[Link to TaleSpin]
– Thoughtful Thestral
I am a story, and this is my first sentence.
“Four double-three”, the worker shouted, and TT held up his hand. He received his coffee, and started sipping with lines of worry clearly visible on his forehead. He was sitting opposite Govan, who was having his regular evening samosa.
TT started the conversation, “I am trying to write a story for Talespin, you know, the writing competition in the LitFest, but I’m running short of ideas. Would be a great help if you could suggest some.”
Govan asked, “How much have you written already? Care to share a few lines?”
TT replied, “It’s just about 8-9 lines so far. I am a story, and this is my first sentence. “Four double -three”,… ”
When TT had finished, Govan looked him in the eye and reprimanded him, “Why are you being so bland? He said this, he replied, and everything. Make it interesting. Include details. At least create a proper setting for your readers to relate to.”
So I am dull. I guess I just insulted myself.
TT took a sip and looked around. He was in his Hall canteen, having his evening coffee and snack. I shouldn’t be repetitive, it’s a bad practice. The canteen was bustling with activity. Cliches demonstrate a lack of original construction. It was close to sunset: mellow rays of the departing sun provided an accessory illumination to the place. Plagiarism is a condemnable offense.
The walls were painted with a dull yellow interspersed with orange and blue areas. A television set was mounted on one of the walls, playing a Bollywood music channel at that moment. Residents of the hall, some having just returned from classes, some having just woken up, and some who wanted a place for thoughtful conversations, like TT, were seated in chunks around black circular tables. Freshly prepared samosas and wadapavs filled the air with a delicious aroma. Pastries and cookies were available for the sweettoothed, sandwiches and “Little Hearts” for those in a hurry. Conversations on varied topics ranging from cricket to the budget were being carried out, Midsemester exam marks discussed, and Techkriti pranks were being planned.
Somewhere in the midst of all this, TT was searching for inspiration. A worker shouted, “Four two nine”, and came to Govan upon his handwaving to deliver his grilled sandwich. TT looked at his friend in exasperation, hoping for more comments and suggestions.
Govan said, after stuffing some bread in his mouth, “Create proper characters. Sketch them with the passion of a dramatist, but with the flow of a poet. Let them make an impression.” He proceeded to chew his meal slowly, relishing the mayo and the tomatoes. Govan had always been a gourmet. I think TT wrote the previous sentence only for aesthetic purposes.
“Ask rhetorical questions. Make the reader think and reflect.” Govan was never short of suggestions.
TT got up and walked out to get some fresh air. Nature might inspire him, he hoped. He was on an edge of a properly cut out rectangle of greenery in the centre of the hall, popularly known as the “Quad”. He sat down on the grass, legs folded, elbows resting on his thighs, his hands supporting his chin. He tried to probe his mind for instances that could be penned down in an interesting manner.
Soon, he got distracted, absorbed in the worries of the impending quizzes and assignments. TT was that kind of a person he always had things on his mind that might be more fruitful than his present preoccupation, and the worries would drive him to reconsider spending time on all things creative. He speculated that majority of his energy must be wasted in thinking of doing things and their consequences, rather than actually getting things done. The thought made him feel sad and exhausted. If he couldn’t achieve a clear stream of thought, he wouldn’t be able to produce a coherent piece of writing.
Govan appeared in a while, and sat beside TT. He put his arm around the latter’s shoulder, and convinced him, “Come on, man. You have the ability to write a meaningful story with relatable characters, exciting twists and a language that leaves the readers spellbound. Just invoke your creative genius and start writing. What’s the topic by the way?”
TT took out his phone, opened Evernote and read out the topic, “But one can also choose to consider this entire composition as a topic in itself.”
“Sounds cool. But in writing about yourself trying to write something, aren’t you taking inspiration from a movie you watched recently? I can’t remember the name…”
“Yeah. It was called Adaptation. Kind of, yeah. But isn’t all writing just a reflection of reality, viewed through the author’s set of mirrors?” TT replied.
Govan lifted his chin and nodded. “You’re probably right.” The two of them started walking across the Quad, heading towards their rooms. TT was still lost in thought when Govan started speaking again, “Another point your story has a very plain start. I think an impactful story must have abrupt beginnings and endings. That makes it all the more effective.”