Category Archives: Existential Drama

Sneak peek into One Tick Madness

It has been arduous to say the least, crafting One Tick Madness.

More than a year has passed, since I started crafting my first novel. Caring the baby, every single day. Each word, each syllable it said was precisely planted to provide a visceral experience to the readers.

Unlike most novelists, I am not a scholar, neither I majored in Literature, nor a teacher. At best, I am a student who have been busy diving into the literary abyss. With each passing day, I am learning something new which was previously unknown to me. I am like the wide-eyed infant who has viewed a sea of balloons floating in a clear blue sky for the very first time.

While I learn to craft and implement my new-found vocabulary, literary devices, punctuations and prose, I am also betting against the odds of self-publishing my novel without anyone proof-reading it. It’s like releasing a movie without having an editor on board or a marketing team to release the teasers and trailers to excite the audience, in my case, the readers.

It’s not that I am over-confident with my novel, or my writing talent. It’s just the financial resources to hire an editor, that I have none. At this very moment, I am simply a man with limited access to resources. Thus, being limited to thyself. Limited to my own abilities, knowledge, and a yearn to continuously learn.

With this, I hereby present the The Anomaly (within One, but before Chapter 1) of One Tick Madness. And yes, these pages are fully crafted, and they are ready for being in the final ebook.

ONE TICK MADNESS

The Journey, thus far – Crafting One Tick Madness

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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 clouded 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 One Tick Madness 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, it formed in my head, then I typed and emailed myself the snippets through my iPhone, then I replicated the email on a document, I called ‘Notes_One Tick Madness’, and finally, I stitched it in my first draft. So, to clear my head from all this information, the detoxification 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 notice the world surrounding me. 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. In other words, 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 emails 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 wholesome experience. I am sure that by the end of this experience, the first draft of my next work, would be much better.

One Tick Madness… The title that invited me to write

Book Cover Creative

It’s been almost 36 months when I embarked on writing my first full length novel. It all started with a title that stuck in my head, like a gum on the sole of a boot. I tried to erase it from my system, but I failed.

So, I started writing.

The title was One Tick Madness. To authenticate its originality, I turned to Google. I found that the three letters of my title were disparately mentioned in varied contexts, but not together. I was happy with the fact that the title was indeed original.

Now, I had to do something about it. Think of a concept that would match the title. I dabbled in many mediums for presenting the title – like poetry, lyrics, prose, novella, screenplays and so forth. But, nothing seemed to stick, I was frustrated. At one point, I thought that like a bad episode, I would forget all about it. But it just didn’t leave me. It said to me only one thing, ‘Mister, you are wasting your time with me’.

‘Time’, I thought, is the common denominator of our lives. It is that dimension that practically sets everything into motion. One Tick Madness personified time, I thought. The thought then expanded, breathing life into a concept that would finally become the novel. It was, “What happens just before the clock strikes complete madness? What happens to the being who would disregard its surroundings, its reality the very next moment? What happens during that single tick? The answer was, “A lifetime happens”.

A few days later, someone met me in my dreams. I possess this unique ability to foresee situations, like a soothsayer. I don’t make money from it. It is mostly personal and therefore, not suitable to come up with worldly predictions. The person didn’t have a face or body.  I thought my mind conjured up a person from the future, who I will meet someday. But no, it was just there, hovering over my head, trying to say something to me, when I was in solitude. I asked him his name, he said, “Harry Dagleish”. I struck up a conversation with him. He started telling me about his life and being. It all sounded fantastical at first, but then madness is, right. But then slowly, I realized that Harry wanted to emit his life through One Tick Madness, and I was the medium. Now, it all came together, the title, Harry’s life story and time. It all became one.

I looked back at the time, when the title came to me. I then used to ask myself, “Why me?” Now, I know that something that was undone in the past, is supposed to be completed in this life. Mine is, “One Tick Madness”.