At the recently concluded Hyderabad Literary festival, Ravinder Singh spoke about romance writing, its traps and nuisances. With nice novels under his name most of which are love stories, Ravinder Singh has carved a name for himself on the modern Indian romance writing scene. Before he became a writer he was working for Microsoft as an IT engineer. During that period he lost his girlfriend to an accident. He considers his first foray into writing a cathartic experience as his maiden novel was heavily influenced by his past.
Speaking about the trigger to the recent surge in romance writing, Ravinder said that romance has been an evergreen subject in all the creative forms; be it in writing, film, poetry, theatre, etc. Love stories the likes of Shirin and Farhad, Heer and Ranjha, Sohni and Mahiwal through the ages have always been a part of our ethos. He doesn’t think any particular year or author or book ushered in the new age of romance writing. He believes that the autobiographical nature of the stories which most often than not feature grounded and relatable characters contributed to the resurgence of the genre in the last decade.
He suggests prospective authors should learn from the way grandmothers narrate stories to their grandkids. The simplest tales are transformed into their narration. The lines remain same but the craft is in how they narrate the story with a dramatic flair. The ability to make mundane interesting and to evoke the reader’s curiosity in the reader is the ultimate litmus test to one's craft as an author.
Addressing an audience question about the novel titles always being phrases, Ravinder explained that the phrases were so because they are catchy, they help draw the reader’s attention among the plethora of books in the store and help with sales. He recounted an instance wherein he picked the title ‘Your Dreams Are Mine Now’ for his sixth book and had to go back to rework those lines into a charming proposal scene.
His next novel ‘Will You Still Love Me’ will be out on the February 14 and will feature another of his ingenious proposals. Ravinder runs a publishing house named Black Ink, which has already published debut authors from various genres. His pro-tip is never to wait for the perfect story to come to you. Instead, attempt to take the simplest things around you and do your best to make it interesting in your words. Only if you play and narrate, develop a unique perspective can you hone your craft.
By: Shirish Kumar