This is my first time when I got the opportunity to interview a blogger/author. I am so glad to begin this journey with Romila Chitturi, an amazing author who beautifully pens down thought-provoking stories which remain with the reader forever. She has been a blogger for over a decade and stepped in as an author when she was 32 with My Writing Workshop, her first ebook.
Thank you so very much, Romila Chitturi, for sparing some time to answer my questions. I am sure many writers could take away lots from this.
Q1. Which books have influenced your life?
I think some of the most influential books I read are the ones from childhood. So in some cases, I don’t even remember the name of the book. Books are incredibly powerful. They have the ability to suck us in, take us on adventures, and influence the way we think. They can teach us, move us, give us new perspectives, and help shape us. And the most powerful ones change our lives forever. I would not want to name any specific book as every book I have read has been a positive influence in my life including Gita. ‘Why I Write’ by George Orwell – needs a mention for sure. The book is about understanding collective consciousness and breaking through that to think alone and seek the truth. Orwell was one of the great questioners of our time. This book confronts you with the idea that no one is too small to think rigorously about huge concepts. They’re just too lazy, or too comfortable.
Q2. How do you develop your characters and plots?
Just as the first paragraph will grab your readers’ attention and compel them to read the rest of the story, how well you develop your characters will influence how well the story is told and how intriguing it is. More often than not, your characters will tell the story for you. Their personalities, emotions, actions, and reactions will develop the plot, create the tension, and add life to your story. The first person simply uses the term “I.” It’s told by either the main character (the protagonist) or a secondary character. The first person point of view is often the easiest to write in and it best works for me. The first person brings together the narrator and the reader by giving the reader the perception and thoughts of the narrator. However, it is easy to use the first person to tell a story and summarize the action instead of showing the action and providing details.
Q3. Do you have a real-life inspiration?
No, I don’t have any real-life inspiration except that books written by my favorite authors have been a huge push for me to write my own books. But I believe I am an inspiration to few people – bloggers.
Q4. What was the hardest part of writing this book?
All my life I wanted to write a book ever since people (readers) accepted my pieces -offline and online both. Everything has a story – fiction, non-fiction, self-help, even a good tweet. A story is a reluctant hero who gets inspired. Obstacles along the way until the final conflict. And then the journey home. A hero. There are many variations on that. Just like there are variations on how to make a good cake. But the basic rules are followed. Else it won’t read well. It will be like an academic science paper.
Q5. Do you have a favorite story/part in this book? Why?
No, I don’t have any one favorite story, but I like all the stories as they are written by me and they were very close. It is important to love every word you write; else you will not be able to grow further in your writing.
Q6. What do you think makes a good story?
A story that draws the reader in and can feel the characters, see them in their mind and can’t wait until the next page to find out what is happening. The story has to have emotions, believable characters but doesn’t necessarily have to be good characters, just the best of intentions.
Q7. What is next in store for your readers? Your future projects?
It is a micro-fiction, small book again. Summer 2018.
Q8. What message do you want readers to take from this book? If any.
Reading is educational. When you read, even a novel or any written material, you learn. What you learn depends on the book. My latest book has stories, where you can learn the strength of emotions between the pages of mixed feelings. Knowledge is never a bad thing. In fact, it is almost always a good thing. So, educate yourself. You cannot teach others anything unless you first learn it yourself.
Q9. Do you believe in writer’s block?
I don’t believe in writer’s block or waiting for inspiration. If you’re a writer, you sit down and write. When you get writer’s block (or any other creative block) it can be tough to get past it. There are strategies you can use to get the juices flowing. They all have one thing in common: they involve actually doing the work. Why is that? According to author Jodi Picoult, it’s because writer’s block is just another name for procrastination. Just pick up your pen and pad, get to writing.
Q10. Any suggestions for aspiring writers to improve their writing skills.
Networking with other scribes and reworking your blog posts (and others’ published articles) will help; above all, though, write, write, write! Believe it or not, writing in a journal can help you improve your writing skills. It can also help you discover new story ideas that could be developed into the next best-seller. When you write in your journal, don’t censor your words. Allow them to flow freely. Don’t be shy about sharing your writing. One of the greatest ways to improve your writing is to join a writer’s group in which you’ll receive valuable feedback such as how to strengthen introductions, how to develop characters, how to write stronger scenes and more. Please note: You may have to try out a few groups before you find any that work for you. You must write to improve your writing skills. Try to write at least 1,000 words each day or every other day. When you think you’ve finished writing, write some more. When you think you’ve really finished writing, keep writing. Being a skilled writer and published author is not an impossible dream. It’s closer to reality than you might believe.
Thank you again for your time, Romila,
Looking forward to your upcoming book. All the very best.