I am not cut out for writing novels. I think that every year as November approaches. But then a wicked idea pops into my head each time. It would be unfair to the Gods of Writing and Imagination if I gave up before I even started. With that in mind, I was ready to participate this year. Not as ready as I would have liked to be but ready nevertheless. It was November 1st and I had no outline to my novel. I knew I would need one. The plot was complicated. I decided to start outlining the structure and characters of my novel. Till November 4th I did not write a word of my novel as I made use of all the imaginative juices to list down conflicts and twists amidst other details. My journey started on 4th and has been an uneven one up until the 26th (when I finished 50k words). I would call it uneven because within these 23 days, there were times when I wrote nothing and times when I was able to churn 3000-6000 words at a stretch. I bunked many days of college to stay at home and type. Writing had taken top priority. There were days when I remained in my room, typing away like a mad scientist, overcome with ideas that had to be slapped onto blank pages before they vanished.

My family has been the most supportive throughout this journey – not yelling at me for missing classes or neglecting family time. The most horrifying pothole in my way occurred when I reached 32k and finished what I had intended to write. My story had been written, with a beginning, middle and end. Yet I had to have 18k more if I were to win. Conjuring up additional obstacles for my protagonist to pave through and flashback scenes, I rowed my way to 50k. Then, I had thought I would peel off the extra during the editing process. But now it all fits. In fact, I believe there is still more potential for the story. I could add more or remove some – the essence of my plot would still shine through.

There were phases when I thought my writing style was lame or immature (not worthy of an English major student who has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember). With my parents’ kind words, I was able to get past that block. I am proud of the storyline, it was something I had been questioning about our world for long. But I still have to improve on the use of words and phrases. After all that, maybe I could consider approaching a publisher. For now, the winner’s title and certificate on my profile fills my belly, heart and mind. I am happy. As I can be.

Image Courtesy – Google

– Meera

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