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The Perfect Book | Oduogu Victor Nkwachukwu | Non-fiction

Do you know writing a perfect book is a journey? Have you rode the path before? Do you intend to? We all should be writers because our lives.

The Perfect Book

A boy standing in water

Do you know writing a perfect book is a journey? Have you rode the path before? Do you intend to? We all should be writers because our lives with their perfect imperfections deserve to be read. Each time you hold a book, you hold someone's journey through plains and hills, deserts, and oceans. Here's my ride to writing a perfect book. There's just one rule to gain access. Take a deep breath. Simple, right? It's not that simple.



My friend, Adebayo, said he had to sit by a river or drink in the beauty of nature to write. Before I could discover a river or flower scent, the sun arose for me to write. You must be stunned at how one vomits a word, then a sentence, paragraph, chapter and then a book finds a warm embrace in your soft palms. 

My mum died of an unknown illness in 2015. But I know what my dad died of in 2018 - kidney failure. Does it matter if one's illness is known or not when death forms a grey cloud of blackness? Tragedy and grief kissed and morphed into my muse for my perfect book. 

I wanted to strip my heart to the universe to see my journey through grieving. I wanted to identify with the dead - my mum and dad; with the living - the grieving ones; and those alive - zero grief. How does one put into words what one cannot understand wholly? It has to be a fiction. I thought that expressing myself through fiction would help me lie and tell the truth at the same time. I decided to write a fiction.

The sun dimmed when my pen kissed my paper. Words were rumbling within, but I didn't have a laptop. How do I write more than 60,000 words with a phone and my eye defect that easily gave me a headache? I'm sure you've taken a deep breath countless times. I warned you. What is more important is that you'll need more and deeper breaths when you decide to write your book. I borrowed a laptop that the battery goes off as soon as the power source is disconnected. They say, the only way to begin is to begin. 



The sun peaked when I faced death. I didn't cry the day my dad died but I cried at the sunset of my writing journey. I had to regurgitate the experience of the days my mum and dad bade me a lifetime goodbye. I felt the claws of sorrow pierce through my pericardium. Pain dissolved and raced through my veins. I allowed myself sink into the ocean of despair and grief. I took a break just the way you would dive into a shade at noon for protection. 

I named my characters after my friends. This made my writing relatable as much as it was fiction. I imagined these fictional characters that have morphed into my friends experiencing what I was writing. These nonexistent characters had some things in common with my friends who they bore their names. This is because I wanted my fiction to be something humans can connect with. First off, I needed to connect with them first and I did. 

I wrote voraciously some days even while at work. On other days, I lost my ability to imagine and the little I imagined seemed useless. You will experience this, too, when your ink makes the first few dots on your perfect book. I wondered if I was wasting my time writing what no one will read, or one will read and curse me for writing nonsense. This loss of confidence scorched like wild noon in December. My characters' lives didn't know how to end their stories. I struggled to resolve the conflict I created in a classical way. I wanted to resolve the conflict in a way the reader wouldn't have expected it. If I had to surprise my readers, I had to stun myself first. 

There were days I wanted to write but there was no power supply. There were times words tumbled within, but I was busy at work or with other things. This noon lingered and the heat bit deeper. I realised that writing is a journey I had to enjoy and endure to the end. 



I forcefully shut down the lives of my characters. I was thankful I was their god and so had absolute power over them. One of my reviewers pointed out this rush. I had to go back like a child who had lost money and was sent back to look for it. I also had to do deeper research in Yoruba culture. I asked questions. The joy of coming to the end of my writing my novel was stuffed out. The only soothing dew was the compliments that floated on the reviews. Night was approaching but I had to keep reviewing and implementing the reviews. This became an unending journey. It was my friend, John, that told me that a book would never be published if one wants to keep reviewing the manuscript. Some authors after publishing keep on discovering what they should have done or not done. You have've to decide before before this nightfall if you will publish this perfect book. I stopped reviewing. My manuscripts had more than 60,000 words. 

Did you just take another deep breath? I'm sorry your pen is fearfully dancing in your hands even before your first word. But you've already started your writing journey. I'm waiting for your book. As darkness filled the diminishing sun's radiance and lightening flashed, I knew the universe wanted to give me a peaceful night rest after my journey of writing. 



Oduogu Victor Nkwachukwu is a graduate of Microbiology and a passionate writer. He won the 2018 Bethany Blaze Online Competition. His poem: Today, A Star Radiates Hope was longlisted for African Writers Awards 2021. His poem has been published with Poetic Africa and Woven Poetry. His flash fiction Fleeting Agony was published with Writers Space Africa. He was the Chief Corps Editor of Niger State during his service year in 2019/2020. He has a blog- oduoguvictor.wordpress.com, and is currently working on his first novel.

You can reach him via FacebookInstagram, Twitter (@OduoguV) and blog (oduoguvictor.wordpress.com)



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Pawners Paper: The Perfect Book | Oduogu Victor Nkwachukwu | Non-fiction
The Perfect Book | Oduogu Victor Nkwachukwu | Non-fiction
Do you know writing a perfect book is a journey? Have you rode the path before? Do you intend to? We all should be writers because our lives.
Pawners Paper
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