Popular author Anuja Chauhan was in conversation with SheThePeople.TV Ideas editor Kiran Manral today, at the first edition of Women Writers’ Festival in Bangalore. From being tagged a chick lit author, to selling the rights of her 2017 book ‘Baaz’ to be made into a major motion picture, here are eight highlights from this captivating conversation.
Chauhan is known for her witty and colloquial writing style. For it is all about sounding natural. As most Indians are multilingual, we have a tendency to slip from one language to another. So how does Chauhan mange to capture this essence of Indian dialogues in her books?
“There is an art which is writing English which sounds like Hindi, without using Hindi words, which is much tougher.”
— Pracheta Budhwar (@PrachetaB) September 1, 2018
On the process of moulding characters, she says, “If you have detailed out your character very superficially, and you have described just things like hair or one flaw to make it a little human, and just done very basic structure creation, then when something happens to that person, you will not know how this person will move. And how they will react or what they will do.”
On creating strong female protagonists, Chauhan says, “Feisty women are not necessarily strong women.”
“Those Pricey Thakur Girls is my most autobiographical book.” she confesses.
Chauhan is often called the queen of Indian chick lit. To this, she questions why must we put labels on everything? “Labels are silly. We put them on everybody. I think it is a very lazy way to work and categorise people.”
Taking a dig at her male readership, she quips, “Men expect me to give them a medal for reading my books.”
Asked whether writers should mine from life’s experiences, she says,”We should all write from our life’s experiences. The trick is to layer it in a way so that people do not realise that they are being used.”
Chauhan advises to take feedback positively.”It is important that we stay open to feedback on our work.”
Chauhan says that you don’t have to be very social to take from life’s experiences. all you need is to pay attention to what others are saying. “Be a good listener and a good eavesdropper to be a good writer.”