“Life In The City”

As mentioned in many posts in this blog, November finds me busy with NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month, an international event in which we aim to write a novel of 50,000 words in the calendar month of November. The rules permit the writing of short stories too as long as the collection has a common theme. This year, like in 2012 when I did an anthology of short stories called, “A Bouquet From India”, I have embarked on writing a collection of short stories once again.

The common theme is that they are all set in the cities of India, a land I know best having lived in different parts of this vast country, all my life. It was natural then for me to select, ” Life In the City” as the title for this year’s effort.

My aim is to write 15 short stories averaging about 3500 words each. This will take me to a total of 52,500 words. How am I doing so far this year? Not bad, actually. The Excel sheet I use to track my progress on a daily basis gives me the following statistics:

  • As of last night, end of day,of November 10, here in India, I had written a total of 21, 306 words which is about 43 % of the target of 50,000 words;
  • I have averaged 1936 words per day for the first 10 days with a highest per day total  of 2701 words and a lowest of 1377 words.

But NaNoWriMo, at least for me, is not just about statistics and word count. You should enjoy what you are writing.

I take pleasure in sharing an excerpt from the unedited version of one of the six short stories written so far.

This extract is from ” Where There Is  A Will There Is A Way” :-

The lawyer called Darius, who was blissfully unaware of the accident, two days later, “ Your Aunt Hilla’s term deposits are maturing in a few days time. I would need you to get her signature.” “ Oh, that’s nice,” smiled Darius. He liked it when such term deposits matured because he cashed them keeping most of the money for himself and leaving a pittance in her account. Just enough for her to get by.

Repeated calls to the house got no answer. “ I have to go there myself,” he grumbled. On reaching there, he found that Muniappa, that old fool, didn’t open the gate despite all his shouting. When his driver got down from the car and opened the gate, Darius decided that this was too much. The old bandicoot had to be sacked. Doesn’t matter what Aunt Hilla said in his favour as she always did. He had been with her since he was a boy of 15, which meant he came to them nearly 50 years ago.

Strangely the front door was open and he pushed it to get in and find out what was going on. What on earth could have happened? Where was the dolt Muniappa?

Worse was to follow, “Aunt Hilla, Aunt Hilla, where are you? It’s me, Darius” he shouted . Her bed had been slept in. There was no trace of her anywhere in the house. His blood ran cold. Had she been kidnapped? Had some goons taken her away beating up the hapless Muniappa? Would he get a ransom call soon?



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