Monday, October 30, 2006

A Novel Madness!!!

So what next? That is the question i have been asking myself with regards everything...the future, the blog, the career, et al. Having written that story I was tempted to begin writing another one. The story was the second one I have written in my life, the first was in malayalam...its either inside one of my ias history texts i left back in india or lost. I will have to wait another 3 months when my sis visits India, to find out if I still have it. Anyways the National Novel Writing Month is here and I have decided I am going to write a novel in the next 30 days. Now you guys must be wondering why I would shoot off my hip and let everyone know before I have even penned a single word to it. The reason is purely psychological - it is to put pressure on myself so that I actually sit down every day from this moment on and write one chapter a day and post it on this blog. I wonder how decently it would turn out and hurried the novel would look if I manage to finish in 30 days but for now thats the least of my concerns. I will be disabling comments until its all over.

Actually about 15 years back my childhood buddy, kichlu and i began writing a book on the lines of The Hardy Boys, we called them "The Fidswilliam Boys"(lol!) but after 6-7 chapters we realized the story was developing "quite" similar to a Nancy Drew one we read then, if i remember right called the "Mystery of the Missing Mannequin" or something similar and we gave up. The funny thing with writing stories, i wonder how other people do it, like they fix the story outline and then proceed but for me the story develops as i write it...even I have no idea what should happen next. I have spent the last 2 weeks scratching my head, wondering what theme to take up. A few ideas came up but got nowhere. I even searched on google for "How to Write a Novel". I read The Alchemist just a few months back and was surprised the book couldnt inspire me as much as i expected maybe coz of the fact that I had set course on a journey akin to the young shepherd a year back. But one line in the book fascinated me, If you dont listen to your heart, soon the heart stops listening to you. I have this gut feeling that if I dont try this novel thing out now, my life will soon go on the same track of moneyed madness that I had so much difficulty in coming out of last year.

What to write? I had this story idea of an American who travels to India for a vacation, fumbling into a lot of intrigues, finally falling in love with it, taking his family there and their struggles with assimiliating into the culture but I got scared at the thought of it falling into cliches. Maybe I will take it up later. And then I had this idea of a family story, set across generations from tales I heard of my grandma speak and from the biographical descriptions of some ancestors in the Kattakayam Kudumbacharitram book that was recently published but I have decided anything I write in fiction about Kerala has to be in Malayalam first. Though I havent written anything I have this belief that I can write better in Malayalam than English. As of now I am focussed on a story about schooldays. School is something I still relate with, blessed with a huge repertoire of memories from then, and an interesting array of characters who are still an integral part of my life to some extent. I am wary if the final product will mimic Tom Browns Schooldays, a masterpeice I last read 12 years back. What amazed me most about that novel is the timeless quality and universal appeal of that book. Even 150 years hence, the story of Tom Brown and Jimmy East, the two main characters of the book is one, every child identifies with and lives through, every day in school.

As far as life goes, i am in hiding. Only my closest friends have my number, i hate speaking to my parents coz I feel like a total loser as I go about bashing all their hopes of me finding a steady career, and thankfully all the nagging my sister does is insisting i wash my dishes and watch movies with her. Anyways the next 30 days of November promises to be an interesting time if i manage to keep the novel afloat. If by any chance I loose steam midway and give up please dont hold it against me...that certainly would be embarassing after this loud declaration of intent here. As I wrote the last line i couldnt help remarking here that except for writing on this blog every other challenge I have taken up over the last 2 years I lost. Discipline. The one thing I lack and what I need most now. Coz if I can pull this off I think I will gather the guts to write a script. And the magic that newcomers can do to films these days. Looks what James Albert did with Classmates!


Matter of Choice said...

Good luck buddy!!

i share with you the apathy towards discipline and often ends up telling others things that i plan to do just to create the pressure!. Some times it works for me and some time i end up looking like a fool. Though i am sure you will have a better go at it.

Not so sure about the concept of novel-writing in a month!. that doesnt give much scope for 1-2 instances of writer's block which i am sure all authors go thru!

good luck again and i will be comin back here often the next one month!

Anonymous said...

Hey Jiby , Again me first to comment on your another post :) . Novel in certianly a good idea but taking any decision should be your choice because Alchemist tells Santiago in "The Alchemist"

"Making a decision is only the beginning of things.When someone makes a decision , he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision."

When you are confused about what to do in life , an MBA from a top B School is not a bad idea :). FMS, Delhi would be an apt choice for you if you want to concentrate on IAS again by staying in Delhi/ Hudson Lines . But it is very hard to get in . ATB :)

Anonymous said...

Gung Ho! so unofficially you are inclined to become a writer. what are you burning your night lamps for?
All my hearty wishes for this 30-day hurricane writing. May you have the steadfastness to hold on to scribbling down tightly and the blessing of the 'Muse'. See I believe 'once a loser, not always a lose'. so brace up to be a winner this time coz the only difference between a wineer and a loser is 'the attitude'. Have the fire in your belly to capsieze your weak attitude towars life and just wait and watch!!!

P.S that's not fair , you'll post chapters and hide your skin from our comments! c'mon we can give you tricks to be a winner

Anand K said...

Baaad Baaaaaaaaaad Boy! Poyi naalaksharam padikkeda! :P

I'm right now juggling my life b/w my job and my preps for the big one. The time I get is spent in reading some really cool books I purchased plus a Ruskin Bond omnibus from (literally) the streets of Delhi. Still, flashes of inspiration are washing me these days with respect to my mantrika novel.... you know tha Voldemort Saga fanfiction. I dunno how or where it came from.... and I have not seen any muse yet. Homer apparently had one of the comely sisters (Calliope?), Stephen King has a dude chomping a cigar but I ain't got one yet. Mebbe I have to "go further" see him/her. Parkalaam!

