WHY MY STORIES HAVE ABRUPT ENDINGS
Malavika says that my stories have abrupt endings. Malavika means “Pretty Princess”, and the Malavika who told me that my stories have abrupt endings is indeed very pretty. And Princess – oh yes, she has all the charm of a true princess. I’ll tell you about my tête-à-tête at Polka Dots with the vivacious, effervescent, talented Malavika later. Now, let me tell you why my stories have abrupt endings.
I started writing short fiction in the early 1990s when I lived in the hills of Girinagar, a beautiful verdant green forest in the back of beyond below the mighty Sinhagad Fort and overlooking the placid blue waters of the Khadakvasla lake near Pune. From Monday to Friday, during the daytime, I would be busy with my work, but every morning and evening I took long walks thinking interesting thoughts and by Friday the plot for my next story would be ready in my mind.
Yes, I did all my creative writing on weekends. I would write a short story every week in long hand, which my darling wife would then type on her portable typewriter. Then I would then post my “double-spaced neatly typed story” to magazines like Citadel, a magazine published monthly from Pune for which I was a regular fiction writer, or the Indian Express for its Thursday literary magazine called Citizen, or other magazines that carried fiction.
On Saturday morning I would drop my wife and kids at the bus stop and they would be off to spend the weekend in Pune with their grannies. Then, in my glorious solitude, I would to start writing. I love writing, so once I start I transcend into a state of timelessness, and suddenly I would hear the shrill ring of the phone and I would realize that my two days of creative bliss were over and it was already Sunday evening and my wife was calling to tell me she was starting from Pune and would be reaching Khadakvasla bus stop in an hour.
Panic would set in. Now, I had just one hour left to finish my story. (I had to complete the story I was writing otherwise it would spill over to the next weekend, and I did not want to breach my self-imposed one story a week target). Therefore, I had no choice but to finish off the story with an abrupt ending – coup de grace!
Maybe this developed into a habit and old habits die hard, but I will have to change my style and I will try my best to see that my stories have more unhurried, relaxed, satisfying, happy endings that leave a pleasant smooth aftertaste. So, it’s back to the basics for me – let me re-read two of my favourite Anton Chekhov stories with classic endings: Ninochka and The Lady with the Pet Dog.
Thanks for the feedback, Pretty Princess. No more unrequited romances or unsolved mysteries from me now – everyone is going to live happily ever after – and I am sure this will help me while I write my novel (and maybe my relationships will stop having abrupt endings too!).
PS – And talking of relationships, well, relationships are like cocktails. Every relationship is a unique labyrinthine melange of emotions, shaken and stirred, and, like each cocktail, has a distinctive flavour and taste.
Dear Reader, why don’t you try out COCKTAIL – my latest book comprising twenty-seven stories that explore fascinating aspects of modern day relationships: love, romance, sex, betrayal, marriage, parenting, even pet parenting.
You will relish reading these riveting cocktails of intermingling emotions narrated in a temptingly engaging style, and once you start reading you will find this delicious “cocktail” unputdownable until the very end.
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Author Bio Vikram Karve
A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures(2008) and is currently working on his novel. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles in magazines and journals for many years before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 14 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.
Vikram Karve Academic and Creative Writing Journal: http://karvediat.blogspot.com
Professional Profile Vikram Karve: http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve
Vikram Karve Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/vikramkarve
Vikram Karve Creative Writing Blog: http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/posts.htm