I completed writing four hundred and sixty pages of One Tick Madness (OTM) on 26th December, 2015. Then, I went through a phase of detoxification – getting rid of all those characters, scenarios, prose, structure, literary devices that had clogged my head. In order to do so, I watched a lot of movies during the period of riddance. It was required, it was important for my well-being, and for the well-being of the OTM universe.
It took me almost three and a half years to conjure up the universe, part by part. I don’t like to follow a writing schedule, because for me, it is like assembly line ideating. I am more of the experiential kind. Observing my surroundings, faint flashes of fantastical elements, things like that. So, at first, ideas formed were typed and emailed as snippets through my iPhone. I collated all the ideas on a document called ‘Notes_One Tick Madness’. And finally, like a dressmaker, I stitched these disparate ideas into coherent plots in my first draft. After the gruelling process of writing my first draft, the detoxification period was the need of the hour.
After the phase of detoxification, which lasted for four days, I read the first draft in its entirety, which lasted for another period of four days. Yes, four hundred and sixty pages in four days. I would be so engrossed that I wouldn’t care to notice the world passing by. I was engrossed, not because, the first draft was a compelling read, but because, I was meticulously fishing out holes in the structure, prose and grammar, in my head. I didn’t bother to jot down the observations, because I wanted to feel how the whole thing felt, from the start to the end.
A singular word described the wholesome experience of my first draft. It was – MECHANICAL. The whole structure felt mechanical. Though the central plot, sub-plots, and bookends were intriguing, but I hit a new low, as I couldn’t relate or feel ENOUGH. My brother would notice me shaking my head in disgust, as I read my work. He could feel my pent up frustration towards my work. I was a dissatisfied reader. I needed another phase of detoxification.
During this phase, I read some books, watched a lot of movies, read a lot of articles. Practically, I did things, just to keep myself away from the OTM universe. This lasted for another six days. When I had cleared my head to the point, where I was about to forget how it all began, I dived back into the OTM universe. This time, I was ready. Ready to ditch, scratch, delete any lame prose, grammar, repetitions, nonsensical sub-plots, and most of all, the lack of feeling.
Now, I am in the phase of editing OTM. Well, I don’t like the word editing. I would rather say, Crafting. I am methodically crafting each word, each sentence, each structure that would add the feeling and a sense of relatability to OTM. After each crafting exercise, I use Adobe’s Read Aloud function to hear how it sounds, as if hearing an audio-book, without the stress of emotional parlance.
As I type this post, I have managed to craft and traverse through eighteen pages of the OTM universe in ten days. Four hundred and forty two pages to go. And, it took me just four days to read the whole thing. Such is the level of craftsmanship that I am employing. I must say, it hasn’t been an easy journey, but I have learnt a lot, and now, I write better than before. I don’t know how much time it would take to finish crafting OTM, but I know for one, it is going to be a exciting journey. I am certain that by the end of this experience, the first draft of my next work would be much better.