I was reflecting the other day on how I have evolved as a writer over the last few years that I have been deeply involved in writing. When I wrote “It Can’t Be You” my debut novel, I had no idea how it would all end but I vastly enjoyed an incredible new experience of writing a story and getting a book published.
On reflection, a few thoughts about the writing of “It Can’t Be You.”
- It was my first time attempting NaNoWriMo that year in 2009, and I was thrilled that my NaNo Novel was published in 2010.
- I am glad I chose to write most of the novel in the first person narrative. This, I believe, enabled me to get into the minds of the my characters, like Col. Belliappa and his daughter, Shefali, and act as I thought they would based on their personality characteristics.
- It was a “whodunit” with an “all’s well that ends well” kind of ending.
- The story sat at the intersection of two of my major interests, for psychology and for the military.
- I learnt heck of a lot on the world of publishing which was totally a new, and pardon the pun here, book for me.
When I wrote, “Lucky For Some, 13” in 2010, it was once again for NaNoWriMo. By this I mean the first 50,000 words were. I then had to flesh it out and edit it to its final shape. The book was published in 2012.
- It was my first attempt at writing a fast-paced action packed thriller. The story was set in various places and had more number of characters than my first novel. The challenge for me was to stitch up events as they took place in different parts of the globe.
- Another challenge for me was to write a tight finish as events rise to a climax spread over just three days.
- It reinforced in me the value of attention to detail. With so many characters in the plot, I had to be particularly careful to see that the story held and there were no major anomalies in the plot.
- For a change, the principal character in the book was a lady officer, Major Mohini Nair who foils a terror attack in Goa in January 2010 only to have this haunt her in the next phase of her life in September that year. I had to make a ‘believable” character who was tough but not superwoman.
- LFS13, as it became abbreviated to be, was, I like to think, better edited and had a better get up than “ICBY”. For one thing the production was far superior and it was a pleasure to see this.
I am now on the verge of finishing my third thriller, “Let The Dead Stay Dead.” This was had its origins in NaNoWriMo of 2011. Two months from now, it will be two years since the first 50,000 words were written for this book, and it remains incomplete. Why has this taken longer than the others?
- Since this had many aspects of law and there was a court trial in the story, I had to learn a lot about forensics, the criminal laws and the court processes to write a credible story. This took time, but I hope it was worth it.
- In this I have explored some aspects of schizophrenia which again involved a lot of reading and extensive research to get my facts right.
- All said and done, I like to think that ” Let The Dead Stay Dead” will be appreciated by readers when it is published, not least of all as it has an appealing title which could be from out of James Hadley Chase.