Guest post: How much do you identify with your characters in your life by Ruchi Singh

How much do you identify with your characters in your life?

I’m sure we have wondered about this when reading fiction and wanted to ask the author this. Today I have Ruchi Singh on my blog. Let’s hear her take on this same question.

Take it away, Ruchi!


Thank you Summerita for having me on your blog!

Before I answer the question, let’s examine the process of characterization. Any work of fiction starts with a germ of an idea which can be character or plot based. This idea can be picked up from a trait in one’s partner/ friend or an incident which the author has read or come across, or any other event happening around the world. Then the protagonists’ biographies are thought through and their personalities are chalked out.

In the example above, I totally identify with the characters at the beginning. This doesn’t mean that the characterization is over by any means. As the product takes shape the characters start asserting their own whims and fancies. They might want the author to add a quirk or two or they might demand to delete certain personality traits given to them. It may happen that the initial real-life trait has to be discarded altogether.

By the end of the churning of the initial idea, adding layers of plots, characters and sub-characters motivations, the real-life germ should shine as state-of-the-art fiction. At this point in time I may not relate with them at all. Or it may happen vice-versa; I may start with a fictional character, with whom I may identify with at the end of the story.

The degree of identification, with reality of life experiences, keeps changing with the changes in the character arc. There is no right answer. Or in other words, all the answers would be correct. As writers or authors, we should be flexible and open-minded during the first draft, because the traits of a character evolve throughout the writing phase i.e. till the story is complete.

The genre that I am currently writing requires larger-than-life ideas and setting for the story to be truly entertaining, so the real-life experiences are unlikely to manifest in the characters.

As they say fiction writing is more of an art, the rules of the game are never the same. I would like to conclude with one last thought, as a good human being and citizen, I identify with all the positive traits of my characters. J

Take 2
Ruchi Singh 
The Blurb
Priya’s idyllic world turns upside down when she realizes her husband considers her dead weight after stripping her off her inheritance for his ambitions and lavish lifestyle.

Instantly attracted to Priya, Abhimanyu knows getting involved with a married woman is inviting trouble. But despite common sense, cautions and hesitations, he is drawn to help her. 

Happily ever after has become a myth for Priya and trying to keep the relationship platonic is becoming more and more difficult for Abhimanyu. 

In the tussle between ethics, fears and desires… will Priya embrace a second chance at happiness?

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Meet the Author

Ruchi Singh is a novelist, and writes in two genres; romance and romantic thriller. She has a degree in Electronics Engineering and has worked as Quality Consultant in the IT field. She began her writing career writing short stories and articles, which have been published on various online forums. She has been a contributing author to many anthologies and has published her first book Take 2, which is a contemporary romance with a spice of social drama.A voracious reader, she loves everything—from classics to memoirs to editorials to chick-lit, but her favourite genre is ‘romantic thriller’. Besides writing and reading, her other interests include dabbling with Indian classical dance forms.


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Posted by Summerita Rhayne, author of contemporary and historical romance

Guest post at Coffee Time Romance – My addiction – Writing by Summerita Rhayne

Here’s an excerpt from my guest post at Coffee Time Romance blog.

