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Ushasri Nannapaneni, 06 Oct '13


She is a writer. Her task at hand is to write a love story. Any kind from any genre. The only problem she has is that she has never written a love story or even a love letter in her life. Ever! She was neither in love with someone nor had a clue about love. Why do it then? Because a close friend bet his life saying, “You can’t write a love story.” She wants to prove him wrong and embarks on her journey.

As she muddles her way through the process of writing, she picks up Ramayana an Indian Epic romance to read to help her through the process. She was in love with the heroine of the story – Sita (MC) in her childhood. However, now at 42, she appreciates the character of Urmila (wife of one of the 3 brothers of Ram (hero of the story) more. Urmila’s journey was as painful as Sita. Also, Laxman (one of Ram’s Brothers and Urmila’s husband) is a better character compared to Ram.

As she is reading, critiques Ramayana, Its characters, their circumstances, inner workings of the characters veiled in their decisions and consequences to those decisions. Unknowingly, she picks Urmila and Laxman the lead characters for her love story. Ram and Sita become the second leads in her story.

The process leads her to complete her story plotting along with her critique.

She then sits down to write her story.

It is a story of 5 college friends. It is journeys of their lives in a time span of 14 years, their relations with each other, their love, betrayal and everything in between.
Jahnavi and Siya are the female characters. SriRam, Krishna and Naren are the males.
Who gets who? Why? And How?

That night as I prepared to go to bed, I thought of the task at hand and the bet.

Hmm, I have to write a love story. That is my mission and that too in a month. Tough call because I know nothing about love, as have I ever been in love. Ever! My primary genre of writing has always been historical fiction, political mystery, drama and even a thriller now and then. But that’s it. My imagination is limited to these areas. I have never written a romance or a love story. Unconsciously, I let out a curse word for indulging in such foolish banter with my friends that led to my predicament. I went a couple of hours back in time and recalled how it all began.

David, Uma, Venu and Farhan, my old pals from school came to visit me one Saturday afternoon. We were in the living room discussing and taking about anything and everything under the sun and laughing, and Farhan asked me, “So what are you working on?”

“A Political drama with mystery undertones.”


“I said, “Thanks, guys for all your help with my previous novel – Devil in a White Coat.”

“You are welcome.”

I looked at Uma and said, “A special thanks to you for editing all my countless pages filled with junk to gems.”

She gave a dramatic pose of a Victorian bow and said, “You are very welcome.”

“Guys, you know, I really feel privileged to have friends like you. You are my support system, my guides, my biggest critiques, supporters, and above all great friends. You brain storm with me when I have a writers’ block and what we come up with after that is pretty amazing. Characters, situations, come alive.” I said.

Venu said, “It gets my creative juices flowing as well. I am stuck in a cubical with a computer all day at work and this is my happy place. “

“I agree. I am at my hotel all day and go home to what? A bickering and suspicious wife? I feel free here.” said David.

There was Godly silence in the room for a few minutes.

Farhan looked at me and said, “I have been thinking about this for some time now. I write only romances and everything that can be catalogued under the heading of love. And you write everything else except love.”

“Yaa, so?”

He said, “I thought, what if you wrote a love story and I wrote a psychological thriller.”

Uma said, “You writing a suspense thriller? Forget it. Your logic is so poor. You cannot connect 1 and 2 in a sequence and wants to write a thriller!”

Venu said, “Hey not a bad idea. It’ll push your boundaries of creativity. I like the idea. I am no writer but I’d like to do it too. "

David said, “In fact, let’s all do it. I have never written a book but sure we can give it a shot.”

“I can’t. With a three year old, all the chores at home and Ravi’s schedules I don’t think I can do it. Won’t work for me, “ said Uma.

Farhan said, “Of course you can. We’ll help you achieve your target. Set a couple of hours aside for the task everyday so that you can work religiously on your book. Do it when kiran is taking her afternoon nap or something or after she goes to bed at night.”

After some persuasion, she said, “Okay, I am in. Would love to give it a shot.”

"That's the spirit."

I said, “If everyone wants to do it, we need to set some ground rules for the task. How about 50,000 words in 30 days? ”

Venu said, “That’s a lot of words woman!”

“Nah, I am sure you can do it. I have faith in your creative talents. You come up with the best one liners for characters,” said David.

“Thankyou, Thankyou.”

David looked at Uma and said, “Lets pick our genres. I’ll write a science fiction and you all know why?”

We all said, “Because you are technologically challenged.”

Uma said, “You’re unbelievable. You didn’t know how to send an SMS until your son taught you. Nevertheless, I’d love to see what you come up with.”

“All of us know how to write a synopsis, how to use either a snowflake method or a Dan Wells method of plotting a story. We can take about a month to prepare an outline for our stories and on first of December, we embark on our journey.”

David said, “And welcome the new year 2014 with our books. I am super excited.”

Venu said, “Me too. I’ll write a Children’s book.”

Farhan said, “Oh man, be careful. When we brain storm for a character or a situation, your input always is so dark and devious. Your characters are fought with so much pain and sourness. Don’t bring too much cynicism into a kid’s book. They need hope for the future. Keep a check on that.”

“I agree” said, Uma.

“Okay. Here is the list.
Uma- Historical Fiction. We all know how much she hates to read history.
Farhan- Psychological Thriller.
David- Science Fiction.
Venu- Children’s Book
Me – Love Story.

All the very best to everyone. This is so cool. I seriously needed this boost for my writing. Thanks Farhan for coming up with the idea.”

David said, “Yours is a love story nah? Hmm, I can bet my life on it that you can’t write a love story. What do you say guys?” And looked at everyone, trying to garner support for his argument.

“Really, why?” came my defensive question.

Comments · 1

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  • Ushasri Nannapaneni said...

    @All: Here is a story I am working on. Please feel free to come by, read and rip everything apart.

    • Posted 7 years ago