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“Writing is lot like a jigsaw puzzle”, said Madhumita Bhattacharyya, author of the Reema Ray murder
mystery series, to a rapt audience of around 25 aspiring authors. “Piece by piece, you make it whole.”
Juggernaut books organized a writing workshop on ‘How to find your story – and write it’, with author
and journalist Madhumita Bhattacharyya, as a part of series of workshops to encourage and hone the
craft of new writing voices of India. These writing voices included everyone from a young girl in 8th grade who had already published a series of books on Kindle Direct to a retired Air Force officer who was
looking at writing fiction as the next big assignment in his life.

“Whatever your idea, whatever your genre, discipline in writing is a must,” said Madhumita. She would
know, after all, she had been writing fiction for the last ten years of her life. Author of the novels ‘The
Masala Murder’, ‘Dead in a Mumbai Minute’ & ‘Goa Undercover’ all featuring the feisty crime buster Reema Ray and a novella ‘Murder at the temple’, she ardently believes that writing is a job like any other. You must put in efforts every day – punching anywhere between 500 to 2000 words daily. Goodbye, Sunday!

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She asked a fundamental question to all attending the workshop, “Why fiction, and why now?”
It was a question that caused the audience to reflect. One said it was the characters nagging in her head
to tell their story, the other believed it was a strong emotion. Madhumita cautioned against using fleeting passion as a driver to write a book. Often you reach a dead-end and you lose interest. All you are left with is a half-finished manuscript. You must plan before you begin writing your next masterpiece. Following are her tips and tricks of how to convert an idea into a book:

 

What is the toolbox of fiction?

Madhumita emulates classic Stephen King when she said, “Vocabulary, grammar and structure”.

 

How to think of ideas for a novel?

People think first in terms of either 1) Character 2) Plot or 3) Theme. These are the three basic sources
of ideas. You must expand upon them to form the skeleton of your novel.

 

How to transition from ideas to a book?
Whatever the source of your idea, you must go back to the characters. They are the drivers of the story
and it is the conflict in their lives that makes the readers interested in the story. Characters and Conflict
form the skin and sinews over the bare-bones of the story. Once you finish writing your first draft, you
must be diligent in editing your novel. You can also seek the opinion of those you believe would provide
the best advice. Editing is an integral part of the process, you cannot skip it.

Her passion was infectious, and everyone was dazzled by her experience and knowledge of the business
of writing. “In the end, writing is like magic”, she smiled.
We couldn’t agree more!

 

Reported by Vismay Harani 

 

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