Sunday, June 10, 2012

Write what you want to write

When I get asked for advice from people who want to write books, one of the things I tell them is to write the book they want to write. In other words, don’t write a book based on what they think other people might like. Why? I honestly believe that the book will be more engaging.

There are many times I’ve been asked or told to do things in my life. Often, I’ll do them out of obligation, but if my heart isn’t into it, I don’t really enjoy the experience and I doubt I do the best I can.

Let me use school for an example. I got my BA in Communications—Broadcasting with an emphasis on Production. In other words, I learned how to direct TV shows. However, for my degree, I was forced to take a Public Relations class. This wouldn’t have been that bad except that I had to take it with students who were focusing on Public Relations as their major.

Our final assignment was to do some research for American Express and then present it to a big wig at the company. It was a class assignment that was broken down in several smaller parts. I was grouped with my fellow Broadcasting students and we were given a fairly easy assignment. I’ll admit we put minimal effort into the project—doing only what was required.

On the day of the presentation, it was obvious that the students majoring in Public Relations and gone overboard and did one heck of a presentation. Ours paled in comparison.

During the same semester, I was required to direct several projects—including a dramatic scene and a musical number. For the drama scene, I did a scene from Shakespeare’s Henry IV. It included students studying acting as well as a full blown set I created. It was a boatload of work, but one I really got into.

For the musical number, the BYU symphony was going to be touring the Middle East and they needed a promo music video made. I had to enlist the help of fellow students and others to assemble a TV shoot for the symphony. I only had the symphony for an hour. We had them play a three minute song several times while I had the camera people shoot different shots. It was a ton of work, and a lot more than was required, but I enjoyed it and it showed in the final product.

I’m currently writing the third book in the Bariwon Chronicles. It’s called The Zealous Star. One thing I wanted to avoid in writing a series was to re-writing the first book three times. In other words, have the second and third books be “echoes” of the first book.

I feel I was successful in doing that for The Waxing Moon—it’s quite a bit different than The Hidden Sun. Both are separate, distinct stories.

Mock cover for The Zealous Star

As for The Zealous Star? I can honestly say it is quite a bit different yet again. Part of me worries that people will get upset—that they want clones of the first two books. However, I’m telling a story I want to tell, and in the end, I believe it will be a better book for it.

No comments:

Post a Comment