Monday, May 10, 2010

On Writing A Book

I started writing earnestly at the beginning of this year, after having been spurred on by a good friend and mentor who said I may be good at it.
Of course this was after she had read a piece I did called “Searching For Goodness”, about a guy who went around the world trying to spread love and peace and teach people that good can overcome evil.
It was quite a long book, some parts having him walking in the desert and other parts having him at the ocean or crossing rivers. Very scenic and descriptive. I couldn’t decide on an ending, since most books based on good people usually have them dying in the end, so after a long time of searching my mind for a possible ending, I came up with …..
Wait, hang on, I’m getting confused between my piece called “Searching For Goodness”, and The Bible.“Searching For Goodness” was actually based on a guy who lived alone in a tiny flat and lost his cat called Goodness. The guy was a nobody, and the cat was never found. The story was one page long. Yes, now I remember. Anyways, my good friend had read this one page story and thought it was brilliant. I clearly remember her using that word “Brilliant” to describe it, because the very next day when my nephew needed to take a book report to school, I offered him my one page story called “Searching For Goodness.” He failed, and never speaks to me again.
The people from Child Welfare didn’t think it was funny either.
I called my mom for emotional support, and all she said was “Just brilliant Fareed, just brilliant”, then put the phone down on me.That’s why I clearly remember my friends words.

Moving on.

So here I am again, at my second attempt at writing a novel.
I want it to be really intense, filled with drama, betrayal, tears, passion, sex, and everything else you’d find in Jamie Oliver’s cookbooks. My target is to go beyond 2 pages this time.
I’ve already thought of a title.
I’m going to call it “Excellent!”

The way I figure, when someone asks “Have you read Fareed Kaloo’s new book?” the natural response would be “Excellent?” and everyone around would think “Wow! I have to get my hands on that book if it’s that good!”

So that’s my masterplan.
Nothing ingenious like doing research, coming up with characters, doing storyboards, or anything tiresome and academic. I’m just going to take the simple road, the path less travelled by, the shortest distance between two points, and call my book “Excellent!”

I did have a few other options, like writing a political book since that seems to be the flavour of the day lately.Admittedly that would have required a lot more research, and would have to be more factual than I’m prepared to put the necessary effort into.I thought maybe a 20-something pager, with absolutely nothing written on those crisp white pages.
I’d call it “South Africa : An In-Depth Perspective During The Apartheid Years.”

So I sit here contemplating the many long hours ahead of me, just man and machine, typing away on my keyboard, churning out the highly anticipated best-seller, and truth is it makes me tired and hungry.

I think I’ll start the book tomorrow instead.
Right now, I’m going out for an Akhalwaya’s toasted steak and French polony special.
The pen may be mightier than the sword, but even Superman needs to eat.