Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘literature’

I know promised to write this yesterday but then Man proposes and God disposes. Yesterday was a terribly hectic day and I got no time at all. Anyhow, here it is. Enjoy!

My next story is going to be about a vampire who’s in love with girl who’s human. The antagonist is going to be a Marathi Manoos werewolf who wants to kill the vampire because he’s a Bhayya. He wants to kill the girl because she called Mumbai Bombay to express solidarity with her lover.

How this helps:

Raj Thackeray takes affront and decides to express his outrage by vandalising bookstores and burning copies of your book in illustrative / intimidatory bonfires. Of course, this results in loss of revenue but it also guarantees publicity. Publicity that you can’t otherwise buy. Your book starts getting talked about and people who otherwise wouldn’t have bought it queue up to buy. It all works out.

Now, the flip side:

What if Raj Thackeray isn’t interested? What if the issue is not worth his time?

Enter the failsafe:

The vampire-girl duo are on the run and take shelter with some friendlies. Did I say friendlies? Not quite. You see, those friendlies are actually Jehadi Lychans who have an agenda of their own.  And their plan is to drill a hole all the way into the Earth’s core and plant a zillion megaton nuclear bomb there. Of course, you can’t drill a hole all the way to the Earth’s core but figure out a revolutionary new technology that does it anyway. For ideas, look up the film The Core.

Now, why would the Lychans shelter our protagonists? There can be two reasons. One, well, the werewolves with their heretic ideology are their enemies and any enemy of an enemy is a friend. Two, the journey to the centre of the Earth is fraught with peril and they need stooges to do it for them.

Meanwhile the Sun is flaring up out of control, and shooting tiny neutrinos into the Earth which is heating up the crust intolerably.

While our protagonists are with the Lychans, introduce a brilliant, sensitive Lychan painter who paints nude werewolf goddesses. 

Meanwhile, the werewolves catch up with the protagonists. While they are in Lychan territory, they stumble upon the painter’s works. Of course, once that happens, they do what comes naturally to them. They destroy the paintings. In the midst of the destruction, however, in a fit of petulance, the werewolf leader, an accomplished cartoonist, stops to draw some offensive sketches of the Lychan god.

How does it all end? How do I know? I haven’t thought of everything yet.

All I know is your book gets released. All castes and communities unite in calling for a universal ban on the book. Now join hands with a pirate on a revenue share basis. Now sit back and watch your bank balance grow.

Sigh. If only I could get someone to publish it. Sigh, maybe I’ll go to the Danish cartoon guys.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I was watching the telly a couple of days ago and I happened to catch a 100 richest celebs kinda show on E!

Now, most of them have had to work for their supper but some, like Steven Spielberg get paid on just waking up! Royalties etc, you got it. And guess who was next on the list? JK Rowling. According to the show she’s worth a billion plus pounds. And the show was produced in 2007! Since then there’s been Stephanie Meyers, too.

Now, I was  filled with envy. Cross that. My new age guru will be horrified to hear that. *affirmation to self: Day after day I’m getting better and better and better. The world is filled with abundance and I live in this abundance. I deserve my good fortune and celebrate it*

Anyway, envy or motivation, call it what you will, but I decided to do something about my own, shall we say, considerably less salubrious pecuniary state. I called upon all my experience (and it is vast, spanning investment banking, adventure sports, publishing and writing) and arrived at a winning formula.

As you know, writing a novel is hard work and takes a lot out of you. Added to that is the uncertainty that it will be published. And even if it is, there’s no guarantee that it will sell, let alone be a best seller.

First things first. We have to begin the project by de-risking it. A good way to do that is to attempt a romance. According to the latest trends in fiction, romance still sells. In the wake of the Twilight series, a spate of vampire novels have hit the market but thre’s appetite for more. Well written conspiracies, spelling the doom of mankind, still work.

So, a good beginning premise would be a vampire romance set against the backdrop of an impending disaster.