Hi folks! It’s lovely to be here at coffee time romance blog. There are two things I love in that name. Coffee and romance! It evokes the image of my most favourite pastime, a cup of hot, fragrant coffee by my side and a romance book in my hand – or e-reader, for that matter – what could be better? Maybe a slice of chocolate cake?  I’m a romance writer and mostly write in contemporary and historical genres, though I’m tempted to try and write in more of the subgenres of romance. I pen sensual romances under Summerita Rhayne and love to delve into emotional conflicts that keep the hero and the heroine apart. Today I’d like to share something of my writing journey with you, how writing is almost an addiction for me and how I learnt to deal with rejections. I am a Writer. Even if I wasn’t an author, even if I wasn’t published, I would still be writing. I have been penning words since that time when getting published was not the thought in my mind. I used to write occasionally to get the ideas out of my head, at other times to make sense of life as such but the habit, consciously or unconsciously, has been there, I think, since childhood. When I’m at home, I write at my desk, on my laptop. Nowadays, I mostly do my editing this way. When I first started writing fiction, I used to scribble in a notebook when I was commuting to and from work on a bus. I can tell you it drew a lot of attention. It was funny the way people would crane their necks and try to make out my scribbles – some of which even I found frustratingly incomprehensible later! Once a man sitting next to me, said, “Mam, I’ve seen people reading on their journeys, but you’re the only person I’ve seen writing during one!” That really split my sides and made me shake my head inwardly at myself. But I was totally addicted to writing and at that time in my life, how else would I have found the time? Having a job and taking care of a family rather narrows the leisure a bit. Then hubby got me a Blackberry, I gave up on scribbling and would jab down on the qwerty keypad short-hand to keep up with the flow of thoughts. I still do that sometimes. It’s amazingly easy to write on phone, especially when you are onto a new story idea. Since then changes have occurred in my writing. Kids have grown up, I have more time to myself and now writing has become such a part of our life that we are all making space for it. I write in multiple genres of romance. My first love is, or maybe was, Contemporary romance, hugely inspired by the Harlequins I used to read. I’m not sure now because I discovered a penchant for historical romances and out of the blue, found myself writing a series about sisters who are princesses. Now I have historical fic ideas juggling for supremacy in my mind. I have tried my hand on sci-fi romance in the short story form, and have also dipped a hand into paranormal. Hopefully I’ll finish it. You cannot be an author if you haven’t experienced that black wall called as Rejection. Rejections are a part of being an author. Rejection is nothing to be ashamed of. It means you have tried. During the course of roughly five years since I have been writing seriously – that is, with the aim of getting published, I have encountered innumerable rejections from various publishing houses, big or small, national and international. It has only added to my experience and given me an idea of the direction in which I want to take my writing. My take is this, if you are getting standard rejects, keep working on your writing craft. If you begin to get feedback, then you can decide if you want to trad publish or self publish. If you can get published traditionally, go for it at least once. It helps to make you a better writer. My first best rejection was for a medical romance first chapter submission call from Hqn. They called my writing ‘intense and compelling.’ I was really encouraged by that. I’d say, do wait for that kind of feedback from the traditional publishers. Their rejects will help you to hone your work.

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My #2014 – Summerita Rhayne

I’m sharing thoughts about 2014 on Devika Fernando’s blog.
My 2014 – Summerita Rhayne

Many thanks Devika for inviting me to share my thoughts about 2014. 

As I sit writing this post it’s 31st December on the calendar. And what pops into my mind is: Poor 2014! Or for that matter, any old year. We’re so busy ushering in the New one, we forget to say goodbye to the Old one properly. From mid December, ‘Happy New Year’ starts coming easily from everyone’s mouth. But the year gone by, the mistakes we made… we prefer to forget it all. Maybe there are some lessons hidden in there, something to be learnt from how we have been, which can make 2015 more golden?   

This is why a reflection post like this one is so opportune, a way of paying homage to The Gone Year, excuse the pun 🙂 
For me, the year 2014 brought several changes. My kids went on to higher classes which meant they became busier in studies. With the pressure of competitive exams, finding outdoor time has become problematic for them these days. Enrolling them in some activities seemed to be a good solution. It started with tennis but didn’t work out so now child no. 2 is trying out dance and finding it better fun. We missed on summer vacation. A family wedding and all the ‘big fat wedding’ factor involved did make up a bit. You could say, staying up all night and feeling like a zombie the next day is definitely a change from routine! We had a healthy discussion at my workplace whether Hindu weddings ought to be shifted to daytime. I’m afraid I’m rather old fashioned in this and despite the discomfort, prefer the romantic aura of midnight weddings! 🙂

Before this turns into a rambling post, I must share an exciting change that 2014 brought. This was my shift into self publishing. I’ve been published traditionally and loved it except for a few factors. By the way, the stint in self publishing has made me appreciate a lot what publishers do for authors. All one has to do in that case is writing the book and let them take over except where marketing is concerned. However, I have found I love self publishing even more. It gives you total control on the whole process – from writing to the moment the book is ready. I’ve learnt a LOT about that process. I share some of the rudiments here on how to publish on Amazon. Currently I’m putting out my book on Smashwords and looking into other sites. For someone who didn’t even know Word properly, though I did a three month course on it – didn’t practice much then –  to have come to design my book cover and format the book for electronic and print, it is big step forward. I learnt more about readers’ engagement, about selling on Amazon… about not obsessively checking sale reports! 😉 With my second book out, I’m making steady progress though and am hopeful. Every time a sale shows up on the graph, it makes my heart swell with pride because I have had such a big part in the creation of that work. Not all my doing of course, because it’s all thanks to the resources I had.  But still, creativity in whatever form – that’s what art is about. 

