Since the New Year is the time for plans and resolutions, we asked some writers what their plans were. This is the first of a two-part post.
I’ve ended 2017 in a new home with a new table overlooking a patch of green with light gently filtering in. And after months of getting all that in order, I am looking forward to sitting there and tapping away on my keyboard with immense possibilities of carpal tunnel flare up.
My writing plans include:
Work on a new series called the Good Indian Child’s Guide.
The next History Mystery.
Finding a home for a picture book that’s already been written so some work around that.
I have a long-standing commitment to a first draft that’s in my computer. I’m not sure if it is ready to be shown but it is my number one “I have to get back to it at the earliest” manuscript.
I’ve also had an idea for a new series bouncing away in my head for two years now so I’d really like to explore that further.
And I want to write another picture book. I have this picture book writing itch. I just don’t know what it will be about as yet!
Now, if I can get to even two of those, I’ll be thrilled.
These days, my head feels like Chef D’s kitchen–a great big mess, brimming with fresh produce and cluttered with last week’s dirty dishes, with all kinds of things stewing and bubbling and baking away, while a chubby weirdo with giant teeth prances around, eating cake and singing horribly out of tune– oh, wait a minute, that weirdo is me. So 2018 will, I hope, be a year packed with enough writing projects to clear up, if not that entire room, at least enough mental counter space for me to perch upon while I eat some chocolate and think of … well, more writing projects. (Yes,yes, confusing images, I know: mental counters, cranial dish washing, me sitting on a ledge inside my own head, munching away–I did say it was a messy room.)
For starters,there will be the next instalment of the Ninja Nani adventures. I have some picture book and chapter book ideas I would like to develop, and a longer, middle grade fantasy set in the Himalayas, that has been quietly waiting its turn while I sang and pranced–er, finished other books–this year. As I enjoy writing short stories and making comics, I also hope to contribute to a few fiction and graphic anthologies.
Much prancing, off-key singing, cooking–and eating–awaits!
I have just started working on a novel for teens on the theme of poaching of tigers. It is about four youngsters who go on a visit to a jungle on the Himalayan slopes. There they are a witness to the heinous crime and take it upon themselves to bust the racket. The first draft should be ready by March end.
I have been researching for a book which would deal with the rather sensitive and controversial issue of sexual offences against children. It will be based on a few case studies (fictional) and would focus on how the parents and society actually react and ideally how they should. The POV would be entirely the child’s and the target audience would be nine to thirteen years. I will include a segment on the salient features of the POCSO act. The Act would be presented in a simple way, minus the jargon and legalese. I am hoping to complete the book by June 2018.
Resolutions are meant to be broken!!! Rules are made to be bent! That’s how my writing schedule is every year …
But that’s how life is! Unexpected! Unknown!
Every year I think of things that I want to do and do the unexpected then.
This year I have set no goals! I am just going to take things as they come, and my only aim and resolution is to WRITE! READ! WRITE! Instead of having a set plan, I will take each day as it comes unfolding its pleasure of writing and creating something that each child would love to hold!!
Shruthi Rao writes a letter to herself
I know you had a pretty good 2017, but if you want to look back on 2018 with satisfaction, there are some things you need to do. Here are ten suggestions.
1. Release the story ideas elbowing one another in your head.
2. Forgive yourself if the stories on paper don’t look as good as they did in your head.
3. Don’t edit as you write. Write first. Edit later. I know, I know. Just promise me you’ll try, alright?
4. Reduce mid-writing snack-and-tea breaks from fifty per day to a more decent number. Shall we say, ten, to begin with?
5. Stop referring to time spent on social media as “research”.
6. Stop referring to watching Netflix as “research”.
7. Make a poster to hang over your writing desk with the words: “Exercise makes you write better.” You know it does.
8. Read less. Write more … Wait–Who am I kidding? Strike that. Just try and read more widely.
9. Don’t waste time analySing if “Who am I kidding” is right, or if it is “Whom am I kidding” (Refer to Point 3).
10. Once you write something, SEND IT OUT. Don’t hide it in your laptop. Let it see the light. Let it fail, if necessary. I know it is scary, but do it anyway.
This is not a resolution. Resolutions are for people with spines and I am on the side of the invertebrates, where there are more limbs per person and the scenery is better. What this is is ambitious, a large and hopeful list of things I want to write (though not necessarily finish writing) in 2018:
A paper full of words like “aporia” and “discombobulated”
A picture book
A book with no pictures
A limerick or two, with raggedy pictures
A book with some pictures, a scaredy boy, and maybe a whiff of an aurochs
More pun-itive action for boring sentences
I have an uncanny appetite to write