Saturday, December 01, 2012


November was National Novel Writing Month at A site where every November novelists and would-be novelists congregate and write a novel of 50,000 words or more in a single month.

I found out about this around the 3rd of the month and decided to give it a try. The first few days went swimmingly well and I even wrote a couple of thousand words. And then I hit a road-block. The plot just wasn’t going anywhere. It wouldn’t even move. It had turned into a cul-de-sac. I fretted and fumed, but to no avail.

Then finally around the 22st of the month, it all fell into place all at once and I was faced with the prospect of writing around 45000 words in about 8-9 days. What followed was frenetic writing, sometimes belting out almost 8000 words per day.

And, I’m happy to say that yesterday, just before midnight, with a few minutes to spare, I crossed the 50000 mark and also completed the novel. So, now I have on my hands a first draft. 

I must admit, writing a novel is like being caught in a tempest. Thoughts, words, plot lines, characters, they all churn up within you demanding to be written. It begins to live inside you, all the time. It blots out everything else. Its characters living and moving and scrambling over each other, talking, fighting, falling. And you, like a shepherd, have to herd them, align them, put them in place, and make sense out of it all. Quite an exhausting experience and even more so, quite an exhilarating one.

And to add to the fun, I got it into my head to design the cover as well. And so, precious hours were spent designing, editing and creating a cover.

The novel, of course needs a lot of work, plots have to be straightened, characters have to be fleshed out, emotions, motives, explanations all have to given. It might change, might morph into some thing else. Who knows? Even the cover might change, but here it is the cover of the first draft of my first novel - Dharma.