This is definitely turning into a word sprawl of a post. I’m sure this isn’t what Devika had in mind when she invited me to guest post. But I can’t leave without sharing something of even more importance. So do stick around if you don’t mind the buzz of words.  

2014 also brought a change in my ‘life’ perspective
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Wish you all a Very Happy New Year!

Guest Post by Reet Singh

Today I have Harlequin and indie author Reet Singh on my blog addressing the interesting topic of genre hopping. Since I myself am guilty of the crime, just like Reet Singh, I thought this would make a good topic for discussion.  Very recently I was at Jami Gold’s blog addressing the issue of whether authors should genre hop and if yes, what are the things to keep in mind for a smooth sailing? Here’s a link to that post

And now here’s my question for Reet on the same topic.
Since you are an author of two different genres in fiction, what is your opinion of genre hopping, based on your own experience?

Take it away, Reet!


Summerita, thanks for hosting me on your blog!
Your question has caused me to introspect.
I started my writing career as a writer of funnies – these were irreverent blog posts and I have recently shared one of them on my website here.
My sons were little then, so stories were a large part of our lives – I am talking E.V.E.R.Y night for several years. Such intensive story-telling inspired me to try my hand at writing fiction for middle graders. Thus was born The Zaken Takeover, an alien adventure, in which my then 11-year old son contributed the more dynamic – read grisly – scenes. Another entitled The Mystical Amitree, is in the pipeline and I am hoping I can complete it over NaNoWriMo this year.
Then, the Mills and Boon Passions contest happened and I found another niche – romance writing!
Suddenly I find myself firmly established in the club of genre hopping authors.
My personal experience is that the marketing is complicated when you are promoting to two vastly different sets of audiences. JK Rowling can do it effortlessly because she is huge already. Roald Dahl, ditto. Ian Fleming, sure. But for new authors it may not be possible to do justice to the marketing of both genres.
The authors I have listed are fantastic and they are my inspiration. Thus, I don’t plan to give up on either genre. I fondly imagine that the mature readers who read my romances are likely to have young children at home. These scamps will need to be kept entertained while their parent is engrossed in Scorched by His Fire or The Cure was Love.
Authors who ‘hop’ are described as challenging themselves; they don’t want to be creatively stifled by restricting their writing to a particular genre. Some readers – when they love an author’s voice – follow them over; others may not, if the other genre is one they would normally not invest in. If she is any good, the author will find new readers by and by.
Wish me luck!


Wishing you pots of luck and do continue to give us exciting books in the genres you favour, Reet!

So what is your take on genre-hopping? Should the author risk it? Or stay safe in the narrow lane? Do share!

Scorched by His Fire

Reet Singh

The Blurb

Mita Ramphul can’t face another family set-up with a ‘nice young man’. What she needs is to divert her family’s attention so introducing the devastatingly handsome Tanay Devkumar as her new boyfriend is a stroke of brilliance. Until Tanay’s scorching hot kisses threaten to shatter her plans for the perfect pretend date.

He might drive her crazy, yet spending time with Tanay sparks a passion Mita never knew she had. It’s only meant to be temporary, but when Tanay looks at her with that smoldering fire in his ebony eyes Mita can’t help but surrender to the temptation of her fake boyfriend.

Meet the Author

Reet has a romantic soul, partly genetic but certainly attributable to the romantic fiction she devours by the kilo. When she’s not watching romcoms, or doing creative things with wool and a crochet hook, or playing Scrabble, she can be found in the kitchen putting together her ‘world-famous’ one-pot meals.

Married for three decades, her prototypical tall, handsome, and sensitive hero-husband still makes her heart skip a beat. Writing about love and happy endings feeds her romantic soul; hearing from her readers thrills her.

Having a mother that read to her, she paid it forward, telling bedtime stories to her sons and nieces until they grew too old too fast. As a reaction to them growing up before she knew what was happening, she began writing for older children, and has published children’s books on Amazon, for Kindle.

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Guest post by Author Aditi Chopra – Plot vs Characters #writingtips

Today I have author Aditi Chopra on my blog, talking about the importance of plot versus characters in writing. Please welcome her.

