Journal Entry Six

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10/08/2014 by Siddiqui Fayesal

It is quite some time since I wrote about the progress of my writing.

It hasn’t been a very fun ride since the past month or so; but the few months before them were pretty okay-ish. Of course, compared to any time 2 years earlier it has been amazing. I manage to get in around 3000 words in a week (in a good week). Otherwise, it’s nothing more than a few hundred words.

I know, I know. This won’t help me get published. Tell me about going crazy, tell me about living, eating and sleeping my writing. The story has multiple characters. The story has multiple lives. The story has multiple, well, stories, and I can’t find a way to tie them all up. I have to work so hard to write one sentence after another; one dialogue after another and by the time I’m a few paragraphs down the story in my head mutates and goes off track; the characters speak aloud and tell me that what they would rather be doing is not what I have in mind. Their behavior changes and makes the dialogues sound out of sync.

The story goes on another track, like I said. Mind you it’s still in my head but it sounds way better than what I had imagined. So I change my style, I change my word usage and change the tone. But the thing happens again, sometimes my head messing with me and telling me that what I had thought of was better indeed.

Like this wasn’t painful enough I have another set of issues yet to be solved. There are questions that I haven’t yet answered and without them having been answered I cannot actually even try and write more than a few hundred words a day.

Question 1:

The story is based in India. No doubt about it but I don’t want to make it demarcated to the country. I don’t want to use real names of laces. The question arises day after day of my plan to not use real names will sound weird if I make references to real places that people recognize.

Question 2:

Now, if I don’t make obvious references to India the names of the characters will make it obvious. I don’t have any issue with that actually. But I don’t know why I can’t go ahead if I don’t decide finally about the first question. Also, the names of the characters are an issue. Till the time I can’t find a name that I will stick to I can’t write dialogues for it.

Question 3:

I’ve grown up reading a lot of old literature. Dickens is a staple on my reading list. My school teachers have instilled love inside me for his stories. The way they describe old England and old woods; I want my story to sound like them. I want my story to have those long passages describing the mood of the towns with passion and melancholy concocted with just the right amount of adjectives. I know my language has to get better; I can work on that. But what will it sound like to my readers? Will I even be able to connect? Do people have the patience to read prose of that character? Do such books actually have a reader base?

Of course, no matter what, I can’t guarantee readership and finding a connection but I need to be certain myself!

Question 4:

How often does a writer feel that the previous night’s work was his worst ever?

Question 5:

How many times does one go back and rip out all that he has written because of his inability to come to terms with his previously written chapters?

Question 6:

How does one actually do the executing aspect of writing? Not the planning and laying it out, but the actual act of putting the pen to paper. If the story is well set in my head it becomes easier but that is rarely the case. The story mutates, like I’ve already mentioned, so it keeps going off track forcing me to change tact and style. Do I sit and write a chapter at a time or do I start a character and finish it from A to Z and then jump to another character and then tie it all together?

This is by far not the end to my troubles. I’m sure every writer goes through the same ordeal as me; it’s not that I’m a bloody basket case but frankly, right now, I only give a shit about my problems.

Siddiqui F.

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