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Making the 'Word' Go Round!

by Vani Kabir
(Gurgaon, Haryana, India)

1) How did you start writing?

I started writing at an very early age. My first poem was published in the school magazine at the age of 8. And that made me fall in love with words.

2) What topic fascinates you the most? Which is your favorite book among your books?

I am fascinated with imaginative stories. Thats why I chose to write a sci-fi, space opera myself. I love Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and the kinds... they have always been my inspiration.

3) How do you develop your plots and characters?

I am towards the completion of my first book and the journey has been 4 years long. Its been exciting at the same time challenging to create characters that do not exist. I researched a lot about various mythologies, their cultures, their languages and added my imagination to the information to create something glueing for the reader.

4) What was the hardest part of writing your new book?

I am a single mother, have a full time job, so when I decided to take up the task of finishing my novel in a month from Stanford University, I wasn't quite sure. And those 30 days were no less than a battle. I barely slept, ate or even walked around. I was just sitting and writing. As they say NaNoWrimo isn't easy, it wasn't at all. But then that month gave me growth, happiness and I honored myself and my work more.

5) How do you deal with writer’s block?

My professor from Stanford, Ms. Sarah Stone, an author herself, guided me through the writers block. She said you should write everything that comes to your mind apart from your book and ideas related to it. Write on a separate piece of paper and when facing a block refer to it. 99.9% of the times you will find something inspiring and connecting at the same time.

6) How do you deal with writer’s block?

I first create an outline of my research because research can go hay wire. So a structure helps me. Then I pick one topic at a time, read books about that, Google it, talk to experts of that domain etc and then follow the same process with other topics

7) Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?

Once someone asked me why don't I write the modern way- using cuss words and more... my reply was that my writing is my prayer. My words I put at the altar, my thoughts I share with god.

8) Does writing energize or exhaust you?

It energizes and exhausts me both. Energises as it gives me a feeling of empowerment that I created something new. And exhausts me because it makes me empty and I have to read more to refill.

9) Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

Entirely from my imagination... while writing the book I used to feel characters coming to life around me and telling me what they liked about my writings and what they did not... and I used to change that part... this might sound a bit odd but that's how it is.

10) What do your friends and family think of your writing?

My friends and family have been my biggest critic and my biggest supporters. They have always guided me and always promoted my work and cherished the value it has brought to table.

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