Monday, October 3, 2011

Everything is copy

Globe-trotting is definitely not conducive to fiction writing. I need a certain level of boredom to get lost in my own imagination, and India is definitely not boring. But oh, the material ...

I have always been leery of using actual human beings as inspiration for fictional characters. No matter how sympathetic the portrayal, it still feels like exploitation. Otherwise, the neighbor who recently told me and my late-returning roommates to go on and have a good rest so she could beat us in the morning would definitely have a place in my next project.

The city of Delhi itself has a beautifully post-apocalyptic feel sometimes. (This, coming from me, is a compliment, and I hope will be taken as such). The gorgeous crumbling architecture, the ever-hungry pariah kites wheeling overhead, the very modern police officers guarding ancient ruins—all this contributes to an atmosphere that cries out for some epic plot to hurtle through its streets.

One element that definitely belongs in a film, rather than a novel, is the beautifully enunciated station announcements on the metro. If the authorities were not (with reason) so paranoid about attacks on public transportation, I would try to capture the perfect Anglo-Indian elocution of the two announcers on my voice recorder. But the recorder would have to be held right against a speaker to get decent sound quality, and I am too much of a coward to do anything so peculiar in public, for fear of being hauled away for questioning.

Here endeth my observations for the week. I'm still debating whether or not to attempt National Novel Writing Month this year. It would be very hard to do, combined with the commitments I've made to do some volunteer work in November. But I hate to put it off a whole year.

I might just cheat: Instead of starting a new project, do a rewrite of that awful novel I abandoned four months ago. (Was it four months? Who knows.) I'm not sure I'll even have time for that. But perhaps it's worth a shot.


  1. I have decided that the world would be a better (by which I mean more entertaining for me) place if you were to stop caring about the feelings of other people so much.

  2. Yes, well, excising my chickenheart is a work in progress.