Tailor-made fiction or writing what you know? That’s one debate I had been having with myself for last ten months.
And I’m sorry to say but there is still no consensus view on which my mind agrees. Maybe the critic in me is just a dick with very high standards, you never know. I write well when I don’t think, the moment I think I become too critical to write. I thought it was strange. Now from what I’ve read, it seems like I might have been wrong. Analysis by paralysis is just too common.
The people who read books, or any other novel for that matter of fact, they generally have happy lives, a normal life. They are the only ones who can afford to spend few hundred bucks or spend time browsing the internet. They want happy endings because that’s all they end up knowing, happy and normal existence. Now people who can’t even put enough food on their table, they are not going to spend few hundred bucks to read a novel, they simply won’t.
So do they want to know what it is like to spend hours on internet, to blog or do they want to learn the ways that’ll help them earn more for their families. Now their life, it’s not happy and the people who can afford to read about that, to do something about that, they do not want a sad story.
So you tell me, what I am supposed to write? Should I write what I know and staying true to myself, even though no one would read it or should I write tailor made fiction for the ones who can afford it?
I do not know how it feels to live in Greater Kailash. I do not know how it feels to spend ten thousand rupees in South Extension Market. All I know is poverty and social segregation. Apparently there is no such thing as bad publicity, if you get too many negative reviews everyone starts wondering what is so horrible about it that everyone hates it and they’ll buy your book. If it gets too much praise, the newspapers, news channel, everyone will talk about it, and you’ll sell a lot of your books. Only thing that won’t work is average books, books that are not too controversial or not whored enough. So maybe criticizing our leaders might not be such a bad idea after all.
Now I used to write while I was walking, that writing I used to enjoy reading but it wasn’t the acceptable writing for commercial purposes. When I used to write that way, for my friends, it used to feel forced, it used to feel fake. So I taught myself to write the way my friends and I could compromise on, and I started writing that way while I used to walk. Now that shit, that was something I felt comfortable sharing, those thoughts I could defend and nurture as my own, the true self of an author.
Now I struggle because I want to write a bestseller (I know, I know…I’m not a published author). Now believe me, and I’m telling from experience, you have to whore yourself out if you want commercial success with your work. If you want social success, believe me, someone will appreciate your work, no matter how uncomfortable it makes them, no matter if you tell them on all their dirty lies, if someone wants to, they’ll find your work fascinating.