Apart from writing, Rohit loves sports, specifically the discussing and watching part of it, since he believes that his playing days are long gone. His greatest passion is reading and it inspired him to write. He is a frequent contributor to many online writing forums and wishes there were more writing groups.
He currently lives in Pune and has a keen interest in history, especially the history of music and arts.
Rohit’s answers to 5 questions are…
1. Why do you write? Why would someone else want to be a writer?
I have always been in love with books. That’s the only thing that has stuck with me forever. I know this will sound totally geeky, but in my childhood, I used to think that the coolest place in the whole world is a library. I dreamt of becoming a bookshop owner. I still do! I believe a number of authors have said this that if you read a lot, there comes a day when you read a book and think you can do it too. Something like that happened to me too and I started finding time in my daily routine to write. Support and encouragement of my wife Pranita was crucial. I don’t think I have a deeply intellectual answer to why I write because I believe writing fiction is not an intellectual, but an emotional and psychological exercise. I love taking the readers on an emotional and psychological journey through my writing. I am quite aware that every writer has his or her own reason to be a writer and most of them are quite fascinating.
2. How do you come up with an idea? Ideas for plots, sequences, scenes, characters and other things? Do you use any tools?
The way I see it is that as a writer you read a lot, you meet a lot of people in your everyday life, you come across many interesting situations, you watch a lot of movies, you travel a little, you observe a lot, you experience things. I think all of this goes into a blender and it goes into your head and something else comes out on the paper when you write. So, to put it simply, there is no telling where you will get your ideas. In my case, I always start with a situation, a ‘What if?’ and then I keep expanding that What-if. For example in CIRCLE OF THREE, the situation was, what if three strangers with completely different backgrounds and ages cross each other’s paths and help each other rediscover hope? I kept expanding this situation. What if one of them was an old man? What if the other was a teenager. And so on. I have always believed that the situations come first, the story emerges from these situations and eventually the characters drive it.
3. Do you keep a rigorous writing schedule? If yes, what is your writing schedule?
Oh I wish! Although that’s the first advice I give to anyone who asks! However, I do tend to motor on when I get an idea. If I let go of the writing momentum when I have a good idea of a novel, then the situations start to look silly, the plot pointless and the characters ridiculous.
4. How often do you get interrupted by writer’s block? How do you go about working around your writers’ block?
I have large swathes of non-productive periods when I am unable to write a single word. I am not hundred percent sure if they are writer’s blocks or just plain laziness, although I am more inclined to believe it is the latter! The only real advice that I have seen work is to write. I know it sounds simplistic, but most solutions are simple. Writing, and basically writing anything, without a care for the quality or without judging its ‘publish-ability’ is the best medicine to overcome the dreaded writer’s block.
5. What is the best advice on writing that you’ve ever received?
It is to read a lot. I think reading is the most essential activity any writer needs to do. Reading across genres and eras, especially in the genres that you don’t write in. I believe this is an advice almost all the great writers have given. I am always astonished when people tell me that they want to be writers of fiction but don’t really read novels. It is like saying you want to be a musician but don’t really enjoy music. The craft can always be mastered with diligence and hard work, but I believe it is impossible to master something you don’t much care for.
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