Sunday, December 13, 2015

On Writing: Ruchi Singh

Today on 'On Writing', we have the gorgeous Ruchi Singh. Winner of TOI WriteIndia story contest, Ruchi Singh is a novelist and writes in two genres; romance and romantic thriller. She has a degree in Electronics Engineering and has worked as IT Quality Consultant. She has been a contributing author to many anthologies and has published her first book Take 2, which is a contemporary romance with a spice of social drama.

Welcome to ‘On WritingRuchi Singh.

FOLLOW HER:           FACEBOOK           TWITTER        WEBSITE

Thank you Preethi for having me on your blog. It’s an honor. I would also like to congratulate you on the stupendous success of your novel ‘Without You’.

Thank you, Ruchi. To begin our chat, how did writing begin for you? Was becoming an author always your dream or was it a particular event or incident that gave birth to the author in you?

RS: Writing was never a childhood dream or aspiration. Reading was and is still a passion, now writing has taken precedence. Writing happened by chance in 2013, like an epiphany that yes I can and should write. Since I am very fond of novels, I began with a novel. I really enjoyed the first few days of putting my thoughts on paper. After the first draft of 'Take 2', it was my choice to continue writing since I immensely enjoyed the process of creating something new. But it was only when I had won the Indireads Short Story competition, in Oct 2014, I knew I will become a fiction novelist.

How important are the names of the characters in your books to you? Do you spend agonizing hours deciding on their names?

RS: Names of the characters are very important. I feel they should appeal to me as well as the readers. I was reading a wonderful novel, but the name of the protagonist was so long that it was like a speed bump while reading. That was the time I decided to keep the names short. I spend many hours on deciding the name of all the characters, sometimes they do not appeal to me while writing, I use XXX or YYY.

What is your least favorite part of the publishing/ writing process?

RS: Talking and marketing about my book is agonizing, but a necessity.

What is ‘Take 2’ all about? How long did it take to complete writing it?

RS: here are two main themes which I wanted to highlight in 'Take 2', firstly the plight of women who were divorced or thinking of divorce, and secondly the co-existence of conservative and modern India.
Take 2 is about Priya, who is a small town, intelligent girl, for whom ethics and family values hold an important place in life. The story revolves around her struggle to carve a life for herself braving the conservative society and realizing that the choice to be happy remains with her.  
I wrote the first draft in 3 months, but edited it for at least 5 months, wrote the first five chapters 3 or 4 times, as far as I remember.

Who is your favorite character in the book and why?

RS: Abhimanyu is my favorite. His character was conceived to compliment Priya. He is far more mature than his age. If you are in love with someone you have to nurture it by showing support, care, and affection. And that is what Abhimanyu does for Priya. I have tried to bring out that sentiment in the story along with some drama to entertain the readers.

Do share a snippet/ Quote from your book.

She didn’t give him any chance to speak and went on as if possessed. “You know, what I understand from all this? You want me to get so used to you that I become dependent on you like… like… Kitkat, unable to survive without you. Well, I have news for you, Abhimanyu Malhotra, I don’t need your money or your company. I don’t need anything or anyone.”

He stood up, with his fists clenched on either side. Priya took a step back. “Oh… now it’s all the more clearer, this is that shrew of your lawyer speaking. You have let that cynical lady fill your ears with venom due to failures in her own personal life.”

“And you know what, she is absolutely right.”

“This conversation is absurd!” Eyes ablaze he threw the box, bracelet and all, across the room.
She flinched, but couldn’t tear her gaze away from the storm swirling in his eyes.

“You’ve always trusted others more than me, Priya. But enough is enough. I will not let you toss my actions and feelings back at me like this.” Though he spoke calmly, his eyes mirrored the depth of his anger. “In these months that I have known you, you have never called me once or made that first move I hoped for, but now you will have to! You want a risk free life. I have news, you don’t get anything until you take risks. You may have your way today and I am tired of waiting for crumbs of your attention and affection. Now I want either all or nothing! The choice is yours and the risk is also yours. If you decide either way, be completely sure about yourself and your feelings. There will be no going back.”

A wave of regret and sorrow moved on his face. He caught hold of her arms and jerked her against him. She gasped. Plastering her against him, he kissed her as if there was no tomorrow.

Is there a certain type of scene that is harder for you to write than others? Did you face such an issue while writing ‘Take 2’?

RS: Specialized scenes like fighting or love scenes and scenes where the characters are hurting are harder to write. Fighting ones because one needs to convey the action, love scenes have to be aesthetically appealing. Since Take 2 is a debut, I found all the above very tough to write :-)

What is your method of writing? Are you a plotter or a pantser?

RS: I am a plotter and decide on one major aspect/ characteristic of my protagonists which I need to stick to throughout the book. I just can’t proceed if the broad level framework or path is not clear to me.

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

RS: Yes, I do. I read all of them. The best way to approach the reviews is with a dispassionate mind and look for pointers where one can improve. Do not get swayed with a very positive one and do not get de-motivated with a bad one. It's okay, not everyone is going to like your book/work, so treat a bad review as a mismatch between the book and the reader.

What are the three tips you have for readers who are aspiring writers?

RS: Well I want to state four…
1)    Read lots of Good books on the genre you plan to write.
2)    Read ‘On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft’ by Stephen King and follow it.
3)    Buy a good editing tool and use it.
4)    Write, and edit, edit, edit… (there are no shortcuts)

Thank you Ruchi. That was so interesting. I wish you the very  best for all your future endeavors.

Book Blurb: 

Priya’s idyllic world turns upside down when she realizes her husband considers her dead weight after stripping her off her inheritance for his ambitions and lavish lifestyle. 

Instantly attracted to Priya, Abhimanyu knows getting involved with a married woman is inviting trouble. But despite common sense, cautions and hesitations, he is drawn to help her. 

Happily ever after has become a myth for Priya and trying to keep the relationship platonic is becoming more and more difficult for Abhimanyu. 

In the tussle between ethics, fears and desires... will Priya embrace a second chance at happiness?

Buy 'Take 2', here:

That is all for now, folks. Do pick up her book.

Have a great day.

Much Love,