Take it away, Aditi!


As a writer, do you develop plot first or your characters? For some authors, plot is very important whereas others spend a lot of time on character development. I am fairly new in fiction writing profession, but if I look back at my stories so far, I have invariably always spent my initial time on character development. For each of my stories, I always honed in on the main character – her profession, her needs, desires and personality traits. I asked myself why a reader would find this person interesting. I then went on to develop the appropriate plot.

I believe that as readers, we always invest in people (characters). There are some characters that we completely identify with and there are some characters that we can’t connect with. But invariably what intrigues a reader is the character. If the readers like a character, they will invest time in reading the story.

This doesn’t mean that the plot is not important, it most certainly is. As writers, we definitely need to spend appropriate research and time in plotting. But if you were to ask my preference, I do spend more time or my initial time in character development. If I can bring out my character’s personality in my plot, I am happy with my story.


Thank you, Aditi! I agree with you one hundred per cent. Relatable characters or at least characters whose motivation you can understand, are the life and breath of a story. Wish you all the best in your writing! 🙂

About the Author

Aditi Chopra writes NRI (Non-Resident Indian) fiction and non-fiction books. Her fiction stories are rooted in Indian tradition and yet very modern. You can find her at

#Giveaway of #ebook on author Maya Tyler’s #blog

If you’d like to enter for a giveaway of Against All Rules, rush over to author Maya Tyler’s blog.

Against All Rules is my newly released work. The emotional and sensual story of Tahir and Samara, who are both tough on themselves, yet drawn to taste the desire that is proving irresistible. Would they let the rules stop them or break them forever?



The efficient PA out of her depth…

Samara knows getting attracted to Tahir is like asking for trouble. Not only is he her boss but he’s got divorced recently and has sworn off any commitment. Short term is not on her list but temptation has never been stronger…

The man who doesn’t have faith in rainbows anymore

Tahir doesn’t believe in enforcing a code of conduct he cannot follow. But Samara might just make him make an exception! An affair at the office might seem a solution to his troubles but how can he avoid treading uncharted territory…?

Against All Rules

…when fire is set, it’s hard to avoid the blaze…

Buy the ebook at :*Version*=1&*entries*=0*Version*=1&*entries*=0


Once again the link for the giveaway:

Just answer a simple question in the comments and you’ll be in! Good luck!

Check out also my writing tips post on Maya’s blog

Five pointers for your perfect chapter #writetips

Hi people! Here’s a guest post I did for writer friend Maya Tyler about how I judge what is a perfect chapter. The excerpts are from my wip Tahir and Samara’s story. I’ve put them in bold.

Guest Post from author Summerita Rhayne

Guest week concludes with a post from the talented Summerita Rhayne with some writing pointers. Enjoy! 


Five pointers for your perfect chapter #writetips


Hi Maya, thanks for inviting me to your blog. Lovely to be here. Today I’m feeling rather pleased with myself and I’d like to share why.

Often writing is full of setbacks and frustrations. Characters veering away from the story. Dialogue dragging. Descriptions ballooning into essays…we have a phrase in India – sleeping, weeping and eating (sona rona khana) can be stretched any length and so can the descriptions. You name it, you got it. All writers know, the troubles are innumerable. And let’s not even mention the pov woes. Sometimes I have started on a character’s pov and nearly written almost a whole book. Some characters have lots of internal dialogue 😉

But then there’s the rewarding aspect of writing. When you go back and read something you have written and it’s perfect. You know when your writing says exactly what you want to say in the same tone and without the description of it taking away from the flow of the story. That moment is what you write for! This happened with me yesterday. I was reading a book and as usual comparing myself to the writer and bringing myself down. Thinking I could never get to THE point. Then I closed the book, in a woeful mood and began to reread the work in progress. I came across what is at present chapter seven. And voilà it was there. I had written a perfect chapter. One that satisfied my logic seeking mind and also was re-readable. There are parts in my ms which I like, love or hate and some which could be done better (thank God I’m editing) but this one I’m not going to retouch.


So how do I measure perfection?

Here are the things I look for in a perfect chapter.


1) Pace

This is the absolute, foremost must for me. If the story drags, reading slows down and becomes weighty to the reader. In this, dialogue is a handy tool. Smart dialogue sprinkled with what action characters are doing, adds to the pace.

