Wednesday, August 3, 2011

On the Fourth Book

Okay, so since I've already plowed through a description of the first three books in my writing history, I might as well go through some of the more recent stuff as well.

My last semester at BYU, I decided to take Brandon Sanderson's creative writing class. I ended up wishing that I had taken it both sooner and more frequently, since that class broke me out of the revision loop I was doing with Guardians of the Past. His main assignment in the class was that I needed to pick a new story and start writing it from the beginning, one section at a time. It meant that I had to write something that wasn't in Jakeson's world, which meant that it had to be entirely new.

The story I ended up with was Brellan. It was a fantasy tale in a slightly darker world where a group of evil magic users manipulated people with mirrors. Basically it was two parts fantasy and one part horror, with the main hero battling all sorts of monsters as well as his own issues to save an isolated little town.

Brellan ended up having a lot of problems. The pacing sort of got lost about partway through the story, which was a major problem because the tension dissipated as well. Brellan, the main character, did not get nearly enough development, and ended up fairly contradictory, and the villain didn't get nearly as developed as she could have been either.

The main problem, looking back on it, was that I tried to include too many types of horror at one time. Brellan was supposed to face fear of rejection, fear of being killed by monsters, fear of becoming a monster, etc. That took the story and Brellan's character in too many directions for it to work out. If I ever get the time, I need to go back and focus the story a bit more on one theme--probably Brellan's fear of being turned into a Mirrorwitch's tool--and run with that. I think it would resolve a lot of the problems of the book in general.

In any case, Brellan was finished the fall after we moved to Houston. There were several months between the end of school and the finish of the novel where I made only halfhearted attempts to finish it, but it wasn't until I started the fifth book that I became determined to bring Brellan's story to a close. Right now the story still exists in its third draft, waiting for me to find the chance to revise it up to snuff. Perhaps someday I'll get the chance...

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I remember this one! I think I was a little harsh in critiquing it, but it had some stuff in there that I liked. Maybe when you revisit it, you'll get a chance to make it really shine. Good luck!