Write a Novel in 21 Days


Well, not exactly! It took me two days more – 23 days to be precise. But I guess 10% tolerance is acceptable in blog posts. So coming to the point, yes – I completed writing a novel in 23 days. Obviously one does not become a Java Solution Architect by following the book ‘Teach Yourself Java in 21 days’. Nor do I have a publishable manuscript in 23 days that I am going to start spamming publishers with from today afternoon. Far from it! But then around 58,000 words have been written that I fondly hope resembles a story and makes sense at least somewhat remotely. I now have my task cut out to go over it piece by piece, get the plot in line, eliminate all kinds of inconsistencies, decide on the right tone of narrative, create character profiles, fix the dialogues to make them sound more natural, get some background information in place such as the history and geography of the land where the story takes place and make the narrative more interesting and vivid. After that I have to proof read to eliminate all the unnecessary words, get rid of typos and get the grammar right. I foresee this to be a long drawn process spanning over the next 7-8 months at the least. (Of course I will be regaling you all with the gory and excruciating details of the same right here on my blog till you start petitions for Google to take my blog down.)
So what is this story about? I don’t know if any of you will ask, but I am anyways going to tell. Why else would I be writing this blog post? Well – this story is about three Management Consultants. So what is the big deal about management consultants you may ask. It is the same big deal about IITs and IIMs that established the writing career of a certain gentleman who has passed through the portals of these elite institutions established by the founder of our country’s ruling family. For Banks and Management consultants have been the favored hunting grounds of the folk of the aforesaid gentleman’s ilk till he discovered the virgin territory of literature for us to exploit. Another gentleman already beat me to the Banks. And anyways all I know about banks is what my relationship manager and various other miscellaneous callers tell me. I doubt if that would make an interesting story.
Ok – so management consultants it is. But does that make me an equal of this esteemed gentleman? “I have steamy romance sequences. I have tried and tested Bollywood storylines. I have the language that the Indian common man relates to. What do you have?” he may ask me reminiscent of a popular dialogue in one of the Bollywood movies of yester years. My reply is, “I have Harry Potter.” Well, not exactly. Let me clarify before J K Rowling comes after me with a law suit for stealing her franchise. My story has an alternate universe very much like J K Rowling’s world of witches and wizards. Magical monsters, cool weapons that look like a cross between swords and tube lights, dark villains who have made a hobby out of the business of death – I have all that and more in my story.
So that is it about what the novel is about. But why did I have to write it in within a month? It is not like I have signed a deal with a publisher and his blood hounds are snapping away at my heels. Well – that is the whole point. As one English gentleman has postulated centuries back – “Any object in motion will continue in motion and any object at rest will continue at rest unless acted upon by an external force.” So my work on my novel which was at rest would have remained at rest if not for this initiative called National Novel Writing Month which acts as the external force getting hold of people and getting them to write 50,000 words within a month. They have a website, online forums, Facebook groups and pages and volunteers from every part of the world they call Municipal Liaisons, who act as the school teachers driving people to complete their homework.  So, thanks to this initiative, my novel is now in motion and hopefully some external forces at work or home will not act to bring it to rest.
Well - I will close off with a veiled threat that this is not the last you are going to hear about my novel in progress ‘Heroism Consultants.”

18 comments:

mahabore said...

Here's wishing you all the very best in polishing your manuscript time and again until it 'shines'.

Suresh Chandrasekaran said...

Hahaha! THAT was a fun read and I am all for 'gory' details like this, TF! :) (AND, I AM the quintessential object at rest, which had hitherto not faced any external force :) )

Arvind Passey said...

A jolly good effort... and it is always better to let your novel out in the world to be edited and cajoled into becoming perfect than remaining inside in the form of abstract dreams.

Arvind Passey
www.passey.info

The Fool said...

Thanks a lot, Jairam.

The Fool said...

Thanks Suresh. Ha - indeed great force will needed to move you.

The Fool said...

Thanks Mr. Passey. Fully agree. It is going to be lot of hard work but it is going to be fun and will hone my skills well.

Destination Infinity said...

Congrats on completing the NaNoWriMo challenge, great job. I dropped my effort because I am planning to write a different story altogether. Hopefully I will be able to do that over the next few months without needing the external force!

Destination Infinity

The Fool said...

Thanks, Rajesh. I am sure you will manage something. I need this motivation as this idea has been hanging over my head for 2 years now without any progress.

Rickie said...

Congratulations! Now read and re-read and polish and re-polish and edit and re-edit as much as you can. And within no time, you will have a novel!

The Fool said...

Thanks, Rickie. Would definitely have edit a lot to get it in proper shape.

Sanhita Baruah said...

“Any object in motion will continue in motion and any object at rest will continue at rest unless acted upon by an external force.” Now I know what they really meant in Chapter 2, Physics IX.
All the best.

indu chhibber said...

Interesting,and congratulations.
Whenever i read my old post i find it lacking and feel like editing it again,which i do also.But editing your novel --it must be a mammoth project.I realize there is a lot of sweat behind a completed novel--good luck to you:)

The Fool said...

Thanks Sanhita. As we go through life, don't we start seeing what we read at scool in different light?

The Fool said...

Thanks, Indu. The editing increases exponentially with the size.

Pankti Mehta said...

Last year I had participated in NaNoWriMo but had to quit due to eye problem and this year, my insane schedule stopped me from participating :(

Rachna said...

Wow, I wonder how I missed reading this post, Karthik. That really is an achievement along with your job demands and a little child at home. Now you will have to keep working on it, editing and re-editing. I wish you good luck.

Cart Hick said...

Yeah - It is tough. This year I was lucky to have relatively free time in November. I struggle even to maintain blog in the heat of project.

Cart Hick said...

Thanks Rachna. It helped to commit myself and force myself to do it.

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