Author's Diction~Vipin Behari Goyal: June 2013

Friday, June 28, 2013

The future of English fiction writers in India

Indian Society is complex, so Authors need to work hard

                                                      [Jyoti Arora-Indian English Author]

The English fiction writing has undergone many ups and downs in last few decades.

 Since, Nirad C. Chaudhuri (The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian), Mulk Raj Anand (The untouchable) and R.K.Narayan (The Guide), who wrote simple heart touching stories about the people around them, the flavor has been maintained by Jhumpa Lahiri (The Namesake)  and Sudha Murthy(wise and otherwise) till the current decade.

Some authors became famous for controversial writing as Khushwant Singh(A history of Sikhs) and Salman Rushdie(Satanic Verses) who wrote against religion or Shobha De to Arundhti Roy who said, did or wrote things to hurt the sentiments of people.

Vikram Seth(A Suitable Boy), Amitav Ghosh (The Glass Palace )wrote  literary English books that were highly acclaimed by Indian as well as foreign critiques.

The contribution of R.N.Tagore and V.S. Naipaul (both are Nobel laureate) is beyond my words.

These authors caused ripples in the literary world which was enjoyed by all those who love reading Indian English Authors.

Then the new wave emerged called Chetan Bhagat with his debut English novel “Five point someone”. It was a retold Indian version of Peter Robinson’s novel “Snapshots from hell”. Many surfers took the ride and a new wave was set in.

Love story is an eternal theme of literature since eleventh century when first novel was written. The youth of India had so far read few Mills and Boon was eager to explore the Indian counterparts of that series. The authors of this wave did not disappoint their readers and Indian book stalls were flooded with Boy-meets-Girl kind of romantic novels. It developed reading habits in youth that was lost in maze of cricket, cinema and career. The identity crisis of Indian youth and their dilemma to follow traditions and anxiety to be identical to their Western counterparts led them to read books in search of solutions. How far the Indian authors have been successful in suggesting remedies or at least, a better comprehension of the situation is anybody’s guess.

Literature is said to be the mirror of society. Indian youth is torn between old and new values but is not ready to revolt against age-old traditions. The medieval values of caste system, arranged marriage, dowry, child marriages, veil system, female feticide, divorce, inequality of men and women have become issues of yesterday, and youth is open to new wave of gender equality, choosing life partner and ready to share equal responsibility in raising children.

The basic values are deeply rooted in the psyche of Indian youth. Most of them respect and take care of elders and parents and are religious from the core of their heart. The medieval values emerged with Muslim invaders and strengthened with British Empire in India. Now after 65 years of Indian independence, when most of the population of India is born in free India a radical change is bound to come.

The Indian English authors should divert to serious writing suggesting pragmatic solutions of contemporary social issues, to sustain the hobby of reading in youth.

Amar Nath Prasad in his book Indian Writing in English said"The plant of Indian writing in English must develop its root quite deep into the fertile soil of Indian myths and culture."

Related Post

The future of English Fiction writers in India - 2

© Vipin Behari Goyal


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Break Your Glass-Ceiling

                          How to Choose What to Read Next ?

Books, Fiction, Literature, vipin Behari Goyal

Reading books is like climbing the stairs of multi story building when lift is out of order and you live on the top floor. You have to break a glass ceiling at every floor to enhance your vision and joy of being closer to your destination.

I reviewed my reading habits. I found that after every certain spell of time I lost interest in one genre and shifted to another. When saturation of one genre came something happened which broke the glass ceiling and I could rise to another level of understanding.

Here are books or authors at each level:


2.Enid Blyton- Famous five series

3.Alice in wonderland, Alibaba, Arabian Tales, Sindbad, Marco Polo, Panchtantra, Little Prince, Gulliver’s Travels etc.

                                       1.  GLASS-CEILING

4.Romance books and love story--Mills and Boon (Mostly Girls)

5.Sci-fi fiction, Horror for boys, though it could be vice versa or both.

                                         2. GLASS-CEILING

6. Matured romantic books—Gone with the wind, Thorn bird, Sidney Sheldon,

7. Suspense and crime thrillers—James Hadley Chase, Robert Ludlum, John Grisham, Mario Puzo

                                          3. GLASS-CEILING

8. Books based on facts- Ken Follett, Irving Wallace, Wilbur Smith, Arthur Halley, James Clavell

9. Banned books —Lady Chatterley’s lover, Lolita, Nancy Friday, Anonymous

                                     4. GLASS-CEILING

10.Fiction with philosophy—Ayn Rand, Paulo Coelho, David Brown, Khaled Hosseini, Murakami, Aldus Huxley, George, Orwell. Saul Bellow  

11. Autobiographies—Benjamin Franklin,  Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi,

                                        5. GLASS-CEILING

12.  Classical Books—Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Shakespeare,   Jane Austin, Pearl Buck, Earnest Hemmingway, Somersaught Maugham, Bertrand Russel

