Balancing writing and directing films is a difficult task; not many are adept at managing both successfully. Young novelist Srinu Pandranki is trying to do just that

Askari Jaffer

The 26-year old young novelist, Srinu Pandranki is also a film maker with over ten short films and 2 music videos to his credit and is an aspiring director. In a conversation with Hyderabad Hans, he spoke about his upcoming novel X2 - originally a screenplay converted into a novel, all set to release on September 15 and his many passions. 

What inspired you to take up writing?

It goes back to my school days. We used to have a class for general knowledge and our teacher Sridevi used to narrate interesting stories. It got me into the art of storytelling and inspired me to take up writing. 

How difficult is it to convert screenplay into novel?

It took me six months to convert my “X²” screenplay into a novel. For screenplay we only write what is necessary to the screen as we have only two hours time to convey everything whereas in a novel we have space to express more. 120 pages screenplay needed to be converted into 240 pages in order to reach minimum of 50,000 words to call it a novel. For that I needed to write down all the character details and geographical descriptions which we generally avoid or minimise in a screenplay. However, I feel adapting a novel to write a screenplay is more difficult than adapting screenplay to write a novel.

Do you prefer to write a screenplay first or is it the other way round?

It purely depends on the subject I choose. Few stories are better to be told on screen and that is when I prefer to write a screenplay. If I feel certain stories can’t be told on screen or hard to find a producer then I would like to write it as a novel. Some stories like “X²” can be told either ways. 

What is your book all about?

‘X²’ is not just a mystery novel. It has an inherent touch of humanity in it. It subconsciously tries to inject the idea of how cruel this world could be and how important it is to keep our emotions in check. We, the people of this world, are surrounded by all kinds of intelligence, human and artificial. But we are lacking emotional intelligence. We are achieving many things in day to day life. But keep losing the basic ingredients of empathy towards one another that differentiates beasts from humans. That's why this novel is so important. And I want more and more people to read it.

Tell us about the sequel to X2? 

I would like to write “X Trilogy” and releasing the second part “X²” first, followed by its sequel “X³”. Then I shall write the prequel “X”. While “X²” is a murder mystery, “X³” belongs to suspense genre as the mystery reveals in the “X²” itself and we can’t carry it any more.

Who are your favourite authors?

Arthur Conan Doyle is my favourite author. “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” written by him is my most favourite and Sherlock Holmes is my favourite character. As a tribute to him, I have named my protagonist in X² as “Kevin Holmes”. 

What about your historical fiction?

 

My novel “1818 – Zamindars Vs Peasants”, is a historical fiction. It will be the second book that I will release. Yes, it is a screenplay too. I have written this as a sequel to Aamir Khan’s Oscar nominated film “Lagaan”. I approached Ashutosh Gowariker Sir with the story along with an animated trailer made for this. Even though he liked the story, he rejected the very idea of making a sequel to Lagaan.  However, as I believe this story needs to be told, but do not have the 40 crore budget needed to make it as a film, I decided to rewrite it as a novel.