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How to write like Chetan Bhagat

By on Oct 9, 2009 | 58 comments

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I won’t say I liked ‘5 point someone’ but I could manage to finish that novel in couple of hours. I read the second one, “One Night @ Call Center”, just to keep up with the peer pressure. Almost everyone I know is a Chetan Bhagat fan and every person who mentions ‘reading’ as a hobby in their resume has read Chetan Bhagat’s book(s). No wonder he’s India’s #1 selling author [claim made by his official website]. I decided to keep away from the third one, which had excellent reviews from the fans, other said it was crap. I stayed away from the book.

Chetan is now releasing his 4th novel titled “2 states” which is about inter-community marriages in modern India. I read the teaser and found out that Mr. Bhagat has began writing novels that can be easily turned into typical Bollywood flick. I believe one can write like Chetan Bhagat if following points are followed –

1. Choose the characters: The protagonist(s) must be young & modern.

2. Communication among the characters: All the dialogs should sound as if young Indian is speaking. That essentially means the ‘F-word’ should appear after every alternate sentence.

3. Plot: Nothing in particular. Just think of bollywood movies.

4. Love story: Most people suck in love that’s why they love to read love stories. So make sure that there’s a love story. Basically, if you write love stories – people will read.

5. Add a twist: Preferably at the end – because that’s what keeps people reading until the end. It could be something way out of the world.

If you think I’m just kidding, give it a try. Write a story based upon any bollywood flick and publish it in your college magazine or personal website. Trust me, people will read.

The Big K



58 Comments

  1. rads

    October 11, 2009

    Post a Reply

    You have it nailed.
    I couldn’t bring myself to go past the first chapter of 5 point Someone.

    I get the uncanny feeling that he treats his readers like they had brains the size of a dried pea, the kind that even kindergarten kids outgrow quickly.

  2. Sugeeth

    October 12, 2009

    Post a Reply

    So you mean, that if anyone does the following steps, they could easily sell out a million copies of their books?

  3. alpha-t

    October 12, 2009

    Post a Reply

    yup i agree to this one..chetan writes for the average indian youth.and anyone who is not an avid reader(even an average reader) can be his fan.but biggie he wrote and his 1st book was big hit..thats what the world remembers..but many indian writers like arundhati roy & arvind adiga are far better than him……..

  4. Gawn

    October 12, 2009

    Post a Reply

    premchand and rk narayanan were the best authors from india i think…

  5. Mayur

    October 14, 2009

    Post a Reply

    I couldn’t stop grinning after reading that post above, especially your dig on the love stories. 🙂

    I’m no fan of Chetan Bhagat. But, as you pointed out rightly, I read his two books 5PS and 3mistakes because of peer pressure. The first one was fine but 3 mistakes totally sucked.

    I personally dont feel any thing bad in writing for an average reader. I do that. You do that and Chetan does that as well. Just that we have different set of readers all together.

  6. The Big K

    October 14, 2009

    Post a Reply

    @Mayur: That’s my generic observation. You should publish a book of your love stories. I bet it will be a great success.

  7. Mayur

    October 15, 2009

    Post a Reply

    You bet 😛
    But I’m not keen to do it, unless some one offers me a million dollars for publishing 20 stories on paper.

    I dont want to write for a paid audience. When audience will start paying me for my stories, they will coerce me to write like Chetan Bhagat. And I cant do that!

  8. rahul

    October 18, 2009

    Post a Reply

    mate,
    the whole point is how he thought of it!!

    why didn’t u think of it first and get a bestseller published..

    stop being a loser, and give respect where it is due..

    for the record, i loved FPS to the hilt..

    But i wouldnt compare it to masterpieces like God OF small things..

    still its a worthwhile work..with lovely insights into human nature..

  9. Abhinav Sonkar

    October 19, 2009

    Post a Reply

    1. Choose the characters: The protagonist(s) must be young & modern.

    What makes you assume that Chetan Bhagat cannot write with any other type of protagonist?

    2. Communication among the characters: All the dialogs should sound as if young Indian is speaking. That essentially means the ‘F-word’ should appear after every alternate sentence.

    Ha dude! Then you missed lots of meaningful dialogues too! But why not, since you never really read the books!

    3. Plot: Nothing in particular. Just think of bollywood movies.

    Try converting a simple predictable plot into a bestselling book or a box-office hit and then rethink this point. e.g. Wake Up Sid.

    4. Love story: Most people suck in love that’s why they love to read love stories. So make sure that there’s a love story. Basically, if you write love stories – people will read.

    Very true. That’s what bollywood does as well and so do most bloggers. Write what people would like to read.

    5. Add a twist: Preferably at the end – because that’s what keeps people reading until the end. It could be something way out of the world.

    You mean climax, right? Even a well-crafted movie fails without a good climax. How does that disrespects Chetan Bhagat or his writing style, I wonder?

