Amish Tripathi and Ashwin Sanghi, both prolific Indian writers were present at the Times Lit Fest in Delhi to discuss the art of storytelling, the right marketing approach, on how to be a bestseller and mostly as mentors for the budding writers.
Amish’s first book, The Immortals of Meluha was a record bestseller, which was followed by the success of The Secret of the Nagas and The Oath of the Vayuputras. While, Ashwin’s books The Rozabal Line, Chankaya’s Chant and The Krishna Key were the bestsellers in India and abroad.
In the panel discussion on the topic, Write India- ‘Searching For New Stories’, the writers expressed their thoughts on the following subjects.
On their storytelling approach
Amish Tripathi- “I discover the story as a writer as much as a reader.”
Ashwin Sanghi- “For me the art of storytelling is much more structured.”
On the secret formula to being a bestseller
Amish Tripathi- “I don’t know really as one cannot predict the audience. I think you just write the book that appeals to you, the subject you are comfortable with. For instance, religious themed book are mostly rejected but I stuck to my genre.”
Ashwin Sanghi- “One should never negate marketing aspect. Ernest Hemingway had said that write when you are drunk, edit when you are sober. But I would like to add to that, ‘marketing is a hangover’”.
On the new forms of storytelling
Amish Tripathi- “There are many interactive story forms today like short stories, novels, poems. And 140 words Twitter story sounds more of a rant. However, content always has to be important and characterization has to be strong.”
Ashwin Sanghi- “Well there are many interactive forms. I discovered this rather interesting Japanese web form of storytelling, I think it is called Kamishibai as a very interactive form of storytelling.”