Here’s an excerpt from the chapter I’m currently liking too much (no knowing tomorrow it may show up some flaw 😉 I like the way the dialogue adds pace to the reading. Do you agree?

‘Samara. Inside. Now.’ Tahir paused a nanosecond near her desk on his way to his office to deliver the imperative.

There was no reason her hackles should rise, she was used to his brusque ways, wasn’t she? 
‘I’ll just finish typing this letter and come.’

‘I said this instant.’ A sharp tap of a blunt index finger on the glass top of her table punctuated the words. He didn’t wait for her response, striding off beyond his office door.


2) Conciseness Next thing I work on is brevity. This is a bit tricky because you need to write the necessary action without being clipped. I’d say for emotional reaction, just show small changes in facial expressions or some telling gesture relatable to the character. You want to show anger? Write terse, pithy phrases. Want to show surprise? Just have your character drop something.

Here’s another snippet in which the hero’s mood is conveyed through short pithy phrases.

‘Have you prepared the due diligence report I asked you to?’

‘It’s in my drawer.’ 

‘What’s it doing there? Laying eggs? Why don’t I have it?’
‘Because you hadn’t asked for it.’ Mutiny sparked through her, her pulse rate increasing as she waited for his reaction, sure he would come up with something sarcastic.
He didn’t disappoint. ‘So I have to ask before you’ll do your work?’ His tone was loaded with sarcasm, as soothing to sensitive nerves as a needle bed.


3) Description without detraction This is just a follow-on from the above point. Since we don’t want to just leave the reader scratching their head, some description is necessary. Just stay close to what is needed. If we want to feel the breeze, focus on a single object like your heroines hair whipping across her neck, rather than describe the effect on each and every thing the wind is blowing at in the scene.

Soon they were weaving out of Delhi traffic. He turned on the road to Manesar. She slid up her sun glasses, attempting to enjoy the breeze on the open road, finding her eyes straying to him as he leaned back, handling the controls with ease, looking deadly with those aviators and those spikes. Thank God he couldn’t see behind her glasses.


4) Show characters’ motivation and emotional state without passive telling Does your chapter focus on their behaviour in synchrony with their internalization? If your heroine is tired, does she misplace things? Put the cookie jar lid on the mixer instead?

In this portion, the beating of his pulse is the external sign of his anger.

‘Do I pay you to cross-question me?’ His brows lifted in what looked like mildly inquiring expression but she could see by the pulse that beat at his jaw that she’d angered him. This man was living breathing fire. She didn’t want to get in the way of his blast.

Or maybe she did.

‘It isn’t easy when you keep on trying to find fault in everything I do.’ She told him, meeting his glance.


5) Interaction between the characters propels the scene forward  A punch should mark the end. Something you need to establish or change or the charcaters react to. A chapter – not even a first one – can’t just be there to set the stage for your story. Have the characters act the change or react to the change.

A short time later they descended the lift and came out on the compound. Samara hesitated as he led the way to his silver Audi. She knew he drove it himself. It wasn’t that she hadn’t been in the car with him before but on those occasions they had been in the backseat discussing work. Driving with him seemed much more informal somehow.

‘Let’s go.’ Tahir directed.
‘But the team?’ Maybe she could travel in the company car.   
‘They’ve left. I just feel like a drive today. Why are you hesitating, Samara?’ He moved to the driver’s side, a sudden edge appearing to the apparent soft voice, ‘Not afraid to be in the car with me, are you?’ His drawl sent her hackles up, combined as it was with a mocking grin. 
‘Of course not. It just feels odd to be driven by my boss.’ she said coolly and climbed in beside him, determined not to give him anything to get hold of. 
  She drew her legs in and shut the door, her skirt riding up in the process. ‘Aren’t you wearing your skirt shorter than usual?’ She’d been about to draw it down but now she resisted the urge out of a mutinous impulse she hadn’t known she could have. It arose from the censorious tone he’d used. And the deliberately personal nature of the comment. 
‘I don’t see it’s any business of yours.’    
‘So it wasn’t for my benefit?’ he fired the car and soon they were turning out of the gates.


So this is my take on the necessary ingredients to whip up a pefect mousse of a chapter J

Since I don’t often feel like this about my writing, this chapter did a huge uplifting of my spirits…Read more on Maya’s blog