Indian author-filmmaker Twinkle Khanna shares some of her creative secrets

Indian author-filmmaker Twinkle Khanna shares some of her creative secrets

When it comes to aiming for the stars, Twinkle Khanna seems to be doing just that – as an author, newspaper columnist, interior designer, film producer, and former Bollywood actress.

Author of four books (non-fiction and fiction), she released her first non-fiction book 'Mrs Funny Bones' in 2015, earning the title of bestseller and making Khanna one of India’s highest-selling women writers in that year.

Her second book, ‘The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad’ – a collection of short stories, included the tale of Indian social entrepreneur Arunachalam Muruganantham, which was later made into the National Award-winning feature film ‘Pad Man’.

In an exclusive conversation facilitated by the Nehru Centre in London recently, viewers at home were able to pry into the mind of one of India’s most celebrated female role models.

The art of writing

Having earned the title as of one of India’s top three authors, when it comes to getting the creative juices flowing, Khanna follows a very specific method.

She shares: “I write out three-four chapters, and then I have to plot it out by hand on paper. I like to do a time scan chart as it helps me put things into perspective as opposed to doing a flow chart. After that I go back to them when writing my chapters, I have the exterior ready and then go back and down”.

Her impeccable style is visible in her work, something she often hears from her friends.

Nehru Centre Director Amish Tripathi reflects: “Twinkle Khanna is the highest-selling woman author in India, and among the top three authors in the country. She has developed a loyal readership of over four books, both fiction and non-fiction. It was a delight to have her on the Nehru Centre platform, speaking of her books, her writing process, her reading habits, and on many other subjects.

“It was a very engaging session with many questions coming in from the Nehru Centre audience. We at the Nehru Centre are delighted that we were able to host this event”.

Challenges of writing

On her creative flair, Khanna looked back at the nine years since she got into the mode of writing and has never stopped since. She shares how she keeps the buzz and excitement alive for her readers.

“After a while, your beliefs, and value systems are the same. Often you are trying to say the same thing in a different and fresh way to persuade your readers, and there are only so many ways you can say the same thing differently and that is a stumbling block that I often come across,” she says.

Offering a valuable tip to like-minded writers and creatives, she explains how she managed to overcome this challenge.

“I scan the news and see what interests. I will read a lot of news articles periodically, and in doing that somewhere I will find what my stance is,” she reveals.

On criticism, Khanna believes taking a dual approach to writing is important.

“I look at criticism in a very constructive manner. I want to see if there is any validity to what they are saying and if there is, I need to take that into consideration. And when you are in the editing process, you have to be humble to accept the edit.”

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