Being mistaken for characters' views is a risk writers can't avoid: Writer Durjoy Datta

Durjoy Datta
Writer Durjoy Datta. Photo: Manorama

The views articulated by a character in a fictional work could often be mistaken as that of the writer, celebrated writer Durjoy Datta believes.

“That's a risk which will always be there and you can't run away from it,” Datta, known for his bestselling romantic fictions, told Onmanorama in Kochi on Wednesday.

During a brief interaction on the sidelines of the launch of his latest work “Pocketful O’ Stories 3.0, Microtales of Love,” Datta said books are the best place to be politically incorrect. “If there are two protagonists in a fiction, they can have different views and argue with each other,” he said.

At 36, Datta already has over 20 titles to his credit, a few of which he co-authored with others. Some of his popular fiction works include, Of Course I Love You..!...Till I Find Someone Better (co-author Maanvi Ahuja), SHE BROKE UP I DIDN'T! ... I Just Kissed Someone Else!,

You Were My Crush! ... till you said you love me! (co-author Orvana Ghai), The Boy who Loved, and A Touch of Eternity. Datta has also penned scripts for a few TV shows.

Curated and co-authored by Datta, “Pocketful O’ Stories 3.0, Microtales of Love,” is a compilation of crowdsourced tales of love during lockdown!

“This is the third year we are coming with a book like this. This year the theme was romance unlocked. When the lockdown happened everything was shut down but one thing that did not shut down was love. People were still falling in love. In fact, people were finding new ways of falling in love. That's why we came up with this theme. Everyone who falls in love thinks that their love story is the most unique, and it is. But not everyone can write stories or an entire book. What they can do is tell their own youthful, playful love story in 400 characters. We wanted to give a platform to these writers to share their love stories with us,” Datta said, explaining the idea behind his latest work.

An initiative of ITC Engage, Pocketful O’ Stories 3.0 is published by Penguin Random House India.

The campaign for the book was designed to engage young audiences and fans of the brand to share their own ‘unexpected, uninhibited moments’ of love and playful romance during the pandemic, via Instagram and Facebook in 400 characters.

The campaign garnered 35,000 unique stories and secured a plethora of expression of love. ITC Engage along with Datta selected the 400 best micro tales from the entries received.

Asked about the massive selection process, Datta said, “You always go back to a few stories. If there are stories that you remember for a week or a month, then those stories stay with you. That's the process I followed. I used to mark out certain stories I like and then wait to see if those stories had that lasting impact.”

On his journey as a writer he said, “I always consider myself a reader first than a being a writer. When you read so many books you start thinking what if I write one and I wanted to write books that I wanted to read. Even now my writing process is 80 per cent reading and 20 per cent writing.”

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