“Life In The City” Work In Progress After NaNoWriMo 2014

I am delighted that I successfully completed NaNoWriMo 2014 where the challenge was to write a novel of 50,000 words during the calendar month of November.

” Life In The City” is a collection of short stories, 14 in all, which capture different aspects of life in a city in contemporary India. Since I live in Bengaluru ( recently made the official name for the erstwhile Bangalore) most of my stories tend to be set here. I guess the issues are the same in different cities of India. While the stories are largely a figment of my imagination, I must confess that the inspiration for at least a few of them came from real life incidents as reported in the daily newspapers.

The stories feature a wide variety of characters and situations which I hope most readers will be able to easily relate to. They involve, amongst others, an elderly woman who gets a fresh lease of life; a bored housewife caught up, thanks to her addiction for the internet, in a net of deceit; and, a couple who settle down in Bengaluru to come across ghosts from the past.

This is now work in progress and I hope to share more details of this project with time.

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It’s That Time Of The Year Again: NaNoWriMo is on.

Yes, it’s that time of the year again. November, for me, and for thousands like me from all over the world who love writing, means it time for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo,)  Some one once asked me in an interview,  “When do you write?” She meant to ask whether I wrote in the mornings or in the evenings and did I have a preferred time slot for writing.  I replied, ” In November!” with all seriousness. Strange as it may seem, for the last few years , ever since I became a full-time writer, virtually all my writing has taken place in November of each year. Here’s where you can order all my books.  Continue reading “It’s That Time Of The Year Again: NaNoWriMo is on.”

Stock Take on Writing Projects

Ok, the A to Z Challenge is over, my third novel, “Let The Dead Stay Dead ” has been released on Wattpad, and NaNoWriMo is still months away. This is a good time to stock take on my on-going writing projects. This exercise which I do from time to time, not only keeps readers informed of my work but more importantly acts as a compass for me to prioritize my time and energies. I would advocate all writers should do the same, with the frequency of such a stock take dependent on their specific requirements.

Continue reading “Stock Take on Writing Projects”

A for April: #A to Z Challenge

Today is the start of the Blogging A to Z Challenge in which I am participating after a break of a couple of years. Did you know that some 1800 bloggers from all over the world are participating in this event? I am proud to be one of them and have chosen to go without a particular theme this time.

Seeing that the challenge starts off on April 1, A has to be for April . Today, April 1, is celebrated as April’s Fools Day or All Fools Day in many parts of the world. Friends pull each other’s legs with pranks and everyone has a good laugh. With so much tension and stress around us, I think April Fool’s Day is a great stress buster. Of course, much of the enjoyment depends on whether or not you are on the receiving end of the prank.

Decades ago when I was working in Mumbai (then called Bombay), some of us decided to teach a lesson to a colleague who was very stuffy and looked down on our easy-going attitude. He used to mutter, “Grow up, fellows. You are no longer at school,” whenever we cracked jokes or had a laugh which was very often.

There were no emails in the ’70s and one morning he found a hand written message slip on his desk that the Big Chief, the General Manager of our Division wanted to see him at 9.00  a.m. the next morning. We youngsters and, I suspect, most of our seniors too, were terrified of the General Manager who was a nice person in his own way but a strict disciplinarian. Our colleague didn’t mention about the note , nor did anyone else. The next day at 9.00 a.m. sharp he presented himself at the GM’s office. The Executive Secretary to the GM who wielded almost as much power as he did, stared at him in a cold manner. She asked what brought him there so early in the morning as she had just walked in after a harrowing journey on the local trains which most of us used in Bombay. Our friend said he wanted to meet the GM. She said he can’t be seen without prior appointment. He said, ” He wants to see me. ” She replied, “I decide who gets to meet him.” When in triumph he showed her the message slip, she laughed loudly, bringing work in that part of the building to a standstill. “You poor fool. Someone has made an ass of you. I don’t blame them for it. Today is April 1. In any case, the boss is in Tokyo and he can’t see you or anyone else.”

Coming back to A  for  April, I find that April is the month for the National Poetry Writing Month, where poets write a poem a day. I guess this is much like NaNoWriMo where we writers write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November each other. I am thrilled that I have successfully completed NaNoWriMo for five consecutive years. Frankly, I believe writing a poem every day for a whole month is far more difficult than writing a 50,000 word novel in a month. To each his own, I guess.

 

Getting to Scrivener At Last!

I entered the National Novel Writing Month ( NaNoWriMo) for the first time in 2009 and that’s when I heard fellow participants speak of Scrivener. I had no idea what it meant. Some cursory research led me to understand that it was a kind of ” content generation tool” for writers. To be honest, I didn’t explore this any further for two reasons. I feared it would be too complex for me to use and too expensive for me to afford.  I was then deeply engrossed in writing my debut novel, “It Can’t Be You” anyway and my focus was more on thinking through a plot, fleshing out characters and the like. I did all of this in the only way I knew, using Microsoft Word. Continue reading “Getting to Scrivener At Last!”

Alternate History

There is huge excitement in the air for many of us writers as November fast approaches. I have successfully completed NaNoWriMo for four consecutive years, from 2009 to 2012 and am very keen to make it 5 in 5 by successfully completing a NaNo novel in November 2013 too. This involves writing 50,000 words of a novel during the calendar month of November. The novel can be in any literary genre. Continue reading “Alternate History”

Evolving As A Writer

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.”

Continue reading “Evolving As A Writer”