Supernatural genre gives writers most creative liberty

It lets you discover finer sub-classifications.


MUMBAI: Writers of the popular TV show Naagin, Mukta Dhond and  Mrinal Jha, explored the scope of the supernatural genre at The Content Hub 2020 organised by indiantelevision.com.

Dhond said that the most exciting thing about fantasy is that it gives creative liberty to writers. As they say, anything is possible in the fantasy world which usually is not possible in other human stories. Human situations give you certain amount of possibilities but in fantasy there is so much more that is possible. There are some real stories; outside of that there is a whole world of small creatures who have power. Naagin is a female superhero; there are very few female superheroes worldwide, especially here in India.

“Naagin is a woman who does what she wants to do. She is a woman who has power. She is able to fight back and take revenge, but the world doesn’t hate her. The character can do unimaginable things that we cannot think of. She tells people that they are wrong and the Indian audience accepts it. Naagin is somebody like just you and I. But they are able to speak their mind. The funniest part of doing Naagin is that there is no limit, anyone can turn around and do anything. You are free to write what you want. You can just close your eyes and think something, the fantasy world takes you there. That is the beauty of supernatural shows,” said Dhond.

According to the panelists, for several years the supernatural genre was missing on Indian television. Aahat was the only show that continued for a long time. Otherwise no one  wanted to venture into it. And later Naagin and Nazar happened which opened the door for plenty more shows.

They believe that the most exciting part for writers working on fantasy is the thought of coming up with unique ideas. It gives you the liberty to think out of the box.

Jha said that the supernatural genre also demands pace in writing which sometimes is a challenge. "The events of each minute are very high generally and you cannot borrow from the real life around you. You have to imagine constantly and keep creating. The plots and twists have to be new every time. That is the exciting part. But the struggle is to find something new to tell every week,” she said.

Sharing the same sentiments, Dhond said: “People in India have less patience. They want romance, action, drama, and revenge - all in one episode. The story that I finish in six months in a daily soap, it is over in its fourth week in Naagin. So, the volume of content generation that happens in fantasy shows like Naagin or Nazar becomes high. It is like surprising yourself and the audience every day.”

India’s obsession with knowing the future and foretelling gave birth to their new show Divya Drishti. The story is about a girl who can see the future.

“Also, what happens while writing shows like Naagin, Nazar and  Divya Drishti is that you discover the classification of what is called supernatural. For example, Nazar is a creature horror. Why is it a creature horror and why isn’t it a superhero is an interesting classification because they dictate how you tell the story. This is the key part of doing supernatural, you are able to identify sharply as to what is the template of the story that you are portraying,” said Jha.

While answering the question of picking a genre while making a career in writing, Dhond said, "I started my career by writing for a supernatural genre. The first book which I did was called "November Rain" which later went on to become a series on Zee TV called Tum Bin Jaaoon Kahaan. I wrote lot of Mano Ya Na Mano at that time. It just came my way. Eventually I discovered my interest in that genre.”

Latest Reads

Netflix’s Monika Shergill talks about crafting stories for every mood on OTT

The OTT platforms have taken the world by storm. If there is one key trend that has completely revolutionised the way content is now being created across mediums, it is definitely these new-age platforms. And leading the way is OTT giant Netflix which currently boasts of over 209 million...

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub
“The idea whose time had come”: Hansal Mehta on making financial thriller 'Scam 1992'

When the ten-part series Scam 1992 hit SonyLIV platform last October, it captured the imaginations of millions of young Indians in no time. The financial thriller chronicling the life of Gujarat-based stock broker Harshad Mehta, and his involvement in the 1992 Indian Stock Market Scam soon became...

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub
Content Hub 2021: How OTTs met the burgeoning demand for content in 2020

Any talk of content in a post-pandemic world is incomplete without deliberating on the impact it has had on the OTT industry and vice versa. The fifth edition of the ‘Content Hub 2021 - TV, Film, Digital Video, and Beyond’ organised by Indiantelevision.com.

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub
Content Hub 2021: Growing relevance of language personalisation in OTT advertising

The last one and a half years have escalated the pervasiveness of the OTTs and streaming platforms in our lives like never before. Not wanting to lose out on their share of the OTT marketing pie, brands have begun exploring promotions and advertisements on these channels.

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub
Content Hub 2021: Content marketing - the most efficient tool for brand building

With five shows running across platforms, two delivered, and another five lined up for 2021, TVF president Vijay Koshy is looking forward to an exciting second half of the year!

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub
Content Hub 2021: Viacom18 Studios' Ajit Andhare talks about creating cinematic experience on OTT

As theatres remain shut all through the pandemic, audiences were left with no option, but to turn to the OTT platforms for entertainment. The transition compelled major studios, and production companies to take a relook at their strategies and gear up for the big digital revolution that began...

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub
Content Hub 2021: Television – A Twist in the Tale

At the fifth edition of the ‘Content Hub 2021 - TV, Film, Digital Video, and Beyond’ being organised by Indiantelevision.com, veteran producers from the media and entertainment industry delved into the state of television programming in the context of growing competition from OTT platforms.

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub
Content evolves, but the heart of storytelling remains the same: Boman Irani

Almost two decades after making his debut in the Hindi film industry, renowned actor Boman Irani is now all set to don the writer’s cap for his first movie as writer-director. “Writing is the way to go,” says Irani emphatically, as he begins to share his vision of filmmaking on the first day of the...

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub
Content Hub 2021 : Insatiable demand opens up vast opportunities for content creators

New Delhi: The pandemic may have stalled theatrical releases of big budget movies, but people will throng cinema halls once the pandemic situation eases out, opined leading film, TV and OTT producers as they gathered to discuss the entertainment industry’s evolution at the fifth edition of the...

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required