Read more to write more, says Sara Naveed
The plot for her book Our Story Ends Here came to Sara Naveed while listening to a romantic Bollywood number when she was heading home from work. The author who has a master in Banking and Finance knew what she wanted to write – she wanted ‘an extremist to fall head over heels for a girl.’ So, she drafted the entire storyline keeping these two characters in mind.
But considering the imminent tension between India and Pakistan, what were the challenges writing a book involving a terrorist and a civilian?
The author, who lives in Lahore knew that the topic of her novel could lead to controversies, but even after her family shunned the idea, she kept writing, utterly convinced of the story she wanted to tell.
“My focus had always been on the love that blossomed between the protagonists. At the same time, I also tried to mention the horrendous events the guy had to go through while belonging to a terrorist group. It wasn’t easy for him to put aside his mission and fall for a girl. His character goes through a lot of challenges. Therefore, writing this book and moulding these characters was a difficult job for me.”
Sara’s love for writing stems from her teenage years when she used to write copious amounts of fan fiction.
And while pursuing her masters she decided to return to her passion. She adds, “I get a lot of inspiration from music and books. However, inspiration can be driven out of anything you love.”
Although Our Story Ends Here was Sara’s second novel, she admits to having a trouble getting back to writing after finishing the book, “For me, the best way to get rid of a writer’s block is reading. A lot of reading. Because when you’re reading, you’re constantly playing with words, scenes, characters, and plots in your head. Reading gives you enough motivation to start writing again.”
Having said that, Sara, who looks up to writers like Khaled Hosseni, Paulo Coehlo and Jojo Moyes, has already started working on her third novel which will also be a romance, discussing a vital social issue. She advises aspiring writers to embrace the rejection and work out a way to tell the story they have been living with for the longest time.
She concludes, “Read a lot. Remember, you can never become a good writer unless you’re not an avid reader. Never lose the consistency in your writing… If there’s a spark within you, try your best to unleash it.”