Back-Up Guy

“What are you writing about -in your book?” I assumed that it would be a nice ice- breaker question, especially when you are in your first writing workshop, and everybody else looks much older, experienced and scholarly then you. But half way through the question, I thought that it was a very trite question in such a gathering. So, I fumbled with my flow of words, clearly showing that I am quite a novice and do not deserve to be there. But still, I decided to go ahead with same question as I had already started it, and could not think of a new question half way through my first one.

“Ahha!” Good. He seems pleased and excited. So not that much of a disaster question as I had assumed it to be. He continues, “Its about this very normal guy, who is like always the back-up guy, like you know, who always gets this, ‘If-I-was-not-committed/married-you-would-be-the-one’ dialogue, you know, that type -it’s a story of his pain, suffering and how he finally ends up committing suicide.”

Now the hard part, he finishes and looks at me expectantly, and I have no idea as what should I say next -should I ask another question, maybe about his character, maybe something totally different like weather or local crime rate, or maybe about his favorite cuisine.

But all these seemed like totally unrelated follow up questions to my earlier one. So, I ended up asking this incredibly stupid question, “Oh! That’s a cool storyline. So, you are you going to kill this character, this lonely dude in the end.”

‘Cool’ and ‘Dude’ in my last sentence. They definitely thought that I am a gate crasher at the writer’s workshop.

“Oh, no, that’s not the end of story, it would be like very stereotypical, as you call it, ‘lonely dude’ novel, if I do that. In my novel, after the guy commits suicide, he goes to limbo, and here is the twist, God there is a female, and he ends up being her back-up guy. And…wait, I don’t want to ruin your suspense, and frankly I don’t want to lose on an almost sold copy of my book.”

“What?”. This followed effortlessly.

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