Thursday, 31 May 2012


Dimrael is a fictional country I made up for 'Unexplained Disappearances'. It's in located in West Asia. It comes in the story after Beijing, when Aria finally finds out the dark truth behind her brother's disappearance. It is considered one of the unsafest places in the world, but for Aria and her group, it's the safest refuge they could find.

Here is what Aria says about the political conditions of Dimrael-

You’d have to be living in a cave to know just how war-torn Iyael was. Even I, who wasn’t big on newspapers and news channels, knew that it rained white phosphorus in Iyael. It was at war with a neighboring country over a small strip of land that they both shared. The land was multi-cultural and multi-religious, and since the two countries had been divided on cultural and religious lines, it was a matter of controversy which country the area belonged to. For two nations the size of two small Indian states, their war was pretty gruesome, taking thousands of lives every year and prohibiting any development in an area which once used to be the cradle of West Asian civilization.

Dimrael is also the stuff of fantasy of folklore, because hundreds of years ago, when a powerful army of Roban was slowly spreading it's control over Asia, Dimrael and its neighbors had been successful in bringing it down. The downfall of Roban changed the path the world was expected to follow, and Dimrael became a part of legend.

In the present day, Dimrael is just a worn torn country. Aria is deeply moved by the stories of destruction in Dimrael. It is this emotional attachment to Dimrael that brings about an irrevocable change in her. The rest of the story follows the new Aria, who is many times braver than the Aria that leaves home to search for her brother.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Places In My Mind

Have you ever used fictional places in your stories? A lot of writers do it all the time (Hogwarts, Panem and so on) while others stick to real places. In 'Unexplained Disappearances' I have done something that falls in neither category- I have used both real and fictional places.

The real places are India, Bangladesh and China. You might ask why I'd want to add countries to the world that don't really exist. It's because there are some things that happen in my book that have never happened in any real country, and I didn't want to manipulate history. It just feels like a really big responsibility you say The Republic of so-and-so once was the home of drug dealer and bandits, that the So-and-so civilization was wiped out thank to the villain of my story.

Do you think it works? It worked for Princess Diaries, an American from San Fransisco, where Mia Thermopolis discovers she's the princess of a country called Genovia which doesn't really exist. But I admit it can get a little confusing sometimes. Some things are real and some are not. I hope I figure it out soon enough, so I can write a good novel

Meanwhile, I've been reading Catching Fire and I LOVE it! I'll keep you updated about the fictional places I created in my next post. Till then, have a nice read!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Another Excerpt from Unexplained Disappearances

“Ready?” asked Lahiri in an accent which didn’t betray his lack of knowledge in English. None of us nodded or said ‘yes’, but he still ordered the boatman to row. I held the side of the boat tightly with my hand as a hollow feeling emptied my stomach.

For just one second, I hallucinated and on afterthought, I deduced it was because of the tiredness. I saw myself standing at the river bed, smiling. I looked like I did last year, before Kartik was lost. And just as abruptly as it had come, my vision of myself vanished. I instantly realized what my vision had been about- as I drifted away from the river bed, I not only drifted away from my country, but also from a part of myself.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Desperately Seeking Critique

In every successful writer's life, there comes a point where newspapers and book critics shower him or her with tons of praise, where it becomes clear their book will be on the bestseller's list for at least four weeks, when the satisfaction of having one's work read finally seeps into their life after years of hard-work and anticipation.

But before all that comes a point when a writer needs to find somebody to critiques his work with such brutal honesty that he is first moved to tears and then sits down in front of his computer to make the second draft a million times better than the first.

In the past, I have had crit partners and this is how our arrangement worked- we sent each other our work and once we were done reading, we sent each other feedback. Unfortunately, it appears all my crit partner, who are a lot older than I am, are now busy with jobs and family, which means I will now have to find another literary friend to help me see flaws in my manuscript.

So, here's an open invitation to one and all- if anybody has any free time in the twenty-four hours of the day, please, please, please read the first part of my book and tell me what you think. In return, I'd be happy to help you out in any way I can, as long as it's not illegal or immoral (okay, so the last part was meant as a joke). I could really use the help of some avid readers right now, and hopefully, by next month, I can start work on my second draft with the purpose of polishing my manuscript as much as possible.