Yash Tiwari scripts down pandemic tales to become youngest fiction writer on COVID-19

Written in less than a month, 18-year-old Yash Tiwari’s book, Pandemic 2020: Rife of the Virus is his fictional and distinct yet interconnected tale on COVID-19.

Published: 01st October 2020 04:19 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st October 2020 04:23 PM   |  A+A-

Author Yash Tiwari

Author Yash Tiwari

By Express News Service

BENGALURU : Having authored his first book at 16, Yash Tiwari is no stranger to the written word. His first book, A Celebration In Tribulation, was written in 22 days. Following a similar trend, his second book – Pandemic 2020: Rife of the Virus – was also completed in 25-30 days. The 18-year-old also earned himself a spot in Asia Book of Records for being the youngest to write a fictional book on COVD-19. Edited excerpts from an interview: 

Tell us about your new book.

There are four distinct yet interconnected tales. Huiqing is an impoverished boy in China, Alanna is a helpless doctor in the US, Terrell is a stranded traveller in Italy, and Yash is a blooming journalist in India. The tales are based on actual stories, events and facts and blends majorly affected regions around the world.

When did the idea for this book come to you?

It came to be in April, when every day saddening stories were being reported on TV screens – how the medical workers were overwhelmed, or the helplessness of the poor. I felt the need to pen down my tribute to the ones who fought and are still fighting against this outbreak.

How long did you take to write this book?

It took somewhere 25-30 days in April to write nearly 320 pages. I authored my first novel, A Celebration In Tribulation, two years back, at the age of 16, in just 22 days! However, I didn’t have a predefined time period in mind. It was simply the result of effort and maintaining consistency. 

What sort of research did you have to do for this book?

This was one of the trickiest parts of writing this book. The book narrates what unfolded in the real world this year, from January till April first week. The facts, figures and dates used were researched by me and then the four stories were conceptualised.

Even the slightest of incident mentioned is something that readers will be able to connect to and relate with. For example, near the end of the novel, the eventful evening of '9 minutes at 9 pm' on April 5 when we all lit up our houses with diyas and candles is beautifully narrated. Readers will be able to visualise it. It is more of a creatively written account of the pandemic in the initial few months. 

Your book features characters from America, China and Italy. Why did you pick these countries?

The storylines are not dependent on the countries. I chose these storylines because of the connection readers will be able to feel with them. For example, if we have Alanna, who is a helpless doctor in USA, then she is a reflective of medical heroes around the world. The novel is from the perspective of commoners, something general masses will be able to see themselves in. 

What was your biggest challenge in writing this book?

I was writing it all down while it was unfolding in the real world, so I was living through the traumas of the characters. I had to maintain peace of mind while investing myself in a story.

Are you writing any other book at the moment?

I was working on another book when the pandemic hit. So I decided to put that aside and pen a novel on this instead. I do have some buns being baked in the oven but I cannot say what just yet. 

Could you tell us about your writing process?

Writing, for me, is like binge-watching. When I get to the drawing boards to start working on a project, I lose the sense of the world. With this book, there where days when I ended up finishing full chapters in one sitting! 

How do you deal with writer’s block?

The answer is as simple as conceptualising. Many writers feel stuck because they did not create an outline of what their story is about, how will it begin, where will it end, and what each chapter will be about. Creating an outline of 2-3 sentences per chapter before writing acts like a GPS navigation tool, helping with directions when you hit a writer’s block.


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