This September marks one year of the publishing of my first book, Through the Mist. It’s been an unparalleled experience of working with a diverse team. The book is not just a collection of short stories; it involved working with four other authors to finish the stories. It wasn’t only writing but also switching points of view; thinking not just of the reader but also the writer who was going to complete my story.
Through the Mist, a collection of five stories, written by five authors was a unique idea to start with. The starting point of each story was a picture. Each author started a different story, a different genre, with a set of characters that she liked. Then that story was handed over to the next author for her to take the story forward. The process repeated itself till each story had been written by all five authors.
So, we got five stories born out of the rich imagination and diverse experiences of the authors. Even though we all looked at the same picture, we had very different takes. The protagonists and the settings were wildly different from each other.
Languish in Love is a love story with a twist. It is narrated by a poet who is searching for his long lost love. It meanders through bitter sweet memories till he is on the verge of finding his love.
A Middle Class Story is just that; the story of a middle class family, with typical middle class aspirations especially when it comes to marriage and looking for a life partner. It could be a commentary on social values but it is a good laugh riot.
The Lone Man portrays fear and loneliness from the loss of a partner which soon descends to chilling horror when John finds the mysterious book in the library he works at.
A Strange Life has Aarya, struggling to climb the corporate ladder and who finds herself slipping into an alternate reality when she encounters a strange dwarf who guides her to psychics.
Turn of the Tides is the story of the mightiest element of nature, the sea and of the men who are at the mercy of her power.
The five stories were overseen by the in house editor who made sure that the stories were coherent, that the expressions did not vary widely and there was a smooth flow in the narration.
It has been a labour of love, right from the putting together of the team to publishing the final product.
Collaboration: A Supportive Process
Writing can be a very lonely process. For me, the story arc gets intimidating. I spend too much time in creating the setting. My characters need a lot of space to develop. I flounder at ending stories; I just can’t seem to get to the finish line.
In this entire process of writing Through the Mist, I was supported by my team. The photo acted as a prompt. Even though it showed a mountain, my mind imagined a sea beyond that mist. This helped me create a two-protagonist story with alternating point of view, both in the first person narrative.
For the other stories, it became easier to take over the baton. The setting was there, the characters had been introduced, I only had to write the next part. This was helpful because I can get quite indecisive about which direction the story should take.
Ending another story was challenging because I had to unravel a mystery and explain the loose ends. But the hard work done by all the authors before me helped.
The editor took care of the flow of the story. I really did not have to worry about how the pieces of the puzzle fit together.
Immense Gratitude and Thanks to every person in my team. Jithin, who conceptualised the idea and gave all the five authors their first published book. Aadhira, who worked tirelessly over the months, co-ordinating, editing and smoothing out obstacles.
My four excellent co-authors, Abirami, Aadithya, Nimitha and Rupali who helped me in giving direction to stories and tying up the ends neatly.
Holding the paperback in my hands was well worth the effort of the preceding months.
If you would like to read this unique book, you can buy the paperback from the Publisher.
Kindle edition lovers, buy the book from Amazon.
You can read the book free on Kindle Unlimited.
This post is part of #MyFriendAlexa. I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter.