Plot: Can Tracks the station cat overcome his fear of trains and save the day?
Status: THE END! For CBC 12×12, four books completed, 8 to go!
Yep, this is the book I was supposed to write in January 2014. I am a little more than 100 days late, but better late than ever, huh?
Lessons learnt from this month’s chapter book:
1. Writing from memory is a great starting point, but you need to really do some location travel and research if you want your book to be authentic. I actually thought I would be able to write a full length chapter based on my still-clear recollections of train travels as a child and an young adult!
Once I saw how hollow some of my descriptions felt, I had to actually spend a few hours in Saidapet Train station (the main setting of this story) and and take the train from there to the main train station of Chennai, called as the Central, where the climax happens (at the hour of writing this post, there were twin bomb blasts at Central 😦 ). It was the best decision, because times have changed – it had been some years since I took a train (in India), and I was able to appreciate and keep in mind the differences and evaluate how they should be played out in the tale.
2. A small minority called the Kuravas, commonly referred as Sparrow Hunter in my mother tongue, form a big part of this story. I was raised to fear them (Helicopter parents, please desist!) so it took some time for me to step away from my prejudiced mind, but once that happened, I was able to really do justice to them in my story. I also got to learn about the real plight of the Kurawas and am exploring options how to help them, at least passively (my skills as a scribe come to mind!)
3. A little bit every day goes a long way. I wrote this book a page a day, a paragraph the next day and so on – and as a result, it is a hot mess that needs a lot of editing, but hey… at least I have something to edit! – because April was swamped with deadlines – with a new job, my writing time has shrunk drastically but funny thing is, I was now forced to “make” time instead of just searching for and finding it, and by God! If you can really are determined, you can indeed make time for anything you want to do 🙂
So, if ever you meet me somewhere, some time, don’t EVER tell me that you’d have written a book too, if only you had the time!