Guest author: Ritu Bhathal – Keeping my WIP REAL

Hello everyone!

Its me, Ritu from But I Smile Anyway – again!

Goodness knows why, but the lovely Sue invited me over again to ask if I’d like to write a little guest post about my WIP.

Recently, I have been very good at talking all about my WIP. It’s kind of taken my life over, this last few weeks, so before I get too carried away, can I just say “Thank you Sue!”

Ok, where was I?

Oh yes, my WIP.

This is my seventeen-year-old WIP, I’ll have you know!

Started when I was a fiancée still, rather than a wife, let alone a mother. Back in the days when I had something called ‘time’ and ‘a life’!

I managed to dip into it over, the years, but a bit half-heartedly, to be honest.

But I knew.

I knew I had to get this story written, so I dedicated the month of August this year to my own challenge, #RiNoWriMo – Ritu’s Novel Writing Month.

Yes, it is totally a play on the much larger #NaNoWriMo, which I can’t participate in, due to the fact that I teach, and November is a busy month!

And embrace that challenge I have!

I have taken the advice of many of my writer friends, and just sat in front of my screen and typed. My original word count has more than doubled, and I have smashed any targets I set myself, on a weekly basis so far.

There is probably a lot of drivel there, but the story is coming to life!

My one huge problem is that the story is seventeen years old though.

As in, it is set in 2000.

And I want it to be as accurate as I can manage.

But I’m not going to make life easy for myself, am I?

It’s all well and good that the main protagonists are young British Asians, and for the most part, they are from Birmingham. Been there, done that, lived that life!

But I decided to take the story back to the Motherland of India too, didn’t I?

That was always on the cards, but I never anticipated that my story would take so long to tell. And a lot of the memories I wanted to use, to channel into the story, are faded.

So, the last week I have probably written a little less than planned, as I have spent a lot of time researching.

I am all about artistic licence. I very rarely write factual things, so usually my words come straight from the heart, and if there is a little truth twisted in there, I use the excuse of creativity.

Though I now realise that won’t cut it with a lot of the information I need for my story to progress realistically!

I almost laughed at the words of another author friend of mine, who was planning trips to the British Library, to get research done for his WIP.

But as I am sat here with print outs of maps, the lists of popular films, music and fashion in India at the time, and numerous tabs open on my internet, filled with currency conversion rates, and train timetables, I take that laugh back.

Stories don’t always just ‘flow’ from your fingers. You need to do a little studying too!

And with that, I had better get back to writing some more ‘words’ for my WIP! Here’s hoping I’ll be back, announcing that my ‘book’ (eek!) is ready to be released before too long!

If you are interested, you can find me in all sorts of places!

Website    Twitter    Instagram    Facebook
Pinterest    Goodreads   Flipboard    Stumbleupon
Tumblr    Bloglovin

And by clicking HERE you get to my author profile on Amazon, where you can find the link to my poetry book, Poetic RITUals, which I actually did manage to publish, in less than seventeen years!

About the author

Ritu Bhathal was born in Birmingham in the mid-1970’s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but with Indian origin. This colourful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her.
From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is mostly credited to her mother.
The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her own writing, from fiction to poetry.
Winning little writing competitions at school and locally gave her the encouragement to continue writing.
As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and teacher, she has drawn on inspiration from many avenues to create the poems that she writes.
A qualified teacher, having studied at Kingston University, she now deals with classes of children as a sideline to her writing!
Ritu also writes a blog, a mixture of life and creativity, thoughts and opinions, which recently was awarded second place in the Best Overall Blog Category at the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards.
Ritu is happily married, and living in Kent, with her Hubby Dearest, and two children, not forgetting the furbaby Sonu Singh.
She is currently working on some short stories, and a novel, to be published in the near future.

Poetic RITUals by [Bhathal, Ritu]Poetic RITUals

Delve into a book of verse exploring different topics and different genres, all with a RITUal twist.
A collection of poetry drawing on the experiences of the writer, ranging from matters of the heart, love for the family, situations in life and some verses written with a humorous twist.

“Bhathal encourages us to seize the moment. To reflect, learn, and smile any which way life takes us.” Extract from Amazon review.


About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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50 Responses to Guest author: Ritu Bhathal – Keeping my WIP REAL

  1. It looks like you are doing well with your WIP, and I am sure we will soon be seeing your book, Sis. I am looking forward to reading it 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great post, Ritu. Very interesting to read about your writing process. I agree that the research is important and is time consuming. Even with my Mother’s memoir’s she can’t remember all the details about things like coppers and mangles so I have to do a lot of research.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ritu says:

    Thank you for having me again Sue! 😍


  4. Ritu says:

    Reblogged this on But I Smile Anyway… and commented:
    I’ve been chatting about WiPS and research over on Sue’s Blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ali Isaac says:

    Hey Ritu! The creativity is the fun part, the research is hard work but gives your story so much authenticity. You can tell the difference between a book grounded on research and one that’s just winging it! Good luck, it sounds fab! 😙😙😙

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Mona says:

    Hey..being a new follower of your blog I didn’t know you are writing a book. That’s just so great. All the best with your book. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Mary Smith says:

    Great post, Ritu. It’s always really interesting to hear the processes of other writers. I love research but find I go off on tangents and find all sorts of fascinating stuff which has nothing to do with what I’m writing – but maybe it will have some day! Research is never wasted. Good luck – looking forward to your next post telling us you’ve done it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ritu says:

      Thank you Mary. Being as it’s set in 2000 I’m finding myself reminiscing a lot too as I’m basing certain aspects on things I’ve seen, been and done! I have to stop myself from poring over old photos lol!!!!! I hope to have good news again as I progress!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Jennie says:

    Way to go, Ritu!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Helen Jones says:

    So glad the WIP is coming along so well, Ritu – and the story sounds great! Good luck with completing it xx

    Liked by 2 people

  10. willowdot21 says:

    I am with Judy looking forward to the book “innit” 😉💜

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    Check out this guest post by Author/Blogger extraordinaire Ritu Bhathal from Sue Vincent’s blog

    Liked by 1 person

  12. dgkaye says:

    Good for you Ritu! Challenging yourself by picking up where you left off with a story fron 17 years ago. It sounds as though you’re on the right track with knowing how to move forward so I expect a book to birth in coming months. 🙂 x

    Liked by 2 people

  13. So… it’s brewing nice and slowly. Good luck, Ritu. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Terry Tyler says:

    You’re right, the words flowing from your fingers is only a little part of writing a publishable novel. There is so much reading and planning to be done, too – as you’ve found out!

    How about this – don’t try to update it. Keep it set in 2000. If that’s ‘your’ era, about the subject you want to write about it, it’ll be more authentic if you let it be. Btw, if you’re going to self-pub, the best advice anyone can give you is to get a good proofreader. Something everyone who has not done this has had to learn, at some point – me included!!

    Liked by 3 people

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