The seed for this series, ‘one post a day’ was implanted three months ago. Professor ON, a character from the story I was writing, was hard to decode, played a pivotal role, but didn’t exhibit any desires. He was one of my favorite character in that script but his lack of desire was fatal to the story. Every character must want something in a story. That is an obligatory rule. It can be as primal as a crow seeking water or as cliché as prince rescuing the princess. But, Professor ON didn’t exhibit any desires.
I was stumped and his character was too prominent to drop from the story. The story had lots of beautifully crafted scenes with him but they didn’t lead him anywhere. The world of writing isn’t new to this infatuations with characters; the constant echo and most frequent advice in the world of fiction are — ‘kill your favorites’. It is brutal but effective. Your story sometime needs the sour tasting medicine of death to move forward.
I was learning a lot through my characters. As a writer, you have to learn constantly so your characters don’t look stupid. I was still not done learning from ON. I knew that killing him was the best and prescribed the course of action. Meanwhile, I still wanted to know his story. He was like an old-wise man from mythologies—eccentric and mysterious—but always right in the end. He still had rituals and routines that defined him. So, I decided to take advantage of this trait and gave him a year to live—366 days—starting September 16th. All he had to do was to maintain a journal till the time runs out.
To make it easier, I started to carry a notebook exclusively for his journal. someday the ink bleed marathon lasting 42 pages; someday it only gushed and marked the date. This experiment did reveal a lot about ON and more will follow as he progresses forward the first quarter of his ultimate journey. The accompanied learning for me was the perks of consistency and habits. I will share the details in future posts but there is one thing worth mentioning at the beginning of this series—creation is addictive and completion ecstatic.
“After nourishment, shelter, and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world”—Philip Pullman.
The only way to prove something wrong (or right) is to keep replicating it. This series is my attempt to replicate the ON experiment. I will be sharing a story every day for a month. Stories that are personal, defining and often revealing. The rules for this series is simple—post daily; stay under 500 words and publish. Here goes ‘Day-I’ of being curiously consistent.