Authors Speak About Writing: A Chat With Preeti Shenoy and Madhuri Banerjee

I was chatting with my friend Preeti Shenoy on BBM today and we felt that it was such a nice conversation that we should share it with more people. I loved how we could go from chatting about random things to talking about the writing process which we hope to do more often. I feel rejuvenated when I speak to fellow authors about work. It gives me a new perspective. This is the first part of our chat.

Preeti Shenoy

A Chat Between Two Female Authors:

Preeti Shenoy: I must tell u something interesting. I was googling to read ur blog.
Madhuri Banerjee: Ya
Preeti Shenoy: So I type in madhuri banerjee, and it suggests “madhuri banerjee husband”
Madhuri: Hahahaa
Preeti Shenoy: So many must be googling
Madhuri: Husband as in apply for husband?
Preeti Shenoy: People must be curious I guess!
Madhuri: Hahahah. That wd be nice tho… I always wanted a swayamvar...
Preeti Shenoy: I read that article on your blog…Abt three scenarios of extra marital affair.  I really liked the piece. (called
Madhuri: Oh thank u
Preeti Shenoy: :)
Madhuri: Wanted to ask u a question
Preeti Shenoy: Do ask
Madhuri: When u were writing ur second book and third, where did u draw ur creativity from?
Preeti Shenoy: Second is based on true story
Preeti Shenoy: All people based on real life characters
Madhuri: Someone u knew?
Preeti Shenoy: Yes
Madhuri: Oh ok
Preeti Shenoy: Third also
Preeti Shenoy: Based on real life people
Madhuri: Ok
Preeti Shenoy: And real incidents
Madhuri: Wow
Preeti Shenoy: And some happened to me
Madhuri: I can imagine
Madhuri: Ok another one
Preeti Shenoy: Yes
Madhuri: How wd u structure ur book? Anything in mind or just write?
Preeti Shenoy: No I plan
Preeti Shenoy: How do u write?
Preeti Shenoy: I need an outline
Madhuri: 3 part? 4 part?
Preeti Shenoy: I need to know what happens in each chapter
Preeti Shenoy: I need some structure
Madhuri: Really?
Preeti Shenoy: Yes
Preeti Shenoy: Then as I write
Preeti Shenoy: I might juggle
Preeti Shenoy: Or make adjustments
Madhuri: I need a 4 part structure but don’t plan what’s happening in each chapter beforehand
Preeti Shenoy: Ok
Preeti Shenoy: I need details :)
Madhuri: 1st part is to set up the story, 2nd part is to give more definition to the characters, 3rd part is the build up of conflict, and 4th part is the resolution. Each part having a definite number of chapters so I know where to stop and begin the next part.
Madhuri: Ok tell me something, what’s the most difficult part? The beg or the end?
Preeti Shenoy: Beginning surely. And then deciding which POV to tell story from. Then pouring emotions into it. What’s yours?
Madhuri: For me both the books ending..
Preeti Shenoy: What is second book?

Madhuri: A sequel
Preeti Shenoy: Nice!!
Madhuri: Really tough. Most anxious. Apprehensive

Preeti Shenoy: Will surely read!!
Madhuri: Thanks (hug)

Preeti Shenoy: U finished writing?
Madhuri: Writing 4th part of book.
Preeti Shenoy: Ok
Madhuri: Another 25,000 words to go
Preeti Shenoy: Ok
Madhuri: Feel a little lost sometimes `cos don't want my character to come off wrong or clich├ęd. So taking my time. Didn't realize trilogies are so tough!
Preeti Shenoy: Ok--for me after sometime characters just do what they want to do!
Madhuri: Ya
Preeti Shenoy: I don't know if that makes sense
Madhuri: Ya it does
Preeti Shenoy: It’s like one loses control no? Crazy it sounds. But its true.
Madhuri: Ya and that character is its own person.
Preeti Shenoy: Yes!
Madhuri: Unlike me. That character is so not me.
Preeti Shenoy: Yes!
Madhuri: And sometimes I hv to not put MY thoughts into her or him
Preeti Shenoy: Oh yes
Madhuri: Cos that's not how they would react. You have to be careful how the character reacts to situations and how you would react to situations and not mix the two.

Preeti Shenoy: And sometimes something which affected me… it always finds its way..into the writing.

Madhuri: Oh always! That’s why my column in Asian Age/Deccan Chronicle is Kaveri Love Guru. It’s her viewpoint and not really mine. She’s the single one, you know..
Preeti Shenoy: Nice! :)

Madhuri: But I need to draw more though, become better, hv better language, deeper vocabulary...
Preeti Shenoy: Oh--that is always a constant quest for me :)

Madhuri: I read so much and wish I could write like that.

Preeti Shenoy: I admire Catherine Alliot. I read a LOT too. And totally admire sheer brilliance in writing

Madhuri: Ya me too

Preeti Shenoy: Who all u like to read?

Madhuri: David Davidar. I also like Siddharth Dhanvant Shangvi’s prose but his books really move me to tears. They’re beautiful and sad.

Madhuri: Ok look u go hv lunch

Preeti Shenoy: Yup

Madhuri: Ur not gonna get time later

Madhuri: We'll chat soon

Preeti Shenoy: Good talking to u abt writing--something I rarely do!!

Madhuri: Let's do that more often :)

This is where our conversation ended for now... I'm hoping to have more conversations with her. I'm also hoping I can rope in a few more authors for a full fledged discussion on the writing process.  Looking forward to that soon. Will keep it posted here.

Below are the 2 books covers of our latest books:


Grem Ivana said…
First, thank you beautiful ladies.
This is an interesting read, definitely.
This is interesting both: by form & content. The form is attractive because the reader is like a spy.
Two human have a conversation, and the third is near with "the keyhole".
It is probable that this may explain the success of the "diary" format books.
About content...
I was wondering how is it to write a book.
I'm always in trouble when I try conclude Myself in to the system.
I can not say that, for example, on Tuesdays from 10 am to 5 pm, I am writing.
On the contrary, as a rule, if I give myself any installation - I can sit stupidly in front of the monitor for a long time.
But at the same time, if the process of writing is not equal to the creation of words and sentences on paper (monitor), then
... Then every second of my life I'm in system.
Thank you for your description of arithmetic of the writing stories.
And yes, it's the constant self-improvement.
I wish you to be a non-empty. Both of you :)
Thanks for sharing..nice read indeed :)
Glad you liked it. That's why we wanted to share it. Will do much more of these conversations with different authors on a variety of topics. Will post them here on my blog :)
Rajlakshmi said…
I loved reading the your convo ... gave an insight too on how you ladies manage to write bestsellers :D
Rajlakshmi said…
I loved reading the your convo ... gave an insight too on how you ladies manage to write bestsellers :D
vikram said…
Hello Ma'am,

Liked this interesting conversation with Ms Preeti Shenoy. I got to know that my fav author is coming out with a sequel. May it sell a million copies. But please this time a real whopping cover with the best profile pic ever of the author. And I wish to be invited to the launch. At my expense!
Hope u didn't take offence on my last comments on the post of the "perfect hubby"! My apologies,if so!
Arshad Usmani said…
I tells the real writing process through you writers go. Thanks for sharing! Plz do the conversation with more authors, like between Salman Rushdie and you. Keep stuffs like these coming!

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