Delving Into the Lesser-Knowns

I’m just finishing up reading Perelandra, the second book in C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy.  Now, a few friends of mine have been sort of surprised to see his name on a book that isn’t about Narnia (thank you, computer, for not spell-checking that), and I’ve been struck by how much an author’s works can fall by the wayside with the addition of a greater-known book.

As a book-nerd, I feel I really should be more aware of an author’s entire body of work.  After all, I can’t call myself very well read if I’ve only gotten into the big stuff.  A writer is more than his most famous novel, and although C.S. Lewis is a great example, he’s not the only one.

This is a rather short post, I know, but I feel like it’s an important thing to take into account.  You never know what you might find if you look into the nooks and crannies, the tucked-away places if you will, of the literary world.  You might even see something you like just as much as the famous books.

Certainly, I will always love the Narnia series probably most out of any of Lewis’ works, but reading this trilogy has really opened my eyes to what he could do with a pen outside of that world.  Here, he leaves the realm of fantasy and enters fully into science fiction, weaving wonderful and beautiful tales which take place on different planets.  I’m really enjoying it.  What with the Eclectic Reader Challenge and now this, 2012 is fast becoming the year that I’m branching out in my literary ventures, at least a little bit.

Happy reading.

Got Story?

I’m back from camp, everyone!

So that means we will now return to our regular programming.

Thank you.

Last night there was a documentary about the life of J.K. Rowling on TV.  First of all, that woman is amazing, having gone from where she was to being the richest woman in the world.  Secondly, one line in particular struck me.  Ms. Rowling (or at least the actress portraying her) said that she was writing, but she hadn’t found the right story yet.

This is true for all writers.  Or at least for me.  We all write stories, but we are all trying to find The Story, that one plot idea, that one character, that one essence that sparks our imagination.  We write to find The Story.  We search for it for years, and when we do find it, we know it.

The first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was turned down by maybe a dozen publishers before Bloomsbury finally saw sense.  The world might not like The Story, but that’s okay.  We like it.  We love it.  We know that this will be our masterpiece, what we point to when people ask what we’ve written.

Did you know Sir Arthur Conan Doyle grew to hate his own Sherlock Holmes?  The detective grew larger in the eyes of the public than he was, and he was jealous, as far as I can tell.  Sherlock Holmes is what the world remembers him for, but it was not his Story, his masterpiece.

Conan Doyle, here portrayed as being held captive by his own creation.

The Story is not the reason we start writing.  We start writing because we love books and they are a part of us and we can’t imagine doing anything else.  But when we do start, it’s always there, in the backs of our minds, reminding us to keep searching because The Story is out there, somewhere.

That isn’t to say our other works aren’t good- far from it.  C.S. Lewis wrote many other books before and after writing the Chronicles of Narnia, and they are quite widely loved.  But when our Story is revealed to us, we just know that this is what we were really meant to write, that this would be some of our best work.

Well, that’s about it for today, because I’m starting to repeat myself again.  Now, some housekeeping notes:

I may be writing some short fiction soon, so stay posted on that.  But it will not be coming for a few days at least because I have to catch up on my reading.  The list of books I’ve read in the past month is rather pathetic.

Also, Hunger Games news!  The movie website is officially up and running, and you can see it here.  It’s got the animation from the first official movie poster (squeal!) as well as a countdown that I can’t seem to embed on the Novel Journeys home page.

Oh well.

Does anyone feel the same way about The Story?  Or do you think that the above is all rubbish?

Also, if you like what I do here, please subscribe!

Happy reading!