My novel Equinox, is a NaNoWriMo baby, product of my diffidence and perseverance through the month of November 2013. I had decided to bite the bullet- attempt fiction, after my books of poetry.
I made preparations. My favorite comfy clothes were laundered and ready to wear. I threw in a quick beauty treatment a day or two before so I wouldn’t obsess over that stray hair or overgrown nail. I stocked up on dry fruit, my healthy nibbles; several flavored teas, too. Bought grocery for the month (hubby promised to take care of weekly veggies – buying and sometimes cooking them as well). He was also advised to forget that I existed except when I wanted to sound out my ideas – he was happy, or relieved , and always interested in the fate of my characters.
How I loved November 2013 – an exact year ago! I would wake up at 5am, make a tankard of coffee and hit the keyboard, get in a couple of hours of writing. I had planned my characters and I distributed the 50000 words among them. I had plotted the events on a scrap of paper. Both word distribution and plot eventually went askew, but when I woke up each morning, I knew what I had to write about that day. It was usually ready in my head, so I only had to let it spill on the screen.
Around 7 I took a break to do the daily chores, and sat down again by 9 or 9:30am. I would work again until lunch, a quick nap and back again.
I am a day person – my work day ends around 6 or 6:30pm. On an especially inspired day, I would work until 8, but never later. The research happened sometimes, concurrently with the writing, on an as- needed basis.
In 15 days or so, I had crossed 40,000 words, went out of town for a wedding.
Upon my return, the last10,000 words were not the piece of cake I had expected. While I was able to pick up my routine, I had not thought the story through and had to really chew my pen for an interesting ending.
Next time, while I shall reprise the dry fruits, the fave comfy clothes and the teas and the coffee (and occasional brandy), my priority will be to think through several alternate plots even before I begin.
Good luck to all those writing this year!
About Madhuri Maitra:
Madhuri Maitra is a teacher, a writer and a film enthusiast. She has written Haiku and other Micropoetry, an offering of about ninety short poems on nature, love and God. Her maiden novel Equinox (buy it here or here) is a slice-of-life that takes you all around India.
She teaches Creative Writing and Film Appreciation at Symbiosis International University; writes poetry, fiction and non-fiction; and devotedly watches as many celluloid offerings as her schedule allows.
She conducts Life Skills workshops under the umbrella of Dignity Foundation, an NGO for senior citizens. She also conducts training sessions in English and Soft Skills.
Currently, she is planning her travelogue and she continues to savor the pure joy of reading, writing, praying and living.