Tuesday, December 2, 2014

End of November (AKA The Month I Died A Slow Death And Also Killed A Dragon In The Process)

If you noticed my last post (with an addendum) in which I announced my intention to wilfully die by my own hand, you might understand what this post is all about. My Whatsapp and Gmail statuses were all about slow agonizing deaths (they still are, I’m too lazy to update them). This post deals with the pros and cons of the month that was November.

Yes, I realize that November officially ended three days back, but for me, it got over only yesterday when I finished the one paper that I was supposed to be done with on Nov 26 but was postponed. And I didn’t even complete the requisite hours of sleep that was overdue the last month, because I wanted to re-watch 2005 Pride and Prejudice, for reasons that will be clarified shortly.

First of all, my exams sucked and that it not a point I want to glorify. Long story short: ginormous textbooks + 24 hours a day + me=no sleep + shitty answer paper.
Then, as you know, I decided to become a Wrimo for the first time ever, even after I had considered the following facts:
  1. I have never written a novel before my entire life (please, no judgement)
  2. I did not spend October doing the necessary chapter-outlining and the other such exercises to ensure that I emerge a winner (heck, I didn’t even know I was going to be a Wrimo then)
  3. I had semester end exams
  4. I live in a hostel so while I’m tapping away a novel, I also have to see people pull all-nighters, muttering formulae to themselves, read PPT printouts at the dinner table and be at peace with myself.

So I started with zero expectations about meeting the purple finish line and only the love for the written word sustaining my fuel tank up to 1:30 a.m. Then I somehow mustered up the courage to tell people and THE RESPONSE.

Me: But I have exams, you’re supposed to discourage me.

Me: Why?
Friends: Because you’re going to be a famous writer and we need to produce proof to our children that their mamas were chuddi-buddies with the famous writer.

(At breakfast)
Them: How many?
Me: 12.5k
Them: *offer congratulations*
(At dinner)
Them: How many?
Me: 14k
Them: *offer congratulations*
(Next day, at breakfast)
Them: How many?
Me: 17k
Them: YAY *offer congratulations*

(On the eve of an exam)
Them: You can do this. YOU CAN DO THIS.

You know how when you read the acknowledgments page, you see writers say about how it takes a village to write a book?
I get it now.  If it were not for them – who always wanted the latest updates on the status of Siddharth and Aishwarya, brainstormed with me for ideas about how to make them fall for each other (because I’m highly experienced in that area and I didn’t need any of that) while sacrificing precious study-hours; and extracted promises from me to send them all PDFs of my novel once I’m done – this would have been another coffin in the dreaded graveyard of unfulfilled dreams.

I hereby share the joyous news that I reached my target on November 24th and by the end of the month I had 58.2k and MY BOOK STILL ISN’T DONE (because climaxes are slippery minxes and they are always ugly irrespective of the one you manage to get hold of).

Of Mothers, Matrimony and Other Maladies is a Malayalee retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, with an emphasis on the overall plot, not just the love story (that’s the basic idea, at least). It’s completely a character-driven novel with at least FIFTEEN characters that appear regularly throughout the book. It was hard enough for me to keep track of all of them.

  2. I felt god-like – being in control of the universe I created
  3. I put my words into that void in the status-quo
  4. And there’s the winner goodies, of course

  1. Excessive hairfall
  2. Acne outbursts (apparently so much tension isn’t good for your hair and skin)
  3. Had to do with five hours of sleep everyday (My body can’t run satisfyingly with only that much sleep, ok?)
  4. I realized that I hated the writer I actually was. This one was the severest blow. Like Veronica Roth said in her NaNo peptalk, I had to throw away all my preconceptions of the writer I thought I would be.
  5. I hate my book (but LOVE my characters, how weird is that)
  6. Made me reconsider my judgment criteria for books in general now that I know first-hand HOW DAMN DIFFICULT IT IS TO WRITE ONE
  7. I don’t have the courage to let people read it (I’d much rather walk naked out on streets, tbh)

Anyone would think December is just the perfect climax for this tired human who watches nights melting into days. Unfortunately, although it’s officially semester break, I have plenty of curricular undertakings to be fulfilled and so far it looks like I’m going to be suffocating up until the Christmas week.

I’m done. With my exams, NaNoWriMo 2014, and this ridiculously long post. 

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