Now that we’ve de-risked the model, we have to turn it into a multibagger. To do that you have to get attention. And not just the odd newspaper interview/review kinda thing. I’m talking serious, reams and reams of newsprint. The kind that’s devoted to the controversy of the day. Enter Raj Thakeray.

But. But, we can do one better. And that is, we can try and get the book banned. Based on all the above analysis, I’ve decided on what I’m going to write next. Watch out for it tomorrow. Meanwhile, do write in your thoughts on the subject.

Read Full Post »

Indiaplaza is one of the biggest online stores, including for books. They started the Golden Quill awards for fiction last year. This year, they’ve added non-fiction as well. Apart from the Jury prize, they also have a Reader’s Choice award. How this works is, the publishers submit a 1000-word extract from each title they submit. These extracts are put up on the Indiaplaza website, and readers can vote for the book they think is the best.

Read Full Post »

Right now I’m looking for a killer opening line for my next book along the lines of, “The scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of unrequited love” and “All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way,” the opening lines of Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez) and Anna Karenina (Tolstoy).

But since it is not exactly the great literary novel it should be cheesy as well. And funny. Basically smartassy. Maybe something like, “There are three shots on my body – two lead and one bourbon.”

Except it is also a female PI, so maybe something chicklitty. And Not something like, “I didn’t know whether flutter in the pit of my stomach was him or just me ovulating.”

For those of you who keep procrastinating, I got a nice one for you guys. But before I get into it, a little bit of background. Sinclair Lewis was supposed to lecture a bunch of would-be writers. For those of who don’t know, Sinclair Lewis was a famous American writer and I think, the first American to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Anyway, when it came Sinclair Lewis’s turn to speak, he staggered to the podium, gazed drunkenly at the crowd of eager faces, and said, “You dumb sonsabitches wanna write? Well, g’wan the hell home and write”!

There is only so much guidance anyone can give you. At the end of the day you have to write, trash, rewrite stuff. You have to develop your own style. And go easy on yourself.

Let’s face it, If you haven’t written before, it’s hardly likely that you will write scintillating prose. Notice I don’t say won’t write scintillating prose. You never know when someone might just do so on his/her debut attempt, just to make you eat your words.

Read Full Post »

At some point every author gets asked about her muse, the one author who inspires her to write. Normally this is a difficult question to answer as there are so many great writers out there. But a little introspection usually throws up one clear favorite.

In my case the clear answer has to be Mario Vargas Llosa, a Peruvian author, or rather, one book of his – Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter (Spanish: La tía Julia y el escribidor), translated brilliantly into English by Helen R. Lane.  The book was first published in Spanish 1977. The first English imprint arrived in 1983.

Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter is a story about Mario, an 18 year old boy who falls in love with his 32 year old divorcee aunt-in-law, Julia. The semi autobiographical novel is based upon a fictional period in the author’s life when he, an aspiring writer, was working part-time at a radio station that broadcast soap operas.

The radio station where Mario works hires a Bolivian scriptwriter, Pedro Camacho, to write the serials. Camacho, a writer of prodigious output and unbridled imagination, imbues the soaps liberally with his own prejudices – all villains are pug-faced Argentines and all heroes have a broad forehead, clear penetrating gaze, aquiline nose and are the very soul of goodness and moral rectitude.

Each chapter in Mario’s tumultuous romantic life (he and his aunt are forced to keep their liaison discreet on account of it being a scandalous one) is followed by a riotous radio novella penned by Camacho.

Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter is as much Camacho’s story as it is Mario’s. The soaring trajectory of Mario’s romance with his aunt – initial wooing while Aunt Julia plays the coquette, her surrender, their secret trysts and their marriage  – is mirrored in reverse with Camacho’s – his rise to fame, hysterical adulation and downfall.

Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter is one of the most brilliantly written novels I have read and my own book, Kkrishnaa’s Konfessions, while a completely different genre (chicklit-meets-crime), is an open tribute to it.

Read the full article in Asian Age. And ignore the misleading headline. Not my doing!!

Warning: For casual readers, do not attempt Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter without a comprehensive dictionary.

Read Full Post »