Tuesday, October 4, 2016

In writing, there is no safe zone: Guest Post by Adite Banerjie

Adite Banerjie is a writer. No Safe Zone, her recently released romantic thriller is getting nice reviews. Her screenplay has won first runner up prize in an international contest. Many congratulations, Adite.

Here, she is talking about writing, and switching from romance to thrillers. Welcome to my blog, Adite. The post is all yours.

Writing a new book is always an adventure—much like a journey to a dream destination.  It begins on a high note. The preparations are full of excitement. You plot and plan, find out as much as you can about the best places to visit, the routes to take, the things to pack. You are dreaming all the fun things you are going to do. You chart out your trip meticulously. And then the D-day arrives. You are off on your trip.  And then, reality bites. Real journeys always pan out a bit differently from the one that you had charted in your head. Even the most meticulously planned trip will throw up some unexpected twists and turns. But if you are a seasoned traveler you buckle up and enjoy the ride.

That sums up the process of writing a new book.  When an idea grabs you and won’t let go, you are flying high. For a while you are in uncharted territory, almost like driving down a new road, without a map or a compass, reveling in the wind in your hair and the sun on your face. Nothing can beat that tremendous rush of feeling. Like real life journeys, writing too needs a lot of planning and plotting. And that’s when the doubts begin to set in. You begin to opt for safety rather than taking those risks. Why go for something untried and untested? Why not stay in your comfort zone?

As a writer, romance has been my ‘comfort zone’. Exploring the highs and lows of relationships through fiction has perhaps come a little more easily to me than any other kind of fiction. On the other hand, I have always been an avid reader of thrillers. Adrenaline pumping action movies are as close to my heart as mushy romantic films. A good action plot has always appealed to me. The kind that has a compelling hook, draws you into the story and doesn’t let go. The ever-present danger. The tension between hope and fear, leading up to a high-octane finale. I wondered if I would be able to pull it off.

To make things a bit easy on myself—I guess you cannot totally discard your comfort zone :)--I decided to experiment with the genre of romantic suspense or romantic thriller.  And that’s how No Safe Zone was born.

One of the biggest challenges was to figure out the right balance of suspense and romance. It required a lot of drafts and many, many rewrites to get it right. And of course feedback from my editor and beta readers helped me to navigate my story without getting totally lost.

If there is one thing I learnt from the experiment it is this: in writing, there is no safe zone. All the planning will take you up to a certain point and then you have to simply dive in at the deep end and risk the consequences. Believe me, it can be one heck of a thrilling ride!