    • Sanjay

      January 27, 2011

      Post a Reply

      I think “How to write like chetan bhagat” by “The Big K” is a sarcasm on Mr.Chetan’s way of writing…Big K thinks he can do better than Mr.Chetan.I dont know.may be yes.may be no.
      But why to put someone into disrepute? It shows Big K is jealous of him or something like that,doesn’t it?
      Melt your ego,Big K… Look only into yourself..Be satisfied with what qualities you have!

      • Sanjay

        January 27, 2011

        Post a Reply

        “I I won’t say I liked ’5 point someone’ but I could manage to finish that novel in couple of hours”,says BIG K.

        I mean,who doesn’t like FIVE POINT SOMEONE…it inspired a movie(3 idiots) which earned revenues by the highest amount till now in bolywood..

        • AK

          September 23, 2011

          Post a Reply

          The central theme was totally different. 3 idiots talked about the education system in India. Five point someone went nowhere near it. Some scenes were common. I wont be surprised if it was a strategy to create the buzz. But I wont agree if someone says that it was INSPIRED from Five point someone.

          AK

  10. Sugeeth

    October 22, 2009

    Post a Reply

    @BigK

    If thats the case, he has inspired a dozen or more readers to start writing Indian fiction. Do a research and see the numbers sold Vs Chetan Bhagat…

  11. Ritika

    November 10, 2009

    Post a Reply

    Though not a great fan of his style of writing but I sure can tell that there are many other writer out here who write the way chetan bhagat does, but it takes an IIT graduate to convince people that what you are writing is good enough. You know its like people take pride in knowing that educated people like him too use the kind of uncouth language that he does..

  12. sreeram

    November 25, 2009

    Post a Reply

    You are right. Chetan style of narrating the story and expressing it in plain english is great. But he never written good story. His one night at call center and 3 mistakes of my life are not good.

  13. Neha

    November 27, 2009

    Post a Reply

    Hey!!!…hi…this is a superb post. I am very glad to know that somebody thinks like me. 🙂 One should know this fact that INDIANS love gossiping and masala in everything and that is what the novel has provided. 🙂

    I find the classics to be very good rather than these kind of masala novels which in no way improve our knowledge of English vocabulary and also satisfy the desire of reading.

    Hats off to you for making this synopsis. 😀

  14. Mohsin Ali

    December 19, 2009

    Post a Reply

    this is bullshit…. people love his books not for his plot or whatever you say…. its the humour that makes it interesting….

  15. Amit kumar

    January 10, 2010

    Post a Reply

    hey,no need to write anything like chetan bhagat if you are doing that you are just copying that….u can’t become like that…if you want to write …..u just write yourself..present your views…

  16. Girish

    December 14, 2010

    Post a Reply

    Hey K or whichever letter u are. You have lost it dude. There are a billion more people in India apart from you. Thinking from your point of view, I might also agree like several others on our blog. But, think before you count rest of the others on your side man!

    People like you also curse Amitabh Bachchan for featuring in the Thanda Thanda Cool Cool ads, but go to any second tier city and you will know that, that is what makes such products sell.

    There is only one medium and producers can't keep creating selective ads. Similarly, for Chetan, he looks to make money by writing for the common man (which even you kind of proclaim to be doing).

    Change your perspective man.. you can't generalize or specify anything or anyone in a slot in India.

    Grow up. Cheers 🙂

    • The_Big_K

      December 14, 2010

      Post a Reply

      I know I'm not a part of those billion people nor do I count them on my side. If you read the post, I'm not even criticizing Mr. Bhagat. He's good at what he does and I'm only pointing out the pattern in his writings. You suggesting that shouldn't analyze? Well, why not? 🙂

      I even generalized a typical Hindi Soap and Movie Script. But that doesn't mean I'm against them. I may prefer not to read CB's books or completely ignore SRK movie, while every other person in the world would be going crazy over them. I've my own opinion, just like you do.

      Oh well, I'm not changing my perspective.

  17. Girish

    December 15, 2010

    Post a Reply

    Good for you man. Every individual has his opinion, and I respect yours. What I meant by changing your perspective was widen your view point. India is so diverse that you will keep finding someone like me every other day (believe me there are many disgruntled souls walking all around you).

    Internet is a powerful medium, hence before you dissect some reputed person think from all possible angles, and just not from yours. I am sure you already do that.

    Nice interacting with you K. God bless!

    • The_Big_K

      December 15, 2010

      Post a Reply

      I repeat, I didn't dissect any person. I am only posting my viewpoint and Internet is a medium that allows me to do that.

      Yes, I did think from all possible angles but the one that struck me the most has been presented in the post. Yes, India is diverse and Chetan Bhagat writes for the masses. That's perfectly alright. I think no one should have problem if I found out a pattern in his writings. It could be wrong or right. I am no way criticizing anyone.

