Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Write The Same Thing, Only Different

I’ll admit it. When I started writing my first book, I was pretty clueless about what readers and publishers wanted. All I knew is that I had a desire to create stories.

It wasn’t until later that I began to realize the unwritten rules when it came to authors. It seems like one of the first of these rules is that writers should stick to a certain genre. I get asked “what kind of books do you write?” a lot. I generally respond with the vague answer of “mostly fiction.”

I created the Bariwon series (The Hidden Sun, The Waxing Moon, The Zealous Star). They are liberally included in the fantasy genre, though I disagree since there aren’t any non-human characters or types of magic used in the books. I would classify them as “medieval fiction.”

The Mirror of the Soul has a fantasy element to it, the diamond that shines when people touch it, but overall it is a story about human nature which happens to take place in France in 1453.

After my first four books, I realized that my works were of the medieval nature. In a sense, I was harkening to the mandate of some readers and publishers who want authors to “write the same thing, only different.”

But I knew there were other stories I wanted to tell. Wall of Faith certainly is a departure from my previous works. Set in 1988, it is also based on a true story, therefore not really fiction, per se.

I just announced my latest book, Bring Down The Rain. It also takes place in the late 1980’s, and though I draw on my experiences from high school, it isn’t based on a true story.

There is no doubt in my mind that Bring Down The Rain will appeal to a different type of reader than my previous works. I’ve gone against the grain of “write the same thing, only different.” But that’s not a bad thing.

Here’s why: another unwritten law of being an author is “write stories you are passionate about.” It’s great advice because if you are bored with the subject matter as a writer, it will reflect in your work.

In the end, I’m harkening more toward the second unwritten rule. The goal is to have yet another book come out later this year. It will be completely different than anything I’ve written before. I’ll say this much about it: the book takes place in contemporary times.

That’s not all. I have a number of ideas bouncing around my head. I make no promises on what will happen or when, but I will most likely write a full novel, or maybe even a series, based on my short story, “Howler King.” It will be a work of fantasy, with a twist.

Though I had no intentions of returning to Bariwon after I finished The Zealous Star, it seems like the characters and setting aren’t done with me. Chances are good there may be another book, or two, or three, from Bariwon.

1 comment:

  1. "Write stories you are passionate about." That an excellent mantra for any writer, Jason. Thank you for reminding me.

    Writer in the Pines