The Owl on the Pergola – journal 190511

Mallick_Ghat_Flower_Market,_Kolkata_03

There is a sense of satisfaction and (let’s be honest) relief at having completed and printed out the first draft of my latest novel, “The Owl on the Pergola”. The manuscript is now with my most trusted reader for her verdict – fingers crossed. The first couple of chapters have elicited the comment ‘Colourful’ which is encouraging as far as it goes. The photograph shows one of the locations in which the novel is set, so colourful is probably fair!

I’ve enjoyed living with the characters day by day for the last six months, and, while I shall still be working with them as I edit the book, it won’t be in quite the same way. You see, I now know how the novel ends – yes, that’s right, I honestly didn’t know how it would end until I wrote the last page! Even if editing changes the story appreciably, I shall never again walk beside the characters as they discover who they are and what they can achieve. I shall miss that.

A milestone reached!

I have at last finished the first draft of my latest novel. The first 50,000 words were finished under the stimulus of NaNoWriMo – thank you to everyone who supports that endeavour, and to Gabi who was my writing buddy. It’s taken me since then to write the next 60,000 words, giving me a completed manuscript of 112,000 words. The working title is “The Owl on the Pergola”

Now the hard work starts – the editing!

The dove on the pergola - Holi 180731

The Owl on the Pergola

The novel is a work of literary fiction that tells the story of a young Indian woman who grows up in a very poor rural community, and moves to Kolkata when she is 16 years old. She is luckier than most, having an aptitude for study and a wealthy aunt who is prepared to sponsor her through higher education. However, she has to contend with an obsessive stalker who eventually turns violent, and with the ubiquitous prejudice that a woman’s place is in the home, serving her husband and his family. Will she have to choose between the man she loves and the academic career that she desires?