Subhashish Dey a young author has published his debut book Fates Design. Subhashish is a 14 year old student of Chinmaya Vidyalaya Anna Nagar. He has been regularly contributing short stories to his school magazine. An avid reader, Subhashish believes that books open the doors to some wonderful insights in life. A brilliant student, Subhashish loves to explore different places and spends time trying to understand the culture of the people there. Here’s a candid chat with the young boy.
What made you want to start writing?
I got the idea for my story from a dream I had, after spending an evening mulling over a conversation I had with a friend. I told that story to my parents, and they encouraged me to write it. I had always had a penchant for writing short stories and poems, and a novel was only a step forward. Moreover, the timing of such inspiration too was perfect, as it was the November of 2015 and Chennai was reeling under a flood. Being thankfully unaffected and largely bored with my school being closed for about a month, there could hardly have been a better thing to do than write this book.
What things have you read that have especially helped your writing?
The book called “The Elements of Style” by William Strunk was very helpful, as it contained many technicalities on the art of writing well, which I had not known about before. George R. R. Martin’s “grey” characters also inspired a theme of renewed conscience in my book.
Do you have a mentor for writing, and if so, how did you get that mentor?
Ever since the beginning, the dreary winter of 2015, my father has been my guide and mentor. Initially he pointed out plot holes and character inconsistencies, and later did most of my proofreading for me after I was done with the fifth draft of my book, and didn’t want to read another word from that manuscript ever again. The community of experienced authors on YouTube, has also been helpful through their videos giving advice to novice writers like me.
What’s the hardest thing about writing for you?
Probably the hardest thing about writing was keeping patience, trying to balance all the areas of my life and also trying to write a novel. Sometimes I did lose patience, and my father would then talk me out of it, and encourage me to go on when circumstances were right. However, I would like to note that writing gives me sheer joy, and is a pleasure amidst the drudgeries of everyday life. It was merely the wait between stretches of writing which tested my patience.
Do you feel like it was harder for you to get attention as a young author?
I believe that people who have come to know about my book, have appreciated my efforts and have not at all been dismissive. I do understand that it takes time to get established as an author, and it is something I am willing to put a lot of effort in.
What do you wish you knew before you started?
I wish I had known how euphoric the experience of writing would be. I would have started earlier then. However, I also wish I had known that it would take a lot of patience too. All coins have two sides to themselves, and such is the case with writing too I suppose.
What do your friends say about your writing habit?
My friends have been very enthusiastic in their support for my efforts. They have received my book warmly, read it and given their feedback, even though to some, it is perplexing why I would chose to write when there are other more well established career paths, but then I would break it to them that writing isn’t my only ambition.
How do you balance writing and schoolwork and social life?
It’s all about efficient organisation of time. I never let go of free evenings, and can always be seen writing, painting or playing my piano. As soon as my schoolwork is over, I rush over to my hobbies. Colour-coded timetables were my best friend in this juggling-act phase of my life. I think it also helps that my circle of friends is incredibly close knit, and I don’t spend much time with mere acquaintances.