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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

 

A Leap of Faith

 


To be honest, being a writer is all about taking chances isn’t it? It’s an integral part of developing our craft. But how do you know if you’re ready to take a leap of faith and progress to the next level?
I mean, think about what we already do. We come up with a new idea or concept. We do all that research to give ourselves a good base to work from. And then we’re faced with a whole host of choices. What genre will I choose? Will I include scenes of a more intimate nature? What PoV should I choose. Will I stick to the ‘same old – same old’ or try to present it in a new and refreshing way?
Then of course, there’s our individuality to consider. What one writer might consider a gamble will be commonplace to another. Then, at the same time, something relatively minor will freak them both out.
A recent experience of mine made me realize we can’t develop our craft without taking a leap of faith. And taking risks often entail facing your own fears. Fear of failure, fear of rejection. Fear of looking like an idiot. But hey, if you’re truly dedicated to improving your craft, you owe it to yourself – and your readers – to grow.
I faced a hard decision when it came to my newly released supernatural series, The Cambion Journals – Rage of Augustus. The success of the entire story hinges on the bitter and personal experiences of the main character, Augustus Thorne. The reader has to be able to experience his anguish, and taste his pain every step of the way. To do this, his story obviously needs to be expressed in the first person.
However, this tale is incredibly complex, and involves other main characters who have their own parts to play in this unfolding drama. They have their own histories and stories to tell that are vital to the plot. You might think the solution a simple one. Just write it in third person.
Ah, but I couldn’t. If I had done so, I would have lost the special relationship – the connection – with Augustus that is so essential in making this tale really work, because unless the reader actually puts themselves in his shoes, its whole essence will be lost.
So I took a chance!
Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t just stumble blindly into an experiment that could wreck the credibility I’d started to build as a writer. But I did my homework. I researched experienced writers who had successfully managed to mix Pov in their novels, and I studied how they did it. (Because believe me, there are some essential rules to follow). Then I laid out a plan of approach. It was nerve-wracking work, because although I’m new, I’ve still managed to establish a name for myself.
So what would I do? This was a real big gamble...but if I got it right...Wow!
To cut a long story short, I decided to stretch my boundaries. Those who know me and my background realize I hide a very private person behind a jokey exterior. I rarely let my guard down. But to get this concept right, I had to let go! I had to use Augustus’s trials and tribulations as a means to express what’s on the inside. So I did just that.
His hopes and fears, the hard truths he had to contend with, the daily battle to control his true nature...each and every one of them became my struggles. How would I face them? How would I react to those rare moments that lifted his heart from the abyss and brought a ray of sunshine into his life. How would I respond if those treasures were snatched from me? How would I deal with those responsible?
Yes, I had to do something very difficult for me. I had to take the risk to stand on the edge...and jump!
So was it worth it?
Well, its early days, but so far, the reaction has been very encouraging. I must have struck the right cord, because readers appear to be taking to Augustus Thorne in a most amazing way. Needless to say, I’m thrilled. I’m so relieved I decided to take a chance and try this experiment, because it had definitely made me a better writer and enhanced the way I work.
And don’t forget, I wasn’t the only one taking a risk with this concept. I had an amazing team around me who actually supported the idea of a mixed Pov adventure, and gave me the backing I needed. So, thank you Pagan Writer Press – and especially my editor, Rosa – who helped make this journey worthwhile.
 
But the rest is up to you, dear reader. Just how much Augustus Thorne gets to influence lives will be in your hands. Do you want to enter his world?
Please let me know what you think...
Me? Let’s just say...I’m looking for the next goldfish bowl.


1 comment:

  1. Good for you, Andrew. I will check out this work of yours... In the meantime, thanks for sharing. There's a sea of books out there and perhaps the only way to get one noticed is to break new ground and take big risks - just like that goldfish!

    -Jimmy
    http://jamesgarciajr.blogspot.com/

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