CBC 12×12 update – Feb month’s chapter book IS….. COMPLETE!
Phew. I am not saying it was difficult. It was crazy. Because I tried to write a chapter book in Tamil (my mother tongue), and – I hate it when this happens – it made me realize that I am all that – NOT.
I was originally scheduled to work on another book, but perhaps I should accept that the list is going to be redundant. Because my muse is listening to no list now. She writes what she wants to write. And she wanted to write HOME BEFORE DARK in my mother tongue, and that’s what I did… in FREEHAND.
Not for the fainthearted. Double phew.
You may notice that the last couple of weeks I had re-blogged other posts a lot. Because I was not online, I was manually writing my story! I didn’t have tamil keyboard, so there was no choice really… and I salute everyone, the bestselling authors of yesteryears especially, who wrote their masterpieces in freehand.
Some things I learned while writing this month’s chapter book:
1. I thought I should be faithful to the language and translate it as is. Of course, I was also lazy – it’s easier to blindly translat (no thought process involved!). But when I attempted to, it didn’t feel right. My head actually started aching, and I felt very, very bored.
2. So I did the next best thing. I had an advantage over your garden variety translator – I was also the author of the book. I threw away the english copy, and started writing the story in tamil. To my surprise I found that this was much easier than translating. Since I was not forced to to stick to the blueprint, the freedom to change/fine-tune incidents, scene sequences, and character portrayals was exhilarating.
2. HOME BEFORE DARK is the story of a cat’s journey through Chennai, my home town, so while writing the Tamil version, I didn’t have to think too hard for setting and description… I could assume that Tamil readers know what I am talking about (while writing the English version, I had to constantly keep in mind that the book had to be understood by non-Tamil speaking readers, and write accordingly).
3. I didn’t want to use unruled notebooks (I end up doodling the entire page with baby eyes and flowerpots), so I started to write in a ruled notebook. But whatdayaknow, I just couldn’t stand those lines – they were like barriers to my thought process and they made me sleepy (yes, I know, something is not right in my head. But that’s another post). So I went back to unruled books.
4. I had FUN renaming my characters! Gramps became Perusu, Tracks became Signal, 190 became Nooradi and Unicorn Enclave became Myna Apartments. My fellow Tamilians will appreciate this point better :). Another lesson… if I explain every little thing, the essence is lost, sigh.
5. The finished book had the same plot as the english version, but not the same dialogues. Not even the same tone. It was slightly different from the original version, in a better way.
Moral of the Month: I should start writing in my mother tongue.