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Monday, Oct 14, 2019

Writer’s block

Five authors tell us about the roadblocks they faced while writing their books

brunch Updated: Dec 24, 2017 01:16 IST
Veenu Singh
Veenu Singh
Hindustan Times
Every author faces some or other challenge while writing their book
Every author faces some or other challenge while writing their book(Shutterstock)

Mark Manuel: Editor, writer and columnist


The roadblock I hit was when I didn’t know how to end my book, Moryaa Re! My story has a bipolar serial killer on a murder spree in Mumbai during Ganeshotsav. The book is a police procedural. But the Mumbai Police have never successfully detected cases of serial predators like pedophiles, rapists, killers and terrorists. This is because the criminals are psychopaths and the Indian criminal justice system does not properly understand psychopathy. However, I had three endings. I didn’t know whether to let the antagonist of my book escape, get him arrested, or killed.

Manu Joseph: Journalist and author


The hardest part is at the very beginning of the first draft when you just have a sliver of an idea, and the characters are so poorly formed they look grotesque; they look exactly like your own narcissism that is trying to create loveable humans from your inner rages. And you spend hours every day wondering how to write all this, and after months like this you don’t have much to show at all.


When in the middle of all this people wish to talk to you, mail you, they ring the doorbell, they even climb through the window when you don’t answer the door. It just further adds to the frustration!

Maya Bathija: Author and travel writer


When Penguin approached me with the subject of covering prominent Sindhi Business families, I thought it would be really easy since I’d been a writer for over a decade. But it wasn’t so because first and foremost, the Sindhis as a community don’t disclose how they do business; they just do it. It turned out to be a task to get them talk about the same for the book. When the first world famous family agreed then the door started to open with the rest. But when the first family of the community met me, they agreed to share only a part of their story since they realised they wanted to chronicle their history in an individual book. However, after some more obstacles, it all worked out.


Ravinder Singh: Author


I think there are roadblocks in every profession. When I was writing my first book, I Too Had a Love Story, 10 years ago, my biggest issue was that it was autobiographical and had a tragic end. So, reliving that tragedy, and going back and forth between my past and then present, knowing that what I had and what I have lost. It revolved around me losing my girlfriend to a car accident. In order to write the book, I had to go back to my past, recall tiny bits and pieces, collect all the was not at all easy.


Pankaj Dubey : Author


The most challenging roadblock I face these days while writing my book is to maintain an intrigue for the readers so they are hooked to the book when they are reading because this is an era of digital technology and all our readers are losing their attention span as they have a lot of options to switch to. So, when I write, I stop in the middle and go back and read whether this writing is able to impress me as a reader. The process is quite difficult because you are so attached to your project and then you need to detach and think from a critical point of view. There are so many books on love stories that the biggest challenge while writing my new book, Love Curry, was to make it different as compared to other books in the market.


Follow @VeenuSingh12 on Twitter

From HT Brunch, December 24, 2017

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First Published: Dec 23, 2017 23:38 IST

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