Interview: Fantasy and short fiction author Sriranjani Suresh on writing and writer’s block

Hardly anyone would say that starting out as a writer is easy. A common phrase preaches that “the first million words are practice” before someone develops something like competency in his or her craft. Even bestelling author Stephen King quotes it in his book On Writing.

There is no consensus over who said this phrase first, however it is common knowledge that it is an emotional struggle for nearly everyone to get into the mood of writing and bringing something onto the paper or Word document.

Sriranjani Suresh, 21, from Bangalore in India does her masters dissertation in creative writing at Kingston University London. Thus she has to write, despite lacking motivation or inspiration. Unlike bestselling authors like George R.R. Martin, creator of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, better known under Game of Thrones, who has repeatedly missed his deadlines, Suresh has her methods to get herself to write despite having the so-called writer’s block.

jini foto
Sriranjani Suresh, 21, publishing and creative writing student at Kingston University London battles the writer’s block like many other. Photography: Sriranjani Suresh

“It depends on how desperate I am.  I have a deadline, so I have to write, and I have no excuse to say ‘I have writer’s block, I can’t write anymore’. What I did was I kind of collapsed on the ground with a book and I stared at a page, waiting for inspiration to come to me. I was on the ground for like an hour. And I was listening to things. At some point I threw my phone away and I got up, ‘I’m writing now’. And I wrote something,” Suresh said.

The publishing and creative writing MA student has already published three short stories in India over the course of her bachelor’s degree there. They all involve fantastic elements, her preferred genre to write in. Suresh has always planned to write novels and novellas; for her the short stories were just a way to get some of her work “out there”.

“on the usefulness of stars” was published online on Madras Mag.

“A pound of flesh” appeared online in the Bangalore Mirror.

Suresh draws her inspiration for her ideas from rather unconventional sources. Watching YouTube videos and listening to podcasts are oftentimes her go-to material to gather ideas for her work.

“I watch a lot of YouTubers, and I watch particular ones that appeal to story-telling instead of normal vlogs. They tell stories and they create these tiny two-minute long films where they create the atmosphere so well. That is something that inspires me a lot and another thing are podcasts, as in story-based podcasts are the ones I listen to a lot. And the realer they are, the more attracted I am to them,” she said.

Oh my god, I haven’t written for so long, it kind of hurts. Write!

Once Suresh has an idea, she usually knows how to end her stories. She does not outline, something other people do when they create a story, but for her it is still a straight-forward process.

“Usually I know when to end a story or how it’s going to end. Usually it starts off with this idea, it’s kind off how it starts, but I know how it’s going to end. It’s just the in-between bits that I have to fill. But yes, I usually know how it ends,” Suresh said.

Suresh has been writing since she was a child and uses the medium as a means to express her thoughts. After an exhausting day she tends to write down her thoughts and feelings and afterwards she feels able to make sense of them.

Whenever she goes a longer period of time without writing, Suresh feels certain need to write.

“For me it’s like being tired. I just feel empty. It’s like when you haven’t been eating for a long time and you go “Holy shit, I’m really hungry”. It’s kind of like that. ‘Oh my god, I haven’t written for so long, it kind of hurts’. Write!” said Suresh.

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2 thoughts on “Interview: Fantasy and short fiction author Sriranjani Suresh on writing and writer’s block

  1. I can feel the appetite and the hunger for creative writing in you. Keep writing and things will fall in place as the journey of writing goes on and on and on…

    Like

  2. Usually it is the first one or two paragraphs which cause trouble. Once crossed words fall into place and you are on track.

    Like

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