Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Rose Much Desired

As salaam alaikum,

So, I'm going to give a synopsis of the story I'm writing, because I should be going to sleep as I have an exam exam I need to take and pass to graduate from medical school. As I used to say back in the day, oh joy of my being.

But, I'm not entirely sleepy yet, so I wanted to provide a brief synopsis of this story I keep alluding to, A Rose Much Desired.

Background. I came up with the story idea initially as a short story during my creative writing class senior year at Michigan. It was going to be a short story called "Agent" that gave an inside look into the relationship of two different Muslims from very different backgrounds, Mo and Nisreen.

With the encouragement of a friend, I did National Novel Writers' Month (NaNoWriMo) during November 2007 and fleshed out "Agent" into a three-narrator novel named A Rose Much Desired. Of the three narration is "Agent," which tells the perspective of Mo Ghazali, a 23-year-old college grad and premed student hoping to get into schools this application period who goes through a bit of a crisis mid-March when he still hasn't heard from any schools.

The story opens with the Agent narration, and it becomes apparent that Mo is intimately involved with a girl named Desirée. In order to understand their relationship, the "Desirée" narration takes Desirée Lamar first back to her freshman year when she first met Mo, then back to high school as she regarded the boys she went to school with, especially the Muslim boys pointed out to her by one of her best friends, who decries them while Desirée finds herself fascinated with them. This narration sheds light on why a girl like Desirée would become involved in Mo.

Mo, in the midst of his crisis and not knowing where else to go, ends up wondering over the house of an old friend, a Muslimah named Nisreen who he apparently used to know in earlier days. He indicates that he hasn't talked to Nisreen much because she became more conservative, strict with hijab and he felt like he didn't have anything to say to her. Except that he didn't want to talk to anyone else about his stress, it was their spring break, and she had happened to call him up, telling him that they should talk "for old time's sake," and so he ends up at her apartment, with her uncomfortable being alone in his presence but still wanting to help him.

And the third narration is "Muslimah," as Nisreen tells from her perspective Mo's presence in her apartment, his reluctance to leave, his stress, and her feeling that there was a woman behind it all and that Mo simply needed to man up about his intentions.

Yep. Pretty much. I'm trying to not make the twist too obvious, but clever people will probably have it figured out early. Yeah, there's a twist!

Through these three narrations and these three main characters, I'm touching upon a lot of themes...Islam, Muslims, race in Islam, sex in Islam (yeah...we'll see how that goes), gender relations...all sorts of fun stuff!

As soon as I'm done with step 2, I plan to get back to editing this at full speed, I plan to finish it, edit through it once more and then send it out to relatives to proof, then I'm going to try to see if I can get it published, kind of because I feel like this is the best fiction story line I can produce right now and I've always wanted to get published, so yeah, I'll just go for it and see what happens. This has been a story three years in the making now, so hopefully this year will be the year I'll finish it!

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