems very forced. And at times, very copied. But that's our little secret, old chap. It's like what Mark Twain said about plagiarism, you know. (punch on the shoulder!)


Most As


You were the chap who topped in English in your 10th boards. And you did no serious writing for a few years, because you were focused on cracking IIT JEE, and later topping your graduation. You were also the guy who aced GRE with a 700 in verbal or a 99 percentile in CAT and became an authority in English on the strength of knowing more words. The smart boy who reads The Hindu over TOI, because it improves your English. You've read every book that people will talk about, e.g. Argumentative Indian by Amartya Sen, Who Moved My Cheese by Dr. Spencer. You have a strong opinion on the written language, but have never attempted to write anything more than a Facebook status message. Or an introductory blog post to your personal blog with the word “Ramblings" or "Rants" on its title. Or a corruption of a song title like Simon & Garfunkel's "Dangling Conversation"

Most Bs


You won inter-school writing competitions. You maintain a diary of your own ‘poems’. You jumped on to the blogging phenomenon very early, and have made a genuine effort in keeping it running. You possess the ability to make clever observations and then articulate it with words. But rarely do. For instance, you'd have thought of half the things mentioned here, and then said "Damn it! Why didn't I beat him to that joke." You have identified literary influences, and remember some of your favourite lines and phrases from the books you've read. And you quote it to impress. Women mostly. Like the time you said "It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities" to someone who you knew hadn't read Harry Potter. You may also have a letter which got published in a daily or a magazine, and continue writing to publications with a hope of winning a prize for it.


You appreciate writing in any form, be it a greeting card or a technical journal on Rectoscopy. And that's because you appreciate the importance of writing styles. You are a serious blogger who writes authoritatively on various subjects. Even if it's a subject that involves you to make tongue-in-cheek statements like "Check out those buns" when you are outside the neighbourhood bakery. You are a voracious reader and a completist when it comes to authors whose writing you admire, be they those who write for Economist or those who made a career out of writing joke books. You don’t have a favourite writer or book, but could list down exceptional writers based on their subjects of expertise. You may also be approached as a freelance writer for many assignments( Call me!), or may even have gone on to write the title of an unpublished book, which you are hoping to write every night. Okay, on weekends. Make that Sunday evenings after you are done watching the latest season of Big Bang Theory, which by the way you watch only because of it's smart writing.


The Nebulous One said...

Okay, i admit, you have hope as a personality quiz master. I was mostly Cs, by the way. :D

Sudhir Pai said...

@Nebulous: By any chance, would you know anyone at Cosmo? :)