Indian Noir's Nikesh Murali shares how to write critically acclaimed fiction and capture India's Crime and Horror podcasting scene

Podlovers Asia May 08, 2020

In this episode, we are having a chat with the host of Indian Noir, Nikesh Murali!

Nikesh is a critically acclaimed crime and horror writer, as well as a globally acclaimed spoken word artist, the creator and voice behind India’s number one storytelling podcast, Indian Noir. He is a Commonwealth short story prize winner and DWL story prize winning writer also received the honorable mentions for the Katha short story prize twice.

He’s also the author of a multi award-winning Amazon bestselling short story collection, the Killing Fields and novel His Night Begins is adapted to an audio version for his podcast. Nearing the end of the storyline, I reached out to Nikesh to talk to him about the origins of Indian Noir and his take on creating such an amazing show.

We talked about:

  • Nikesh’s origin story, how he went from spending decades writing novels, doing spoken word to diving into the world of podcasting
  • His writing process: Using TV and screenwriting techniques to create fast binge-worthy episodes
  • The unique structure behind Indian Noir and its multiple shows
  • Nikesh’s take on the creative podcasting scene and how to tap into it as a budding podcaster/creative

Enjoy!

For the full transcript, click here

Timestamps

  • 4:57 Writing in a dying publishing industry: Nikesh’s origin story
  • 8:18 Poetry and the beauty of recitation
  • 11:15 “I’ve always had a very dim view of the world” Focusing on crime, and the start of His Night Begins
  • 14:11 “What about our stories?” The void of Indian crime and horror stories
  • 18:43 Indian Noir’s audiences span the globe because stories transcend cultural contexts
  • 20:31 Spikes in listenership from overseas (US, Middle East, Australia), and Horror in Asia
  • 22:46 A billion people and multiple languages: The sheer potential of translating Indian Noir
  • 24:46 Indian Noir’s multi-show structure: Indian Noir X, One Shots, FearFM and Desi Crime
  • 29:09 “I do not think of Indian Noir as a podcast” Nikesh compares running his show to HBO
  • 29:56 “Television is the most superior, supreme form of storytelling, full-stop.”
  • 32:37 The release schedule for Indian Noir, the podcast run like a TV channel
  • 36:44 My own fiction show, Tempered Fables, the lore and continuity behind it
  • 40:38 The beauty of oral storytelling
  • 41:50 Oral storytelling has always been the oldest form of storytelling
  • 43:58 How Nikesh feels about ending His Night Begins
  • 45:37 “I get complaints if there isn’t an episode” The fierce loyalty of His Night Begins fans
  • 46:18 The pressure of ending a show, and writing a satisfying ending
  • 49:48 Nikesh Murali will be the sole actor of Indian Noir, and why
  • 53:10 The challenges of being a single voice actor
  • 55:12 Indian Noir as a duty, novel adaptations, and the satisfaction of making a podcast
  • 58:33 Invest in your craft, invest in your skillset
  • 1:03:59 The learner’s mindset
  • 1:05:20 What Nikesh would like to see more of in the Asian podcasting scene – critical analysis of the scene itself
  • 1:11:13 EXTRA: More on fiction, backgrounds and accents!

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Norm

Norman Chella is the Podcast Rainmaker, Polymath in Progress and a very strange writer. His creative pen name is N.T. Cloever. You can find his words right here.

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