Planning your narrative on a boat!

- Posting from Rotterdam, The Nederlands

A compelling narrative, whether in the form of a news article or a book, is a compendium of solidly constructed scenes, which strike a judicious balance between stark reality and dramatic tension. Often, achieving such a balance involves being part of those scenes yourself. In other words, going and checking it out for real. And hence, my Europe trip began -- a research tour for my upcoming novel, 'TWIN FLAME'.

Today, I sketched out a number of book scenes, sitting on a boat in Rotterdam as I listened to a guide talk about a Jewish centre with 16 stainless steel tanks and an erstwhile shipyard building now under redevelopment for a renewed focus on sustainability. Rotterdam is a beautiful and culturally enriching city replete with creative inspiration, stories of Jewish history and a regal facade of the Euromast. And Rotterdam's quaint harbours, skyline and stories of its history are best seen and heard from a boat.

And then, there's the insightful experience of chatting with locals and getting a better feel for the place and its intrinsic ambience and vibe. I cannot emphasize enough how important such conversations are for a writer who often lives through her characters, whether those characters arise within a fiction setting or a news cycle. A first-hand experience of what you'd like to write about always gives that additional layer of authenticity, the feel of the scene and setting and the soul of it - not something that authors can find by solely researching on the Internet and/or gawking at a Google satellites map. 

I'm off to Prague tomorrow morning, where I am gearing up for another set of adventures. Watch out for more on that. And I'll write again soon. I promise!

16. Rotterdam cruise 4.jpg

My new office: On a boat in Rotterdam, Netherlands!