Aditya Magal (Goodreads) is 28, lives in Bangalore and is a Business Analyst turned Author. His debut novel, How to Become a Billionaire by Selling Nothing has been published by Random House and is available on Amazon here. Connect with him on twitter @jhunjhunwala.
Aditya’s answers to 5 questions are…
1. Why do you write? Why would someone else want to be a writer?
I write simply because with every word I am trying to recreate the pleasure I have received through stories. Reading and writing take me into a world of characters and stories where anything is possible and your imagination can run free. I grew up reading RK Narayan, Tolkien, Roald Dahl, Agatha Christie and innumerable others. They always drew me into their stories with full gusto. It is what has inspired me to write.
I write because it makes me happy, I guess it is as simple as that. Building a relationship with someone who has taken the time out to read your material is something I treasure. I try to explore the possibilities of such a powerful idea through a relationship with my readers. If I can entertain them, then I consider my writing to be a good thing. I don’t know about others but this is what makes me write.
2. How do you come up with an idea? Ideas for plots, sequences, scenes, characters and other things? Do you use any tools?
Ideas strike me all the time, most of them are rubbish but there are 1 or 2 good ones I think I can pursue. These are the ones I try to write about. No story is possible without characters and chronicling the adventures of the characters fill out the plot and sequences unless of course it’s a technical genre like humour where I have to work on presentation also.
My intention is to entertain a reader so I try to make my writing as enjoyable as possible within the confines of the character’s development. Sometimes it comes naturally with being a storyteller. Other times like in Humour where there is no gray area – your writing is either funny or not as in there is no half-joke, I try to follow a simple setup like one-liners and analogies but many times that doesn’t work out when you re-read it so I try and improvise. It’s instinctive and learned, both. I try the approach that gives me the desired end result.
3. Do you keep a rigorous writing schedule? If yes, what is your writing schedule?
Not really, I write mainly spur of the moment. My schedule is not a rigorous one. It’s quite sporadic. One day I may write 1 page, the other I may write 20. I try to write the idea occupying my head at a particular moment. These days I write more poetry and short stories after my first book has left me fatigued. It’s a 392 page novel so to keep me on my toes I write smaller stuff which don’t require that much wordage till I am ready for my next project.
4. How often do you get interrupted by writer’s block? How do you go about working around your writers’ block?
All the time, it’s the single biggest challenge to deal with when your creative juices run out. I try to recuperate by taking time off writing by watching TV, playing videogames, going out for a walk, just anything that will help my mind recover.
I’m still learning to deal with it. Without trying to romanticize a writer’s struggle let me say that when I write fiction – I have to adopt a disciplined approach and finish the book by the time the deadline arrives. There is a significant amount of pressure that one faces which can lead to a block, the words stop flowing. At this time, I try to switch off and recover. The mind is able to focus after a period of rest. But like I said, I’m still learning to deal with writer’s block so I don’t have a tried and tested approach as yet.
5. What is the best advice on writing that you’ve ever received?
The one I haven’t got yet!
Editor’s Note: The answers are very honest, simple and yet so insightful. Wish Aditya all the best for the book. And if you don’t follow him on twitter already (@jhunjhunwala), drop everything and do it now!