8 Things Wrong With Popular Indian Fiction

Shiralie Chaturvedi | May 19, 2017 15:42 IST

Now don't get us wrong. We aren't writing keeping in mind all the wonderful writers that India can boast of like Jhumpa Lahiri, Arundhati Roy, VS Naipaul, Amitava Ghosh, and the likes. No this is about the recent jump of some writers who have joined the fiction bandwagon. Laced with repetition, with shallow storylines, and glaring plotholes -usually these books are an exceedingly light read. Something that we could do without, and doesn't necessarily help us evolve as individuals.

Whether it's popular fiction or Young Adult novels, the fiction we have at our disposal is sparse and not compelling at all. And here are the top 8 things we believe is wrong with Indian fiction.

1. The Language Is Basic 
The way the sentences are constructed reek of a conversation rather than a narrative. It isn't something you would underline, make a note of, and figure out a way to employ it in your own vocabulary. There is no grammar technique, just endless loops of words which eventually drag us to a predictable end.



2. It Doesn't Give You Time To Feel
Let's not even go to the level of great literature; even good literature makes you want to flip the pages back and go through some emotions that get resurfaced while reading something. Because of the way these books are written and conceptualized they aim at transit reading where you are looking for a distraction, nothing more nothing less.

3. Love Is End Game 
A lot of literature that uses love as a base trope believes in unhappy endings. The way most novels should end reflects a great deal on a person reeling under a realization or coming of age. Their entire story-scapes don't involve ultimately having a corny proposal. It narrows down the scope of a caricature and takes love as just an agency, not a faculty.



4. It Doesn't Lead To Exploration When you actually read it, you will understand that it limits your mind rather than letting it loose to a world of exploration. It doesn't give you wings, nor does it bring you to a world of intense alternate reality that you get lost in. For that matter you are rarely lost in the words. You are aware of your surroundings and reading the book for you is just going through simple motions.


5. More Pop Culture Than Reality
In order to keep a base of target audience intact, the books rarely have real characters or real ideas or even real situations; it is all pop culturally convenient. There are times when it's so easily identifiable that the book was written keeping a potential movie in mind and then the macho men, the clumsy women, the oddly placed scenarios come to life. The need to have a cool-factor that reaches out to adults with teenybopper imagination is so common in these books, it's quite saddening.


6. Why Are All The Men So Powerful?
Honestly, the amount of times we have picked up a fiction only to be met with a powerful, influential man probably from an institution of repute or have founded a start-up will most definitely find love in either a polar opposite or a completely clueless girl. He will have to swoop in, she will have to surrender, he will be ridiculously powerful, she will either be a journalist or from an NGO and will have a lot of ethics which will make her hate him. That basically is how these books are fleshed out, and why not considering most of the authors come under the ambit of these men.


7. No Distinct Style 
Which brings us to our next point. Where is the distinct style in writing and narrative? It is repetitive, it is similar, and it is often so predictable only by virtue of being written by novelists before. One can't distinguish between the blue glossy books from the green one because right from the cover-art to the title everything looks shockingly familiar.


8. Characters Aren't Forces To Reckon With
When was the last time we remembered a character from one of these books like they were our best friends? Like they were us and they went through everything we did and we grew up as they grew up in the course of the book. The characters are replaceable and acting as background forces rather than catalysts and agents who evoke emotions in us that make us want to talk to them. Can someone help us find them?!



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