Thursday, April 18, 2013

On Finishing Chapter Seventeen!

Actually to let the world know, erm, that we are making slow and painful progress on the novel. Finished Chapter Seventeen at the Cafe Coffee Day's Cafe in Belapur, New Bombay last night. Only three more chapters to go. Yay! CCD's Cafes are a good place to be in, a bit tony, if you ask us. They take orders from the table and there's no number card to be carried back to the table. Hm. That's a good improvement from the ordinary CCD joint. 

But there were a few business types in ties [actually they were wimpy looking fat men with unshaven chins and fat midriffs] with business talk about "verticals" and "customer satisfaction." Come on, men, who are you kidding? In today's "sell at all costs" paradigm whoever thinks of "customer satisfaction." No customer is ever satisfied, you hear, loudmouth, fat ass. We must say the talk got on our nerves.

Let us explain painful. Yes, it's been a bit painful with the medical complaints we have. We have got some remission with the nature cure ashram we had in Kerala. But the adjunct is that we can have only non-vegetarian food, can't have rice, can't have fish, no, not even eggs. We love all these and eggs are one of our favourites. On the positive side, we must say we feel good about not taxing our body with a lot of animal fats and proteins and we feel light through the day. Additionally, we have to do one hour of yoga and one hour walking every morning. We learnt basic Yoga when we were at this ashram and we think it is a good way of keeping the body flexible. [We meant to write about the ashram experience in detail, but then decided the novel requires more concentration than that.] We have been sticking to this strict regimen and, therefore, writing becomes difficult. Hope that explains the "painful" part. Sorry, wrong word, I should change that to "satisfying."

Also, we think, we have nearly found a competent editor for our novel. It's important at this stage to get the novel professionally edited for minor errors and bloopers which might upset an editor at the agents' or publishers'. 

John is @johnwriter on Twitter and John.Matthew on Facebook. He blogs here. His Youtube Channel Page. His novel Mr. Bandookwala, M.B.A., Harvard.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Do Women Make Better Writers, Editors, Publishers, and Readers of Novels?

Here's what Alexandra Pringle, chief editor, Bloomsbury has to say about fiction for women by women. Hell, she is right. Mostly novels are written, edited, published, and read by women. Come to think of it why didn't I notice it before, though I had a premonition about it. Most editors I know are women, and when I walk into a book store mostly it is women who crowd around the fiction shelves and men, if at all, the management and self-development books. (I used to think, misguidedly, that a man can change his life with a book, just as if Rome can be built in a day! Hehe!) And majority of the men in publishing are beat salesmen who go from store to store.

That opens a Pandora's box of doubts in this humble hack's mind. Are women more sensitive, concerned, emotionally intelligent, compassionate, or, what? Are they better at understanding the human condition than their better halves. A novel is after all an intelligent work and requires some empathy and maturity to understand it. Which a man lacks? Oh no! Might just be true. Ask your husband/boyfriend to name a novel he has read and ask him to name the protagonist. Just try this out. 

John is @johnwriter on Twitter and John.Matthew on Facebook. He blogs here. His Youtube Channel Page. His novel Mr. Bandookwala, M.B.A., Harvard.