I am a writer, or atleast I think I am.
Anyway, this time my conundrum is – the deadline is fast approaching and my characters are reproaching.
Who are they reproaching?
I created them and you would think they would feel, if not utter servitude then atleast a modicum of respect for me.
Now, this ‘Sudhaji’, when I created her character, I had a five-hundred-word story in mind for the prompt ‘Crossroads’. Happily, I picked up my pen and started scribbling away on the paper. I had just finished my first sentence –
Everything was going according to the plan, so where did it go wrong? Sudha thought.
I was going to write a line or two about how utterly shattered she was. But, she refused to cooperate. Sudhaji wanted the whole rigmarole. She wanted me to describe, in detail, the agony she was going through and that too in as poetic and as metaphorical a language as I could.
I told her that this was a five-hundred-word story, not a novella. I couldn’t do a whole lot of show in such a restrictive count. But, she wouldn’t hear it. She refused to be written any further till we resolved the issue.
And, as if that was not enough, she insisted that I add her husband to the story too.
I smacked my forehead for I surely couldn’t smack hers. But I did glare at her name on the paper. She remained stoic and I bet, if she could, she would have stared back at me with droll expression.
It was like having a temper-tantrum-throwing-teenager.
‘I have two of those of my own, for real,’ I hissed at her. ‘I don’t need this from you.’
So, I picked up my pen and furiously started scribbling. After twenty minutes of scrawling thus, I felt I was half way through the word count. Now, I could devote the rest of the space to falling action and dénouement.
But to my utter horror, as I read, I realized that far from being at the crossroads, the couple were not even on the road.
Apparently, Sudhaji had been gazing out the window at the breaking dawn and ironically, she was not even looking at the beautiful sunrise as she was busy agonizing over her dilemma.
So, as the wise writers advise, I left the story for a few days. I hoped that abandonment would make Sudhaji behave. But sadly, that didn’t happen.
Forget them, I was at crossroads now.
Should I start afresh or should I cut down Sudhaji to her size? After all, in her paper-pen world, I was God. But no matter how much our children trouble us, we don’t throw them out, do we? So, how could I throw Sudhaji into the dustbin.
At this rate, it would be a miracle if my story even makes it to the competition as the last entry.
Am I a writer or not?
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