A chat between two women authors

Sometime back I had read the book 'Losing my virginity and other dumb ideas by Madhuri Banerjee'. I totally admired the bold writing style and  the dogged determined way in which the protagonist  of the book pursues what she wants.  Since I do not watch Television at all, I did find a few scenes in the book which involves reality TV, fascinating. It was a nice peep into a world which I had never given much thought to. Also the sex scenes in the book were the stuff that every woman dreams of doing but very few do :)

Madhuri Banerjee 

Later, I became friends with   Madhuri who is also a a national award winning documentary film maker, apart from being a IBN Blogger, Asian age Columnist and a wonderfully warm person and needless to say, a  gorgeous looking woman! :) She also has her own production house and writes movie scripts too. We discovered that we indeed have many things in common like the love of Art and love of writing.

Today we had a very interesting conversation on our blackberry messengers. We talked about many  things and laughed.(some of it censored stuff  as kids below 18 read my blog :))  I really enjoyed talking to her about the  process of writing books. Since many readers write in and ask me about the same, we thought we would share our conversation on our blogs.
Okay-- a bit of it. :)

Here is a conversation between two authors,which gives a good insight into our respective minds and thinking process that goes into writing a book.

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: Hahahaha. That would be nice tho… I always wanted a swayamvar...
Preeti Shenoy: I read that article on your blog…About three scenarios of extra marital affair.  I really liked the piece
Madhuri: Oh thank you
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 you draw your creativity from?
Preeti Shenoy: Second is based on true story
Preeti Shenoy: All people based on real life characters
Madhuri: Someone you 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 would you structure ur book? Anything in mind or just write?
Preeti Shenoy: No I plan
Preeti Shenoy: How do you 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 your second book about ?
Madhuri: A sequel
Preeti Shenoy: Nice!!
Madhuri: Really tough. Most anxious. Apprehensive
Preeti Shenoy: Will surely read!!
Madhuri: Thanks (hug)
Preeti Shenoy: You 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, have 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 which I find in many authors
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.

  Both Madhuri's and my books have been among top-selling books of 2011.

You can visit Madhuri's blog here: http://madhuribanerjee.blogspot.com/

And the article which I speak about in the conversation above which madhuri wrote, (the one on extra marital affairs)--you can read it here.

We enjoyed  our conversation, so much that we plan to do more soon.

And if you enjoyed it as well, let me know and I shall share it with you! :)

You can interact with me on my Facebook page if you have something to say and don't want to comment here!


  1. This was a real insight. And a real treat :D

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. i hope the above written points will help me writing something... thank you both...

  4. Anonymous12:10 AM

    I've read 'Losing my Virginity and other Dumb Ideas' and found her way of expressing the leading lady's pain so realistic!!!

    I liked both the books a lot!! :-) Hoping more good boooks from you ladies! :-)

  5. Anonymous12:11 AM

    Ive read Madhuri's book as well and the way she has explained the pain the leading lady goes through is too realistic and simply fantastic!

    I loved both the books and hoping to read many more good books from both you ladies!!


  6. I cant plan chapters, I just know the story, somehow, and let the characters do what they want to - and lead me to the end

  7. so writing a book is actually creating an entire new world where you have to pour life into each character. Nice :) From your above post i am learning how difficult is the job and how differently each author has his vision towards drafting his work. Really tough job you Authors do. Thanks to all the work otherwise which we readers don't exist.

  8. your above post has given us an insight how much planning goes into bringing your thoughts into words. Really, you Authors are amazing for all the dedication and effort you put in to bring out a book. Thanks :) and surely would like you to please share you further work us :)

  9. This is wonderful - thank you for being so candid Preeti.

    I had browsed Madhuri's blog a while ago....but have not read her book or any of her published work.

    Personally, I like an author who connects with a part of me in some way. You definitely do :) :)!

  10. Enlightening chat... It will help young writers ...

  11. Enlightening Chat...
    And your Second book is beautiful ...

  12. It was really a good chat. It helps us know what authors think and how..I do write blogs and aspire to become a writer one day..I have asked Madhuri to comment on my blogs..If you get time please visit and read a few posts of mine and do leave some feedback. Would appreciate any kind of feedback that will help me reach my aspiration someday.


  13. whatte idea for a post, madamji :))

    loved reading the conversation. I almost felt I had eavesdropped. :) and i'm glad that i did too! Interesting to see how everyone has their own way of writing.

  14. Thanks Preeti for writing such wonderful things about me. I am most humbled. I absolutely love your book. It's always wonderful chatting with you. You're an inspiration :)
    And thank you to all the people who have read my book and like the way I write. I write stories to connect to people and it's always nice to know that a connection has been made. You give me much encouragement!

  15. I am bookmarking this post... Quite an insightful conversation

  16. Very interesting. I just can't imagine writing a book. I just do not believe that I have it in me. The brilliance which you speak of as what writing should impart, I really do think very few authors have that within them.

  17. Wow - very nice indeed. I have always wondered when you start writing do u know the outline or you just go with the flow and let the characters decide the path :)

    Got some insight. Would love to know more

  18. Iam toying with the idea of writing a book. Infact, it is one of the things in my "thing to do before I hit 30" list. Ur post was really helpful :)

  19. Pointblank: Good luck . Glad you found it useful.

    Horizon: Will post more.

    Aathira: Had to read chat again to understand what you meant..Not sure I did :P

    Prats: Glad!

    Madhuri: :-* :)

  20. Suma: :) <3

    Kapil: Thanks!

    Abhijit: Thank you!

    Shachi: {hug}

    N:Thank you!

    Ritu: wow! Lucky u!

    Sucheta: :-* :)


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