      • Girish

        December 15, 2010

        Post a Reply

        Somehow we are half a wavelength apart K, hence the destructive interference. I feel we are saying similar things but unable to have the last word. 😀 Fine man, you can have it. Lets end this particular discussion.

        Cheers.

  18. Jacksparrow

    September 3, 2011

    Post a Reply

    I completely agree with you. The banality in a couple of his books makes watching paint dry seem like an adventure sport. 🙂

  19. Divs_theone

    September 14, 2011

    Post a Reply

    U got it spot on:) In fact, with all due respect for people who gasp at people reading the likes of The lord of the rings, Chetan Bhagat is their start at reading, thanks to peer pressure. It is not real reading however.

  20. Well_Wisher

    September 19, 2011

    Post a Reply

    Your opinion or review or observation or whatever you call it, is applicable for all the chick-flicks available in the market. Please read more and fight your own DEMONS first!!

  21. AK

    September 23, 2011

    Post a Reply

    Hi,

    In addition to what you said, there are some more characteristics

    1. Pre-marital sex : In all his novels he had very graphic representation of this. I dont have any reservations about this but its strange that this is a common thread in all his novels.

    2. There will be one character who is a understated genius. All his books have such central characters.

    3. All I can say is his novels are titillating but are utter crap. Maybe thats why they are selling.

    Dhobi Ghat flopped whereas Singh is King was a great hit. It happens. Shit happens.

    AK

  22. Rashmi

    October 10, 2011

    Post a Reply

    ur perspective is funny and interesting. I enjoyed reading it. Now I’m emboldened to write a novel as well!

  23. Aeman Waghoo

    October 12, 2011

    Post a Reply

    O I c … u seem 2 b vry good at writing n interpreting others writing skills . So Mr. Writer may I know how many books have u written till date ..!!!

    • The Big K

      October 12, 2011

      Post a Reply

      OO…you seem to be very good at writing comments on other’s blogs. So Mr. Commenter, May I know how many blog posts you’ve written till date? 

        • Anonymous

          October 28, 2011

          Post a Reply

          With that language, what kind of ‘radiant educare’ do you represent? Go drool over CB’s books.

  24. CS

    October 13, 2011

    Post a Reply

    I am a fan of Mr. Bhagat, and I agree the point made do make sense. but if you read his blogs, articles in the news paper, you will get to know that he has the metal in him, the metal that is required in each one of us to lead our country in the right direction. His thoughts are out of the box and he has the capacity to influence… guess that’s the thing most of our leaders lack 🙂 .. CS

  25. Harsh Porey

    October 18, 2011

    Post a Reply

    I agree with ‘The Big K’s Superblog’. English Litereture has seen hundreds of writers better than CB. It’s also true that anyone can write like him. Not a big deal!
       The CB loving youth has no sense of Literature!!!

  26. Angela Jens7

    October 21, 2011

    Post a Reply

    Chetan bhagat’s books are not only abot these things…they do give a social message too!!!!!

  27. Radianteducare

    October 26, 2011

    Post a Reply

    so if you know you should write. u r F cant write like hiim.bast..d  block

  28. Kartika Pillai

    October 30, 2011

    Post a Reply

    mr bhagat i really liked all your books and i want to be an author like you wish that i would be..!!!!!!!!!!! well i am writing a book nw which is kind off in your tone hope to get your feedback soon…

  29. Aritra Ganguly

    October 31, 2011

    Post a Reply

    hats off sire, truly hats off. it is amazing how people are enthralled by the lack of surprises in the book. almost all his matter is predictable and nothing more than a one-time read while travelling. it is definitely not something i would want to treasure or keep in my collection. i feel a good book is one, which draws you back time and again, year after year; and i really cannot see CB in that category. but we need all types of books, and his books really throw in to sharp relief All-Time greats. 

  30. chetan

    October 31, 2011

    Post a Reply

    Yes that’s true……… but he kept me his attention for few days on continouss staring of that book. So what are novels for they are just like time pass and he has earned it.

  31. Feeldestiny_86

    November 1, 2011

    Post a Reply

    thats all we need, all the points you mentioned below is what happens to most of us, we like watching movies and he is the person who got a lot of youngster reading, so great job chetan

  32. Ssapphire13

    December 1, 2011

    Post a Reply

    If you were so talented, you would be the one getting the FAME, MONEY and PEOPLE TO TALK SHIT ABOUT YOU!!

  33. sud

    January 8, 2012

    Post a Reply

    well,,,,thnxx all ,i m going to write my own love story…and i m sure it wil be a big hit… 🙂

  34. Dorlo

    March 5, 2012

    Post a Reply

    i read 2 states and Revolution 2020, Cheten is a very good writer that’s why i like the way of his writing 

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