Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Rough plan

A rough draft of my book would consist first of a sweep through the Buddhist world, dealing with how the Thotlakonda and Pavuralakonda monastries came into being and how they managed to sustain themselves on those lonely hillocks, out of sight of all humanity and several metres above all sources of food and water. Then will follow the Kalinga kingdom and the effect of Ashoka's conquest, if any. In fact, I think the Buddhist settlements themselves are an effect of this. But we'll have to see.

The Simhachalam temple speaks of the Vijayanagara kingdom's influence. What were people in the area like in this era? What language did they speak? Oriya? Telugu? or something else? What castes emerged in this era? What professions did the people follow? Were there any royalty?

From my very preliminary research, it appears as if recorded history has suddenly jumped from the 13th century to the arrival of the Europeans -- the Dutch in Bhimli and the British in Vizagapatam. About this period there seems to be plenty of material.

The outline looks fine as of now. But the treatment is what matters. I want to make it sound like one connected story. So a theme must be found. A single common thread, one thought that runs through the whole narrative.

Next the style must be conversational. My aim is to make it a readably scholarly book. So once again, we need a story. What will it be?