BTW, one's own story is something that one can write without much of a problem..... after all you were there! And given our not-at-all "serene" and "laid-back" school life your school life autobiography will come outanargala-nirgalam! Or like the "diarrhea of a buffalo" (as Chief Running-with-Premise says in South Park! :P ). Go for it.... before I do it mysef and recast it into a Gothic Horror/Post Post-Modernist Expressionist novel! :D

PS: Read the "Flashman Papers" series(Yes, THE horrid bully-degenerate Flashman from Tom Brown's schooldays) yet? VKN's Brigadier Kathakal is based on this hilarious series and of course, Baron Munchafssen's Adventures. Ben East (who goes to join his regiment in India at the end of the book we all know) is killed in the Siege of Lucknow during the 1857 Rebellion... in the arms of Flashman, his brother-in-arms. Ironic, eh?

Anonymous said...

Best of luck Jiby..

Hope Writers block stays away ..and you are at ur creative best all the way !!

btw am currently in London on a project - Writers block hasnt yet allowed me to resurrect my blog.

"Classmates" was really good - isnt there something about reunions that we feel special about?


Anand K said...

Errr.... I mean Ben East is killed by the sepoys and he dies in Flashman's arms.

Flashman himself has a narrow escape later on at Jhansi (where he went disguised as a native, as a chieftain in the Rani's entourge) during General Hugh Rose's infamous executions; tying the enemies to the mouth of a cannon and firing it. They mistake an unconscious Flashman for a native and tie him to the muzzle of a cannon. Just before the fuse is lit he wakes up... ad sees where he was, much to his horror obviously... and screams out his true identity.

Hugh Rose throws up his hands and releases ALL prisoners about to be executed saying, "The way things are, one of them (the native prisoners) is probably Lord Canning himself"!

Anonymous said...

All the best will do just great! :)

mathew said...

Jiby..that was a good idea..creating pressure on yourselves..

appreciate the guts u have to do something against the tide.

good luck..and pray you dont feel frustrated when you dont get ideas..just have a coffee and come back again!! :-)

DD said...

I agree with Anand...write your own story! Revisit your happy moments and get over the few bad moments in your life..I have a feeling you will appreciate life more
I tried NaNoWriMo last time and thought of writing about my dreams, aspirations and try to see what I would like to be doing/have done by the time I die...gave up somewhere in between because I was too lazy to write so much :) I still have tht half-completed doc somewhere on my hard disk :)

Mind Curry said...

can i be your manager when the book comes out?

i already have rights to silverine's upcoming titles.

Thanu said...

You will do well... lemme know if you want me to check in with you everyday to see the progress u made.

Jiby said...

anish, glad to hear of somebody else who regularly uses this strategy!

lijo, i used to fms when i went to watch movies at fms and wud think, oh man i shud have been here at 22...dont think i can crack their entrance test anymore. neways B-School and MBA is my PlanZ if i still am unsettled and looking in 2-3 years.

amrita, i really need that blessing, coz my laziness is legendary. sorry about the comments...that wud be pressure...i will rethink if the novel gets going!

pappanabho, anarghala nirghalam ozhuki vannillel what to do? ninte voldemart saga oru divasam irunne vaayikkanam!

naveen, long time sure u will come out of it and be nack to blogging!

silverine, doing it too? some company wud have been great!

mathew, looks like it will be coffee and me all next month...i have this wicked coffee concoction made in i will drown in that!

deepak, wow so there is someone i know who tried NaNo out...hope you get around to finishing that novel man.

mindcurry, we will negotiate if i am done ur in the publishing industry now?

thanu, thanks...i could use some project management!

Anonymous said...

Best wishes Jiby.

I am addicted to your site and was just thinking a few days back that at least, you should blog once a week. So now, I guess we can expect an update everyday!


Geo said...

Ha hahahhaa

Bitten by the literature bug ever since u landed here this time, uh? :D

Anonymous said...

All the best buddy...

Anonymous said...

ithengane ? you'll post a daily piece here ? will be pressure !!

neways all the best....hope the writers block doesnt bite you :)

Anonymous said...

U ll do a wonderful job Jiby.
All the best.

Vinod/Kakka said...

All the best, and enjoy the experience. I sometimes envy you for having the luxury to find yourself.
Have fun.

Anonymous said...

all d best macha!..i will be waiting for that one eagerly [:)]


Jiby said...

kajan, thank you for being a regular visitor and leaving those encouraging comments.

geo, yeah the reunion i had in chicago seems to have sparked something off...had some serious discussions with one of the guys and i was dismayed i was the only one without an aim.

dhanush, thanks bro.

bvn, the pressure is most welcome...i dread a writer's block happening though!

RS, thanks but you still leave a mystery abt who you are behind your comments. do i know you?

vinodcheta, i dont know if its a luxury but i think i have come too far in life to go back.

shan, thank you da...u have been a constant in my life for so many years now.

abhishek said...

a writer wouldn't be a writer if he didn't experience writer's block at least once a week. i feel it more than that...but i persist, because once i've put down what i want to write, i know i've put some part of me out there forever. People die and with time pass away into oblivion. But writers live forever in their words.

u're far ahead of most least u've taken on a novel. I haven't even had the courage to take on that challenge. That one's been an extremely long writer's block for me and I don't see it ending anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

am sure u'll be able to do it. just teell urself that u "HAVE" to do

Rai said...

Hey, Best of luck! Just keep writing your way ...

Praveen said...

all the best on your novel! keep writing

newatthis said...

all the best with your novel!!