Wednesday, March 17, 2010

If you're thinking of writing a feature...

...on the pulp magazines sold at our railway stations, here's a good role model. What a wonderful intro that is (complemented by a smart headline and standfirst)!

And look at this reference to Kafka in the second paragraph:
While I derived immense titillation from the pulpy prose and gross gore of stories headlined “Tormented teenager nephew slew paternal aunt” and “Misdeeds of a rapist blackmailer minister”, I gradually became aware of how the cultured Tamils were looking at me as if a Gregor Samsa-sized cockroach had taken my place. [Emphasis mine.]

Now every feature needs a good conclusion. This one is bang on target:
Truman Capote meets Bollywood? Yes, interestingly, this genre, which was pioneered by the American popular author with his “non-fiction novel” In Cold Blood (1966) about the apparently motiveless massacre of a Kansas family by two young psychopaths, is being taken forward in India by Verma with his true stories of tough ruffians, damsels in distress and the long hand of the law.

Clearly, you can learn a lot about writing features from the author, Zac O'Yeah, who is a thriller writer based in Bangalore. His novel, Once Upon A Time In Scandinavistan!, is due for release soon.

PS: Zac is married to Anjum Hasan, the author of Lunatic In My Head and Neti, Neti. Anjum, who had come to Commits recently to talk with the students about writing, is now the books editor of The Caravan.
  • Photo courtesy: Zac O'Yeah

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