I believe I mentioned in the last post that Terry Brooks is my writing hero. Lately, I have been reading his Sometimes the Magic Works, a book on the writing and publishing process. He is a prolific writer, and his Sword of Shannara is one of my favorite fantasy epics. Usually fantasy lovers compare each epic story to Lord of the Rings, but for me, The Sword of Shannara is the benchmark against which I judge my own books.
The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings were my introduction to the world of fantasy but it was The Sword of Shannara that made me wish I could write epic fantasy stories.
Here are some lessons I have learnt from his writing career.
1) Write from the heart, regardless of whether the genre is popular at the moment. Don’t deny yourself the pleasure of writing a story simply because you think, and people say, there is no market for it. Writing should always be done with passion and commitment, regardless of the marketing aspects.
2) Within your genre, don’t hesitate to experiment with different sub-genres. He wrote high fantasy, dark fantasy and also urban fantasy.
3) Do write in other genres. Terry Brooks has done two movie adaptations; one of them was Star Wars, a science fiction story.
4) Don’t take your writing career for granted. Be on the lookout for opportunities that will give you greater exposure and new readers. Even if you are successful writer, you will always have the potential to become more successful.
5) Don’t be afraid to share your knowledge with new writers. Although it’s an imposition on your writing time, it will help you clarify your own thought process and it’s important to give back to the writing community.
If you have not read his Sometimes the Magic works, you should. It’s a great resource for writers, new and old.