How My NaNoWriMo Was Hijacked …

Mr Right Mr WrongGR

a book cover for “Mr Right and Mr Wrong” by Roopa Sachidanand

November turned out to be a busy month for me: I had a lot of experiments at work, had to prepare a mini-course on immunology for Imperial College students.

I’m an impulsive person. All my life I tried to fight it, but my irrational streak occasionally gets through my mental security and I do the unplanned.

This is what happened on the 14 of November 2012 when I was in the middle of writing my new political specific novel in Russian as my NaNoWriMo challenge, a serious project which was too much for me to bear at the time.

Suddenly, a new idea struck me, so just in two evenings I wrote the whole outline of a new romantic comedy novel. Then I started writing it: by the end of NaNoWriMo I passed 10 k on each of the novels, which is no 50k I needed to win, but still a victory for me, because I am now working on two exciting projects.

The new novel called Mr Right and Mr Wrong is my first ever rom-com about a London based student called Chloe who has to choose between the right and the wrong guy. It would have been easy if she new who was right for her.

Chloe studies agronomy at uni and wants to specialise in soil science, so that’s a bit of lab-lit I have added to my story.

What have I learned while writing it?

It was the first story I created following an outline, and I loved the experience. The major plot points were there, but on the way I’ve come across nice little finds, which made the story more fleshed out. I wrote my first ever sex scenes, which I used to deepen my characters.

The biggest challenge was to maneuver around cliches, hopefully my best-in-the-world editor Stephanie Dagg spotted all my missteps. The book cover for my new book was designed by Roopa Sachidanand, she’s simply a superb cover artist as you can see.

Rom-com is often perceived as a superficial, light genre. I believe it can be both enjoyable and thought-provoking. Literature can be fun and my ambition is always to write interesting stories with literary value. The time will show if I succeeded or not.

Mr Right and Mr Wrong is out now.

Have you ever had such an unplanned thing happened to you and what did you do about it? Is a new, spontaneous art idea more pleasurable to work on compared to an old and well thought-through one?

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