The Iqra Writes Update # 1

Welcome to the Iqra Writes update where you can catch me in my natural habitat, that is, talking about writing and everything else that I’ve been up to. It’s finally fall season and that makes another season I’ve been working on The Eid Engagement, and Other Weddings. The thing about this story is that it grows with every turn in the plot. I recently plotted the latest turn so now the story is all set to go down that path and show us what happens to the characters as they struggle with the pre-marital phase and everything involved in it. It took awhile for me to find the critical element that would tie the story together in the middle. I had started the story a long time ago with the intent that it would show conflict between the main character and her two friends. When the story changed to reflect points of disagreement between the main character and her mother, I had to look for the connecting element that would carry the story forward beyond its beginning stages. Thankfully, I found it. What is this element, you ask? I found a question that would take the rest of the book to find an answer. Questions are a good way to connect the plot to the theme of the story. When I want to explore the chosen theme of the story, coming up with some questions to answer is a good way to do that.

Hackschool Project Audiobook

In other news, I have a surprise for readers of Hackschool Project, my first novel. I am working on the audiobook version of the novel. It is a slow start as I learn the ins and outs of the process and develop my rhythm. I hope to record the entirety of the novel in due time and bring the audiobook out as soon as possible.

Book recommendation

It’s time for a book recommendation. The book is The Joy Diet by Martha Beck. I read this as part of the Book Hero book club by DiscoverU. It is a practical book full of easily applicable wisdom for how to live your life. It is simple to understand and well written. I highly recommend it. The diet recommended in this book is a diet of action steps to take to improve your own quality of life and achieve joy. It does not relate to any actual food consumption tips.

What I am playing

I can’t give an update about what I’m up to without talking about what games I’m playing. I got back into playing Animal Crossing New Horizons recently. It’s a cute game about living on an island and building and decorating it as you please. A new update is coming out for the game which includes new features like a coffee shop and an island resort that you can decorate for visitors. I’m so excited to try out these new features and have fun with this game all over again. I also started playing New Pokemon Snap. It’s another cute game but this time it’s about taking pictures of Pokemon in the wild to use for Pokemon research. I’m glad I got it, even though it’s pretty simple but it’s nice to play a game that doesn’t have a lot of demands for once. You just see a Pokemon and wait for it to make a fun pose that you can take a picture of. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.

Recommendation for writers

 If you’re looking for writing advice, I want to point you in the direction of Lauren Sapala. She is a writer who blogs and teaches courses about how intuitive personalities can use their imaginative personality traits to write better. I want to point you in the direction of her blog where you can find her blog posts containing advice to writers on any topic about writing that you can think of. It’s worth it to read her blog and if you want to go further you can get her book The INFJ Writer or take her Intuitive Writing course. INFJ is a personality type according to Myers Briggs personality types and in her book Lauren talks about the common challenges and solutions for writers who have this personality type. If you don’t know what your personality type is, you can find out by taking the quiz at and if you’re an INFP or INFJ who likes to write, I highly recommend getting her book.

I will close out this update with the reminder that you can find my first novel, Hackschool Project at and whenever I am done with The Eid Engagement, and Other Weddings you will find it there too. This is Iqra, signing out.

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My Firstborn Novel, Hackschool Project

Write what you know. It is the saying that guides all those who explore the world of writing fiction in novel form. For me, this was an easy choice. I wanted to write about student life before I got too far ahead in life to remember it as clearly and dearly as I do now. The part most dear to me about student life were the little things we did for each other as friends and family members to help us get through this time of our lives, which seemed to stretch on and on. Then I wanted to write about these moments as well as those features of student life in Pakistan that students challenge and that students celebrate. A challenge moment might be exams, and a celebratory moment might be end of exams, tearing up the exam schedule that was done and in the past. I drew on my experiences and observations of student life to write up ice cream parties as well as the doom and gloom that accompanies bad results.

The result was my novel, Hackschool Project. I am proud of it and the subject matter I chose to write about. When it comes to young life and student life, anything you write about is someone’s story. I wrote this story for 3 years in Us Magazine, The News International. Then I compiled it into novel form. In a way it is a story that has stayed with me and been my companion for years, the characters often thought of in between everything I was doing in my own life at the time.

Here it is. My beauty of an ink baby. I say it’s a wonder it even came to be, and for every novel it is so. It was published on the 21st of January, 2021.

You can get it here: