Are you Writing Hard, or Hardly Writing?

With the launch of The Flying Man (Headline)  this January, Roopa Farooki has published five novels in five years – here are her tips on how she starts a novel, and how she manages to finish what she starts!

What inspires you to write?

Like many writers, I am inspired by what is closest to me – in my case, it’s family, and I’m particularly interested in writing multicultural family dramas, intimate stories of relationships which span continents and generations. I find endless inspiration in this area – there are so many stories to tell, and they are universal, as the experience of family is one shared by everyone.

What keeps you writing?

It’s been said that starting a novel is fairly easy, it’s finishing it that’s tough! I find that my stories tend to build their own momentum as I write them, and carry me along with them – I find I can’t wait to write the next page, as I want to know what happens next as much as anyone, and I want to exorcise the chattering characters out of my head and onto the page. When I’m in full flow, I become quite resentful if I have to answer the phone, or eat, or sleep, as time not spent writing feels like a waste. That said, sometimes everyone loses momentum – if I find that writing a particular scene is hard work, then I usually leave it out, as if I’m not excited about writing it, I find it hard to believe that someone would be excited about reading it. It’s a good way of pre-editing those bits of a book that someone might be tempted to skip!

Top Tip for Finishing a Book in 2012

It sounds fairly obvious, but if you’re a writer, you need to write. I write almost every day, my four kids permitting, not because it’s my job and I’ve got a deadline, and not even because it’s what I enjoy doing most. I write because I must. So my tip is to do just that – to write every day, and write something that compels you, because it’s a story you just have to tell! After all, a page a day will result in a novel at the end of the year. I’m aiming to write the first draft of my sixth novel for next year, so we’ll see if I manage to follow my own advice this time around!

4 thoughts on “Are you Writing Hard, or Hardly Writing?

  1. Very good advice. It’s getting on with the writing that’s not easy. I’m on a course to improve my spoken French this year so that takes up time and all the reading I love to do. I have an internet group who help each other but then I’m reading and critiquing other people’s work and not writing my own. Hoping to move house (renovating it)this year and be nearer to Glasgow and all the networking opportunities there. And then there’s my sailing, ski-ing and annual India trip! And time for family! Just have to keep going.

  2. Thanks for this enlightening information with its splendid down-to-earth sensibilities. Have started my read of The Flying Man.

  3. It’s a wonderful experience to know about the writing experience of another writer, your tips for finishing a novel is really admirable.
    Yes, one should not lag back, but to write something every day, i like the theme of writing one page everyday, yes, its possible and will click. though i am not an established writer but i am sure this determination will work wonders.
    thanks Roopa for the great inspiration to your fellow readers and writers
    Keep Going
    Keep Inform
    Best Regards
    Philip

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