There is no denying that romance is the favourite genre amongst Indian authors at present. However, the scenario has started to change, albeit very slowly. While some of the romance novels are runaway success, most fail to make a mark. This is mainly for two reasons. Firstly, the obvious – they are not well-written, well-edited and well-executed stories. Secondly, there are too many of them and the theme gets repetitive. For quite some time, I had been wondering why more authors are inclined to write romance novels and not say thrillers or YA stories. Some research and talking to few author friends brought me to the conclusion that this happens mainly for these reasons (in no particular reason):
Let’s be honest. Chetan Bhagat, Durjoy Dutta, Anuja Chauhan and Ravinder Singh have made romance novels look very cool. Not only are their books absolute bestsellers, they all have a huge amount of following while authors writing other genres have specific and niche following.
Easier to write
Not comparing, but if you read the average run-of-the-mill romance novels that are churned out every year, the stories lack imagination. Most are influenced from real life – authors’ own or of those around them – and don’t require the research or contemplation stories in other genres might require. I am saying this keeping in mind most of the stories that are published, including the ones which sell well and those which don’t. There also are books with innovative plots and you know that the author has put their soul in writing them. Those are not written for any of the reasons I am listing here; those are written because the stories were born and had to be written.
Who doesn’t love a tale of the heart?
We Indians are suckers for love and everything romantic. C’mon, don’t deny that. Most people love reading love stories, tragic or happy. And so, they do sell more. If you walk down to any book store, the main bookstand is bound to have at least four to five romance titles in the hot seller list.
And finally we come to the obvious reason all the points above lead to it. Writing about romance is a safe bet. You won’t have to gamble with the plot being too daring, too innovative or something new. Your usual boy-meets-girl, someone’s heart breaks, new people come into the plot, new love is found, old love comes back in life, and the climax – is something almost anyone who has been in love even once, can identify with. So when the stories are about normal people like us, living lives similar to ours, it is a safe bet to assume that the book will do well. And that is the reason, my friends; we see so many romance novel bestsellers!
This was initially published here.