05 November, 2015

#Interview with Pankaj Giri, #Author F.L.A.K.E

About the Author:

Pankaj Giri was born and brought up in Gangtok, the capital city of the scenic state of Sikkim. He did his B.E. in Computer Science from a reputed engineering college in Bangalore. He worked in several software companies before moving on to his native place after an unforeseen incident. Simultaneously, he completed a correspondence course, M.S. in Software Systems from BITS Pilani.  He initiated his writing career by creating a blog on Fictional Cricket a few years back and has written several articles for popular cricket website HoldingWilley.com. He is currently working in the government sector. He likes to kill time by listening to progressive metal music and watching cricket.

Contact Him:
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The Middle Path

Adopting the middle path in language is a bitter lesson that I’ve learnt in my short writing career. Let me narrate my writing journey to enlighten you:

Initially, when I completed the first draft of my book, I was relatively satisfied with the end product. The writing style and language was average. There was a lot of scope of improvement; there still is, by the way. Anyway, the sentences were very short and my language was straightforward and easy to understand. 

However, one by one, my manuscript started to get rejected by publishers, left, right, and center. I was truly dejected. I, certainly, couldn’t understand the reason behind the rejection. At that point, I couldn’t change the plot; the only thing I could change was the language and writing style. I didn’t know that it was the plot that was the culprit, not the language. Changing the writing style took a back seat and enhancing the language took priority. Why? Because it was easier!

The other reason why I chose to enhance my language was that I was disillusioned (of the fact that simplicity is the best policy) by several reviews of books in popular review sites like Goodreads and Amazon. Works of debut authors and even popular writers like Chetan Bhagat, Ravinder Singh were totally disregarded as ones containing “juvenile” language or dismissed by comments like “it seems as if an fifth standard student has written this”. I also happened to read a book named “Once upon a crush” by Kiran Manral. She’s used heavy, flowery vocabulary in that novel. He work was praised by a few reviewers, lauding it by saying:  

“Highly recommended over those Chetan Bhagat books, if you want your teenage daughter to start reading present Indian writers, especially for the use of language;”

By that time, the thought (of using heavy vocabulary to impress publishers) had got embedded in my mind. I wanted to make it happen, come what may. My vocabulary was minimal, so I started searching for synonyms for simple words and replacing them by their heavier alternatives. It worked, too, not only to improve the quality of my manuscript (which I thought at that time), but also to improve my vocabulary. Soon, it became an obsession – a disgusting habit. Little did I know what I was actually doing – cluttering my simple manuscript with difficult to comprehend, illegible words. I even started using archaic words for style and uniqueness. 

By the time I realized this folly when one of the reputed reviewers in Goodreads ripped my work ruthlessly, it was too late. It still took time for the understanding to sink in. Now, however, I think I have realized the difference between juvenile and flowery language. There is a middle path. It is perhaps called simple or lucid language. Let me give you an example (it’s just my opinion; I may be wrong) to illustrate my point:

Juvenile/5th standard:
I went to the market with her. It was too cold. I was shaking. I felt like going to party that night.

I accompanied her to the market. It was extremely chilly; I trembled like a leaf. I felt like partying tonight.

I chaperoned her to the emporium. It was mucho gelid. I was teetering. I felt like jollifying tonight.     
I think you understand the difference now. I, certainly, am not an expert in the language, but this is what I have understood till now. I may or may not be right. The conclusion is that writers should always try to adopt the middle path (Simple/Lucid writing). I can’t change my first book in which my language borders towards Flowery (but only sometimes, not always), but I’ve realized my mistake and have tried my best to walk the middle path in my second book which I’m writing now. I would like to wish good luck to all debut writers. Hope this helps you.  

About the Book:
Friendship, Love and Killer Escapades (FLAKE) is a captivating story, primarily revolving around four protagonists pursuing engineering courses in a run-of-the-mill institute in Bangalore. The story encompasses a unique, intriguing, realistic love plot between Purvesh and Richa, numerous escapades, and thrilling adventures. Throughout the four-year roller-coaster, the academic and personal fortunes of the chief personas fluctuates à la the great Indian stock market! 

What impact will the inscrutable character, Anand, have in the lives of Prakash and the other protagonists? Will Purvesh and Richa succeed in sustaining their relationship over time? Will Prakash be able to transcend the stage of infatuation and eventually fall in love? What predicaments will Prakash and friends encounter in the academic journey? Read more to find out. 

Ready, FLAKE, Go!

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