Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Hari’s story

A week has passed since I posted my review of Hostage for a Hood by Lionel White. During this period I read more than I usually do, including a couple of unfinished novels, and wrote more than 3,000 words of what I think is shaping up into more than a short story. The characters and the setting are Indian.

At this point it could be either a novelette (7,500 to 17,500 words) or a novella (17,500 to 40,000 words), as categorised by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. I'm writing about five hundred words a day though the word count is moving up in tandem with my confidence. I hope to have the story ready by Christmas.

I haven’t thought of a title yet or what to do with the story once it is written. I'm thinking of self-publishing through Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing. It’s a crime story of sorts, more atmospheric and less hardboiled. The main character is an investigator in the Mumbai Crime Branch. His name is Hari, a popular Indian and a Hindu name. In Sanskrit, the name stands for Lord Vishnu, the supreme god, and one of the Great Trinity. It also refers to the colour yellow and its hues. The Hari of my story is neither god nor chromatic although his devout parents, whoever they may be, could have named their son after the revered deity.

In case you’re wondering how the name is pronounced, this will give you an idea.

“Hari? What kind of a name is that?”
“It’s a proper name.”
“As in Harry Potter or hairy legs?”
“No, as in hurry up, please!”

In May this year, I wrote a post about my experiment with other forms of writing, a collection of short stories including one about an Indian avatar of an American cowboy, a short book on self-help, and a possible flash fiction.

About the flash fiction piece, I had observed, “I have no idea where this is going, if it is in fact going anywhere at all.” Since it wasn't going anywhere, I despatched it to the recycle bin. The short story collection and the self-help book are still in the works.

For now I'm enjoying writing Hari’s story. I type out a few lines every now and then, at work, and then again at home late evening. I’d love to spend all day writing it out. So far it has been the most realistic writing project I have taken up outside of my newspaper job.

Every morning I revise what I wrote the previous day, wherein lies the challenge. I read the rewritten words and sentences and find a dozen ways to rewrite them. Which word reads better? Which line sounds convincing? Where do I draw the creative line? Is there a line at all? How come I can't see the line!

8 comments:

  1. I always start with reviewing everything I've written in a story so far. It slows me down but it's my way of getting back into the story.

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    1. Patti, I do the same thing before I continue writing. In fact, I read through the story several times a day.

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  2. Good luck with this project Prashant. I 'll be watching from the sidelines with interest!

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    1. Col, thank you. I'll need all the luck with this project. I'll finish writing the story first and then decide what to do about it.

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  3. Good for you, we'll all look forward to hearing more about this project.

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    1. Moira, thank you. I'll share an excerpt once I'm through writing the story. So far it's coming along nicely even though I'm not writing much daily.

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  4. Prashant, I like the idea of a novella or novelette length story. Keep us updated on how it is going.

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    1. Tracy, I'll do that. I want to finish the story by Christmas and so far it's coming along quite nicely though I'm still writing fewer words than I had planned.

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