“Amateurs wait for inspiration. The rest of us just get up and go to work.” – Chuck Close – Reader’s Digest July 2009
I am obviously and practically an amateur writer/author with only one published short story as my “claim to fame”. I have always cradled the dream (and ambition) of having at least one book published as an author. So, all this time, I kept on sharpening my claws (my pen) churning out short stories, articles, and blog posts, until the amateur in me got the required inspiration.
Samit Basu’s initiative on Twitter set the ball rolling for me. Samit Basu, the famed author of the “The Gameworld Trilogy”, initially called for a word count race on Twitter, which was further organized by YuviPanda into a Facebook discussion forum/community. NovelRace was conceived to give a touch of competition and motivation, and a drive to actually get, set, go … and write! To quote from the Introduction of NovelRace on Facebook –
“The motive was simple enough – to tell each other, “Write, bugger, write.” And perhaps to point and laugh when you’re ahead. So here’s where we are right now. Finish a novel (‘novel’ here would mean anything – screenplay, play, graphic novel script, non-fiction or, of course, fiction – exceeding 60,000 words) by October 31st. Meet on Twitter, update, heckle each other, make a tally every weekend, and bitch. Everyone is welcome.
As Samit says, there’s no real group objective beyond going “DAMN, he/she is 5K words ahead again!”
Perhaps we should also add that this is far less structured than things like NaNoWriMo. There are no rules, no one’s checking your work, what you do with your finished book afterwards is entirely up to you. Also, no real rules as far as eligibility is concerned – you just need to want to finish your book/screenplay/play/comic, it should be a full-length piece that would serve as a first draft that you could show publishers after editing. Thassall.
Even the word count guidelines we’ve set up are, like the Pirate Code, just guidelines. Don’t ask us whether your work is eligible. It is. Write it.”
When I came across NovelRace, the occurrence was aptly complimented by the fact that I had three stories running parallel in my mind, but had not yet penned them down. This made the search for a theme for my novel a cakewalk, as I decided to thread the three stories together with a common event and/or a series of event and then just go with the flow.
Thus motivated, I upgraded from bystander mode to a competitor role. Within fifteen days, I reached the 20000-word count mark, and according to the NovelRace discussion forum, actually had a sample ready. Though I am still refraining from spilling all the beans (and the marketing masala), I thought it would be nice to put up something on my blog to generate interest (particularly, publisher interest).
22000-words plus and obsessively attached to this “creative adventure” here’s what I imagine on the back cover of the novel –
“Destiny charters the course in the life of three different women, as a local scandal makes the headlines. Over a course of chance and then planned meetings, the three women find themselves being influenced by each other’s experiences, consequently redefining their lives to follow singular courses.”
Each of the characters is from a different walk of life, with distinctive personalities, challenges, and dissimilar ways of handling circumstances. When they meet, a little color of each one’s attitudes and experiences rubs on to the other and is eventually reflected in the decisions that they go on to take for themselves. To introduce the stories of each of the three female protagonists, and then the concluding section I wrote down a few verses. I hope it helps to bring out some of the flavor of the story and the characters.
The Path of Hope
Meandering through alleys cobbled with stones
As grey as the ash flicked from a burning stub;
The melody of love touches her and stirs the senses
Leading her to a path of hope lying beyond the curb.
The Trail of Belief
In the realm of her simplest dreams and desires
In the dominion of her wildest fears and frets;
Seeking refuge and respite from the searing fires
She awakens, and gradually, the trail of belief treads.
The Passage of Trust
Struggling to find roots in the crevice of a rock
Craving to fulfill a promise bursting at its seams,
She tenderly gathers the weak tendrils running amok
And embarks on the passage where trust gleams
At the End of the Road
Beyond the previous bastion of their lonesome strife
Across the rickety bridge transcending the valleys
Of stifling despair, of broken trust, of shattered belief
Traversing an uncharted course to flee the gullies
They are borne by a twist of fate and a turn of destiny,
At the end of the road, right into the arms of serendipity.
I am hoping to receive some attention and responses on this blog post because I am working very hard on this initiative, considering that I have a full time job (and a hubby). For live scores, visit http://novelrace.in. Until I slog it out, here is another quote from Reader’s Digest July 2009, to keep me inspired.
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” – Maya Angelow.