Grinning Down Queen Street

Today could have been any normal random day. Only it wasn’t. If I had known that I could have been this foolishly happy by just a book then I would have borrowed this book sooner: Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 6 Bonehunters!


The best part about Auckland Library is the fact that they are so impossibly huge. As I returned a novel to the library, I could not stop myself from checking out the book collection. There is something about having this many books in front of me that dissolves my resolve. I did not expect to find Steven Erickson’sThe Bonehunters’ amidst the fantasy section. I already knew the library contained the entire 10 book series + standalone novels. The first book of the series ‘Gardens of the Moon’ already has a month waiting time before could borrow it.

With unmasked joy, I walked out of the library with my favourite book in tow, grinning like a proper maniac.

I always have music playing when I walk and today I kept playing the same 3 songs in repeat: Sinai by ilan Bluestone, Skylarking by BT and Snake Eyes by Mumford & Sons. My feet sprung up with each step, insync with the beats of the trance songs played in my ear.


I tried to control my glee but could barely manage. A small smile still crept up my face regardless of how hard I tried and I walked in tune with the best music of the day. I looked around at the tired faces, the ones who walked alone and the ones who walked in groups. Some sad and some amused. I moved on, unmoved amongst them, careless in my strides.


Halfway through Queen street, there is a cobbled lane the name of which I could never remember.

Whenever I look at the lane I feel like I am in Rome or any other Italian city. The restaurants have tables lined up along the lane, cementing the European look. A human statue stood at the intersection on a pedestal with his left arm outstretched holding a oil lantern. I did not notice his right hand. His face and body was smeared by black colour, giving the impression of a coal miner,  his eyes darting, scanning the crowd. One old fellow walked past the guy in an attempt to blow out his lantern, unsuccessfully. Another guy walked past the street artist and dropped some coins in the basket.

The immobile man quickly leap down the pedestal and grabbed the coins. I could not help it, I laughed. I was not the only one who was amused though, as others saw the same spectacle. The street artist though was enjoying himself too. He knew what he was doing.



My quick feet darted past the man covered in black and onwards my destination.

Undeterred, unmitigated and still gleeful. I could not wait to board the train and read Bonehunters.

Who knew the book could mean so much. The book is not even a happy book; it is full of blood and death, friendships and love, Gods and Man. And it is a masterpiece.

PS: I got an idea after that. Maybe I should start using the lanes and scenes from Auckland to spin fictions.

NaNoWriMo Winner!

I heard about this contest a year ago while reading someone’s blog. Then it seemed a gigantic task: complete 50,000 words of your manuscript/novel in 30 days. This year when Alisha asked me about this, I jumped at the opportunity. Obviously, I have written about this previously too: My writing goal is to get published.


So after deep thinking of less than one second, I went ahead with this. All I needed was a story.

Mid October to 31st October:

I decided to use the idea, boy meets girl and things go wrong. Simple idea, simple plot and leaving everything else to just conveniences. Just to make sure that I don’t loose my way through the novel, I made loose plot lines and decided in the beginning and end of the novel. I felt ready, I purposely chooses to reduce my workload and tell less people about this.


1st November:

Unfortunately, I do not remember where I wrote this novel. I have a habit of writing on my mobile and my computer so I do not know where I wrote it first. I had a daily target of 1700 words which will amount to an exact 51000 words. First day, I finished my prologue. My mind was clear and focussed and I guess that is why my prologue turned out to be the best. I wrote 1700 words and thought, wow this is so easy.

I could not be more wrong.

2-10th day:

I fell back. I tried to keep up and I just could not do it perfectly. I renamed my novel from ‘Started With A Date’ to ‘Convenient Caliber’ and tried looking for some ideas for covers. Oh and 9th November, my office colleagues gave me one of the best birthday surprises ever!

11-20th day:

I picked speed again, catching up and finally reaching the daily target. I wrote now mostly during travel time on my phone. No more games and no novel readings. Only writing and more writing. I refrained from all sorts of distractions like twitter, Facebook or my own blog!

It finally got easier.

20-27th day:

I joined Twitter and read up on people’s experiences. I was shocked to see other writers reach and cross 50k mark during those days. Even more dumbfounding was the fact that these novelists were aiming for 100k. Meanwhile, my writing suffered a little but I kept it up. I was so used to writing on my phone by now that whenever I sat on my computer to write, I fell asleep.

It was during this period that I read a tweet saying take the proposed end of your novel and bring it to to the middle of the novel. I used that advice, or tried to use it.

Day 28 & 29:

I finished and verified a huge 50164 words! Then, because only I knew the content of my novel I looked for a cover. I found an online cover designing website called Canva, free registration and free good resources. I kept my design minimalist and made my cover. There is an exact scene like this in the novel.

Book Cover: Mayur Wadhwani


I shared it on Facebook and twitter. Congratulations kept pouring in, because they thought I had published my novel, which was far from the truth.

The hardest part was sitting to write. Not because I did not knew what to write but simply because I lacked the will to do so. Easiest part was writing. I was shocked my brains ability to seamlessly cultivate words and scenes which I had not even thought of before. I would be writing and the words kept flowing.

I had a lot of things happening in November. Amidst the worst time, I wrote because trying to make a fictional character’s life better was something of an excuse to do something. Unlike so many other great writer, I did not spend countless hours on character development and backgrounds. I kept it easy and I finished. It is the best feeling to set a goal and then finish it. 15 chapter, prologue and epilogue and I finished. I have not touched the manuscript(I think) from that time because the words are too fresh in my mind to try and revise the book.

Will I do it again? Definitely!

Should you try it next year? Hell yeah! There us no better motivation than watching your progress on a graph.



#17 Like The Character


The thing about novels is that they are full of characters. And the central character, the one who you root for, one whose love stories swell your heart and one whose death leaves you depraved is mostly one you can identify with.

All the central characters are like that. They always make the reader relate to them. Their habits, likes and dislikes always coincide with reader’s.

And that is what makes them likeable.

This has always been what the John’s mentor had taught him. Want to make the reader engrossed, make the character as ordinary as possible and then cover that familiarity with layers upon layers of pretentiousness.

And the reader will love the guy. But John decided not to take that route. He wanted something new and something unseen.

So he wrote his novel in unorthodox fashion. But by the time over months he wrote the novel, he changed. His friends first cheered his dedication to the novel, then pitied him as writing made him weaker. Eventually they despised him as he changed over time.

He became the character he wrote. He became a hater of the world. He became the murderer he wrote.

Thanks For Reading