I don’t know if anyone has heard of a series called Twilight, but my wife sure has. The hardback copies are stacked on the bookshelf in the other room, the movies are constantly in the DVD player and on an occasion when I’m in my lovely wife’s car there is even a Twilight soundtrack to listen to. I am grateful that we have no posters— yet.
When it comes to that series I’m not a fan. The characters are all indecisive and full of self-pity. I cannot relate to male characters because they don’t behave like men and don’t even get me started on Bella. However the point of this week’s blog isn’t what I think is wrong with a series of books that is selling like surgical masks during a SARS outbreak, the purpose is to say that I am inspired by Stephanie Meyer’s work.
As a writer it is important to know that your work is comparable to anything else out there. That belief will keep an author writing and encourage them to present their manuscripts with pride. A writer must tell the story that is important to them— not write about whatever the current fad may be. A story written from the heart, no matter what the shortcomings are, will be more satisfying. Meyers did this and struck a chord with millions. It is the intensity of her characters that give them popularity, not their motivations or reasoning. In short, the specifics don’t matter; it’s all about the emotions that they elicit.
Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain motivated me to finish my novel. Cold Mountain sold well, they made a major motion picture and it was the man’s first book. I was flabbergasted upon learning that. His first book! Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t anticipate that level of success for myself but you can’t help but think that if he can do it the so can I. Then I discovered that Charles had a doctorate in English and that, my friends, is a bonus. Still, it was quite the accomplishment and it compels me to remain at the laptop tapping away at the keys to tell my own stories.
Something all struggling artist should be aware of if they’re not already; there is an enormous amount of undiscovered talent out there. While there are certainly best sellers that perhaps are overrated, there are many who never touch the charts that are better than I could ever hope to be. The best advice is to keep at it and roll the dice with each new manuscript.
Until next time— happy writing.
Michael Matthews Bingamon