How to find a juicy story
Now, with Mr. Blue Parker and the diary set in a happy place all I needed was a juicy story.Juicy for someone like me, just out of high school, meant something that could create a ripple not like the one caused by a stone dropped in a still pond but the kind of ‘punch fest’ that is caused by bitchy back-biting fangs-digging gossip amongst football players and cheerleaders!
In those days, yapping amongst friends about promiscuity, drugs and weight of rival groups had the same effect that Tyson’s ear biting or a computer virus or a president caught with his pants down has on the modern world! It creates a sense of oneness, makes us happy and we applaud, feeling good at least someone did what we always wanted to do!I wanted that kind of applause.
So, me taking the initiative decided that since I did not have enough juice as yet to make a novel, a novel being 300 pages plus, I had to become a good listener and absorb as much, as quickly as possible.I allotted myself a two month deadline for the same.
Two months of information download from mouths to ear? Then storing it in my brain till the time I could scribble it into the initial drafts? I knew that was tough.Back then in 1987 there was no Wikipedia or Goggle to make my life easy. Even Wiki leaks? that tangible, substantial, absolutely delightful and viral secret information spreading thing, ridding on which Mr. Julian Assange has become such a great man, full time in hiding? Came much later. Or else why do you think I had to write about love, sex, drugs and betrayal amongst normal people if I had access to affairs amongst Presidents, generals, drug lords and movie stars?
Although poor me didn’t have those kind of computers, servers and brains, I had the whistle blowers : tons of them!Normal people recruited as whistle blowers without their knowledge!
It took me some time to learn how to shut up and listen to the whistling. Eventually I succeeded.I could have been the pure unadulterated listener. The one who listens, keeps secrets and doesn’t talk much. But friends and acquaintances who fed me stories, soon felt my lack of participation. They felt the one sided flow of trust and affection. They were offended that I was not gossiping and just listening to gossip as if I was somehow morally superior to them! Now who wants to gossip with priests and the police?
So, I was forced to participate, forced to gossip. Trust me I would have never done it if not under duress and I did it just so that the stories would keep flowing and spill into my diary.
The thing about gossip is it has to continuously spread far and wide to be creative and alive and pouring!
A river cannot stop! If it does : The heart and head of the writer is in the fear of going stagnant at that very moment!
My plan : you tell me your story, I will definitely tell you some story. Some story definitely didn’t mean my story! But if anyone misinterpreted my dedication? Not my fault.Well, friends gossiped, I listened. Then I went to the rival group, they gossiped, I listened. Very soon, knowing that I cannot be like a priest listening to a confession, I began transferring data from one end of the burning string to the other. The more I transferred the more juicy my diary became.
Words began to pour like a dam breaking.
My whistle blowers were telling me almost everything about themselves and others too:
Who is masturbating? how many times? Where and when?
Whose mother father were reading Kamasutra but incapable of doing it?
Who is the school boy and girl slut?
When exactly was the male principal kissing the male sweeper in the chemistry lab?
Who is an expert in shop lifting? If she/ he was taking tuitions?
Who? Where? And when marijuana was available?
Who doesn’t wear underwear?
Who is writing love notes on the toilet wall?
Right from eating uncooked meat to planting roses on murdered squirrels to becoming peeping toms for a little pocket money I was privy to information that would soon make the world a better place.
Of course that’s what writers do: they write to make the world a better place!
My whistle blowers were whistling on the top of their lungs and I was becoming a writer at such great speed!
But God had to rain on my party!