These days I am trying to write a piece of fiction longer than the short stories I have written earlier. Not a full length novel – that is still beyond me. But something in the range of 10,000 to 15,000 words. It is not going to have multiple strands. It had started off as a simple romance. Some more elements got included as the plot developed. But it will still remain a simple story of two people. (yes, yes – I am trying to lower expectations :P)
I am not telling you the story yet. And I don’t know by when will I feel comfortable enough to put it in front of the world (I haven’t shown it to even Abhaya)? But I thought of making a (probably more) blog post on the process of writing.
First thing that happened was that I had this basic idea in mind and I sat on it for several days. I was trying to finalize on a clear story before I started writing. But that was not happening. So, as a first step I had to overcome the mental barrier that was created by the story not being clear to me. I just started writing and then the story and the characters started building up.
Second important thing was sketching the characters. What should they be like? Falling for autobiographical characters is easy. But I have been very clear that I did not want to write an autobiography in the name of fiction. (that will be pretty boring to the readers :) )
At the same time as a first time fiction writer (barring few short stories), creating completely fictional characters was difficult for me. Especially because fiction does not come naturally to me. So, instead of trying to go completely imaginary, I decided to pick inspirations from the real life people I know. Mixed them up to create characters who would do things I would like them to do in the story. The female protagonist has a bit of me. But rest of her is other people I know and hopefully some of it is purely fictional too :) . If it had been completely me, she wouldn’t have done certain things she did in the story. Then it wouldn’t have been the story, it would have been my autobiography, which was not what I had set out to do.
But I am still not satisfied with the male lead. The character I want for him is completely fictional. There isn’t anyone in real life I can take inspiration from. So, the character has not yet come out properly. I am still wondering on how to do it right.
The actual narration and dialogues are in pretty bad shape right now. I am going in circles regarding whether to start working on the narration or whether to fix the characters first.
But while thinking of the narration and dialogues, I started doing some research and came across something that I think is really important. If you are an amateur writer and have not thought about the technicalities of writing, this should come handy for writing dialogues in fiction – http://www.suite101.com/lesson.cfm/16712/262
I am also struggling with how to give right and distinct dialogs to the characters. All of them should not speak like me. Right now that seems to be the case. I have to work on that.
More later. I am off to do some more thinking on the male character of my piece. Also, have to buckle up for upcoming Bangalore Book Festival.
Are you wondering that if I am struggling with almost everything associated with writing, why am I even trying to write? :)