|Image courtesy: Google|
There have been so many books that are churning out in the market nowadays that every Tom, Dick and Harry seems to be a writer. No, I don't blame them. Writing takes a lot of effort, the good ones at least. But it pains my eyes to read the really lame ones. The kind I got when there was a flat 50% sale on Flipkart and I just couldn't control myself from clicking all the Indian authors that I was curious about.
Yes, I have encountered really bad writing (no grammar, cliched plot lines, annoying protagonists to name a few) when it comes to reading Indian authors. Why is it that only writers int he Indian market seem to think that writing can be treated so casually? The least you can do is proof check. At least the editor should have done that before the book goes to print. Of course, this should be after you have a story that's worth telling out loud.
I'm in no ways condemning any writer(s) with this post. I really appreciate the effort and discipline it takes to write a full fledged book. But what surprises me are the so called best sellers which can be labelled as simply average. Thanks to the wonderful world of social media, marketing books even before it launches off seems to be the ideal strategy nowadays.
I happened to read a book the other day by a supposedly popular Indian author. I have read many articles and interviews about her and she was highly praised in all of them. So, when I picked up her book I had a minimum set of expectations. But what I was left with was a sour aftertaste. The book was one of those kind that made me want to climb into its pages and smack the characters. It was that irritating.
Of course, the fact that the book was written by a teenager was another thing. Maybe it was just too amateurish for my taste. But what pained me was that the story line seemed to be lifted right out of Fifty shades of Grey (which I never liked, there I said it!). But even the story line there was much more polished that its cheap Indian imitation. Again, I repeat, I really appreciate the effort that the writer has taken to write a full fledged novel. But is it worth writing a book simply for the fact that she wants to be read? What was funny was that a lot of people actually seemed to read her and given good ratings too.
Is bad writing really excusable? Even the controversies regarding Chetan Bhagat have raised many a eyebrow. But as much as I have enjoyed some of his books initially, the quality seems to be dropping at an alarming rate. Maybe I won't pick up any more of his books henceforth. Though I must admit that he has given a moral boost to a lot of writers to come forth with their stories. And thanks to him, I now flee when I see the words "IIT" and "Love story" together on the cover of any book.
We also seem to be living in an era, where the popularity of a book seems to be directly proportional to the author's good looks. Kind of pathetic, I know. But this is just something that I have observed in the Indian market. Mind you, I'm not saying that good looks is all you need to write a book, but the "young crowd" seems to be lapping up and vying for the attention of a particular writer that I'm talking about. I have seen love stuck teenagers who have gone to ridiculous extents on his Facebook page. We shall not go into the details, anyhow! And most of his books seemed to be around the same lines. The few I have read at least.
Pardon me if I'm wrong, but these are just my honest opinion. It's a breath of fresh air when I find good Indian writers and the substandard work that I have read pales in comparison. There are so many good writers out there, people I've read on many wonderful blogs who deserve a much better chance than these so called published authors. Those names I would not think twice if I were to buy their books. Yes, a lot of bloggers are underrated.
Again, I'm selfishly glad that there are bad books that are selling quite well in the market. At least, it's getting published. So, maybe, there's hope for small writers like me too. Of course, I fervently hope that mine stands a better chance in being labelled as "good writing" rather than just the best seller tag. And by good writing I mean a story which can be related to, one that has good grammar, punctuation and even characters that are actually believable.
|Image courtesy: Tumblr|
What do you say? Is it better to have no writing rather than bad writing? Or should the two never be compared? I can't help but feel a relief whenever I pick up classics or even the thrillers and the light reading that's published by foreign authors. It's like a soothing balm for my eyes after the literary pain it has been subjected to.
I have nothing against Indian authors in general. In fact, some of my favorite writers are of Indian origin. Anita Nair, Jhumpa Lahiri, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Shashi Tharoor, Jaishree Misra and Shobhaa De- to name a few. These are some of the writers I absolutely love and who have inspired me to write the little I have till now. And what I have learnt is this- conduct your research properly before you set out to write a book. Write it because you believe in the story and not just because it should sell. Write a book which a reader can relate to, where he can see a bit of himself. One that lingers in his/her mind even after turning the last page.
Concluding with a beautiful quote by Toni Morrison- “If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.” And I must say, couldn't agree more!