Romance is a genre that most writers prefer writing. The reason for doing so is very simple. You don’t need special skills to write a romantic novel as love and relationship are pretty synonymous. But according to Seema Jain, a romantic novel is not about a boy meeting a girl and falling in love. Rather it must have a captivating factor. Her book, Prem Ek Ehsaas replicates the same thought. In a discussion with Thought Habitat, she is revealing the motivation and inspiration behind her writing journey. Also, she reveals the role of Pratilipi and how it is a people’s platform.
What according to you is the most challenging part of writing a romantic novel, that too in a regional language?
I feel a strong storyline is a must for any fiction. Similarly, a romantic novel can become very boring if there is no structural or compact story. There is no suspense in such novels. Readers know there will be a boy meeting a girl, falling in love, and ending up marrying. But to capture the reader’s attention till the very end, the style of narration themes everything should be captivating.
The most challenging part of writing in a regional language is describing an intimate scene. While talking we avoid certain words speaking in Hindi, we prefer them in English. So while writing, I don’t know about other writers, so I feel uncomfortable writing them in Hindi. I prefer using English words for certain parts.
Secondly, I feel reasonable readers are very particular about the character of the women protagonist. She can be weak, vulnerable but must have a strong character. There has to be a strong reason for her to have sex before marriage. So it becomes difficult sometimes for a weak girl to strongly stand for her values. Otherwise, I don’t think there is any other difficulty.
Reading as a habit is more common in English. How is penetration according to you in Hindi?
In English, I feel there are thousands of books in every genre. Readers after a stressful day want a simple entertaining book to relax their minds. I remember when I was a kid my mother and her friends were crazy about Gulshan Nanda novels. Men used to buy suspense thrillers from Book stalls, kids were after comics.
But I don’t see such simple, pocket-friendly pulp fiction nowadays. People are still interested in reading but they want simple language and an interesting storyline. This is proved on Pratilipi, the way readers react and read every story posted on this platform. so I don’t think penetration is less in Hindi. The problem is we don’t have pocket-friendly, entertaining books in simple languages. After a certain age, nobody wants to consult a dictionary after every line to understand a book.
Going forward do we get to see writing in more general or is it going to be on romance only?
I love writing romance novels. I have written some stories about social issues but in the form of short stories. At a younger age, I used to read a lot of romantic novels like Mills and Boon. Romantic novels come effortlessly in my mind, I have written some suspense thrillers and fantasy and I would like to write some comedy but horror is not my cup of tea. I can’t read a horror story, after the 2nd or 3rd page I give up.
You considered Pratilipi as a platform for you to publish your work and would you like to share more details about your experience with Pratilipi?
I wanted to write stories but I was not confident or sure of my writing skills. I sent some stories to magazines with no reply. But Pratilipi is a direct platform where no one decides whether you can write or not. Here readers decide whether they want to read or not. Secondly, the team is very supportive, mostly young and enthusiastic boys and girls are very polite and helpful. I am not very comfortable with electronic systems but they patiently help.
Thirdly, there is no pressure or time and limitations of words and themes. Whenever I get time, I am comfortable, I write and post. This is very important for me, as a housewife my family and house are my first priority. I have tried other platforms but I am more comfortable on this platform. Readers are very responsive.
In fact, I am grateful to Pratilipi for giving wings to my imagination. Otherwise, I would have died with a dream in my heart. I may not become well-known but I am happy at least some are reading and appreciating whatever I am writing. It has given me tremendous satisfaction.