Thursday, August 11, 2011

Here's what my next novel will be about; And why it won't be like Harry Potter

I watched Harry Potter's final movie last weekend and immediately posted on my twitter page that "I could do that." I was then challenged by someone to actually do it. And for a while I considered it.

But last night as I lie in bed I considered this: The reason why Rowling's stories are so good is because of a couple of things. The obvious thing is the creativity and good writing. But what is equally as important is the magic. People like being told about magical places, Narnia, Middle Earth, The Matrix. Magic is cool. If I were to do what she did, magic would be necessary.

Now here's the thing, how long am I going to live? How long are any of us going to live. And when I'm gone, what will be left of me? Kids? Ha! No, a life-sized bronze statue and my books. That's it. If I were to just copy Rowlings, would anyone care about the book in 3 year much less 40? No.

I do my best to write stories that after reading, people walk away thinking about their own life. One reviewer recently wrote "This is a story that will stick with me for a long time." Why, you may ask? Because the story made him reconsider his life. Would a well executed Rowlings knock-off bring about a reaction like that? I don't think so.

More than being successful... and lord knows I want my books to be successful... I want my books to make the reader reconsider their life in some way. I can remember telling someone that when I was 21 years old, and it still true today. I consider my greatest potential to be that I help people to better understand their life.

That is what my book Everybody Masturbates does. That is what Everybody Has Those Thoughts So It Doesn't Mean You're Gay does. That is what Happiness Thru the Art of... Penis Enlargement does, as well as Run From the Reaper, The First Day After Life and Samurai Zombie Hunter. That is what I write. And the idea that I should add a knock off of Harry Potter to those books is ridiculous.

So here is what I will write if I ever write another novel. The YA book series that I'm considering would be a series of books that take a look at what it is to be human. In Dante's Inferno, the protagonist visits new levels of hell until eventually he finds the devil. The series would be structured something like that where each book is a new world and a new level of humanity. Each of the worlds that the main character visits would be allegories for something that we generally consider to be a human condition.

So the first world would be one where they have learned to manipulate emotions through chemistry. I don't think that people understand how much our bio-chemistry determines our personality. In truth, if we change our bio-chemistry, all of the things that we think of as being characteristics of who we are would just go away. This would be the backdrop of the story.

Yes, the story would still be dystopian in nature and would be a new world on the brink of war and destruction. And there would be romance, fighting and people with incredible psychic powers. But behind all of it would be the idea that we, as humans aren't what we think we are. And if we deconstruct who we are, we would be surprised what is left.

Ok, I can already hear people being turned off by the premise of the book. Crap! I'm trying to write books that will be read after I'm gone. And maybe I'll fail. Hell, the odds are really good that I will fail. But I have to at least try.

I have always believed that the greatest sin that any of us could commit is to 'not live up to our greatest potential.' Call me arrogant, but I have always believed that I had the potential to help a massive amount of people to understand their life better. And that is what I should be trying to create, not a Rowlings knock off.

So I will not be thinking about Rowlings when/if I write my next book. I will be thinking about the stuff that I write and how I can lift my writing style to the next level. I might decide to make it a clear cut case of good vs evil (which is what Harry Potter is). And I might make the new world a little magical in comparison to our own, but Rowlings won't be in my head when I do it.

I am going to write a Cristian YoungMiller book. And I think that I have written enough books now that a reader could pick out my style. And if enough readers eventually come to like that style, maybe I will one day make a career out of it. But either way, those are the books that I will write. Oh god, I'm never going to have a successful career as a writer am I? Crappers! Oh well.

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