13. Text books of Philosophy, Psychology, and History to understand literature.   

                                       6. GLASS-CEILING

14. Philosophical or Psychological Fiction—Robert M. Pirsig, Jostein Gaarder, Mark Haddon, J.M.Coetzee, Gabriel Garcia Marquezss,

15. Self-improvement Books-- Malcolm Gladwell, Robin Sharma, Rhonda Byrne

                                     7. GLASS-CEILING

16. Philosophical Fiction- Jean Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Friedrich Nietzsche, Kafka, Hermann Hess,  

 17. Supernatural and spiritual literature- Harold Kushner, Dalai Lama, Swami Rama, Swami Yogananda, Richard Bach, Elizabeth Gilbert, Mitch Albom.

This list cannot be exhaustive. It is just to give you an idea how things change with the passage of time. If they have not changed for you since long then you are stuck at a glass ceiling and this is high time for you to pick up your next genre.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Little madness is necessary

                             Tips for Writers

Any creative artist cannot lead a life of normal human being. Authors are no exception. They are branded as whimsical, erratic, cynic, crazy or mad by society. Actually the faculties of mind that Author uses like imagination, minute observation, narration, memory are just opposite to what is required to lead a normal life. So if you have received any of these medals from society, be sure that you are already on the path of creativity.

If coachman is lashing the horse of the cart, how many would embrace the neck of the horse and weep in compassion for him as Nietzsche did.


“Only a good man can write a good book”

It is not necessary that society acknowledge you as good man. The society is too mean for that, you judge yourself conscientiously. Put a hand on your heart and review your life, if you have lived your life by conscience you could be a powerful author.

art of writing,creative writing

A powerful author would be remembered till the end of civilization. Do you think Dante, Victor Hugo and Tolstoy would ever become obsolete? Even if one does not reach to that height, he should at least aspire for that.

Life of a normal man does not make any story. Author cannot repeat the story told by someone else. He would add his own perspectives and would kill the core of the story. Main thing is to feel the pain of the sufferer and express the compassion without a care about what people would say about you.

Keep in mind you have to:

“Search for the nucleus of society”

If so far you have written boy-meets-girl types of stories, now try something different. Twenty five years back when I thought I have written a very good story, I took it to a great author of our region Vijay Dan Detha who received many literary awards. After reading he asked where the nucleus of the story is.

I was astounded. From that day I began my search and found that every individual, every society and every culture has a nucleus. They are all around us. Either we don’t see or we ignore. The boy does meet a girl in the society but that is what everybody else also sees. An author has to see and express it with an angle others might have overlooked.

Next time when you write a story check if it has nucleus or not?

 © Vipin Behari Goyal
Advocate, Rajasthan High Court, Jodhpur, India

Saturday, June 15, 2013

An Author, Salesman and artisanal Publisher

                                   When Author is also a Salesman

If you born as an author you are not far from being a salesman and artisanal Publishers.

In ancient time (only a few decade back) an author was only an author. He had a desire to share his dreams and views with others. He seldom bothered about commerce of his books.

Sophia Tolstaya wife of Leo Tolstoy took care of financial aspects of her husband’s work. She was also a copyist for Leo Tolstoy and wrote his great work “War and Peace” seven times from beginning to end.

Most of the authors now say that writing a book is only 20% component of the project. Rests 80% is getting it published and make it reach in the hands of a reader.

By the time your script is rejected by good number of publisher and Google is unable to provide you with a fresh list, you would start losing faith in your writing skill. The second good story that had germinated while writing your debut would be worst hit. You would be tempted to shelve that in a corner of mind for time being.
While waiting for more rejections you would contemplate an e-book and self published paperback. It may take a long time to comprehend the mechanism and mathematics of self published book. The only satisfaction you may draw is that your book saw the light of the day. It would not stir the literary world, as it would not reach in the hands of elite whose opinion matters in literary world.

Some authors write specific genre for specific clientele. Others want to ride the wave and write something that would sale. The idea is not the book but money is the ideal. They are always a winner. Anyone who knows how to surf a tide is winner. He may not be an author but he is winner of the game of which you are also a participant.

Even if you have written a book on “old age” publishers note would come requesting some youth material in it, because youth is the potential buyer. Publishing has become tough day by day. Publishers invest money expecting some returns. He does all the labor to establish you as a writer and when by chance if you are successful, you reap all the benefits of fame popularity and money.

I would suggest to all those who are reading this article “WRITE A BOOK”. Anyone can write at least one good book in his life. You have learnt your lessons of life and faced ups and downs, just sit on key board and pen (?) them down. That is the minimum you can do to make yourself immortal and preserve memories in the heart of your offspring.

Other related post
 Hoax of Self-Publishing

© Vipin Behari Goyal