Monday, January 17, 2011

Stories are Alive - Melanie Milburne

I have been on a journey in the world of writing. Many of you know I have just completed a Hollywood romantic comedy screenplay with Hollywood writer Paul Margolis. As I write this he is sending out our screenplay to six of the High End Producers in L.A. Very exciting but also nerve-wracking!

But how I came to writing the screenplay was because I wanted to understand more about the process of writing. Eighteen months ago I had got to the 3o book mark and I wanted to dig a little deeper so that the next 30 books would be stronger and even more memorable. A tough task but I was sure there must be a secret or a magic bullet somewhere!

Well, there is and there isn't. What I found was that writing is a journey within oneself. Christopher Vogler in The Writer's Journey says:

Stories are alive and conscious and respond to human emotions. I love that quote! He also says " stories have healing power in that they help us deal with difficult emotional situations perhaps similar in some way to the struggles we are going through at some stage of life, and which might inspire us to try a different strategy for living."

It's so true as so many times a book has personally resonated with me and helped me. But also, I have found that writing has been amazingly cathartic at times when I am dealing with a difficult situation personally. I just use those emotions and put them in a novel. It gives greater authenticity to your work when you can do that.

I am excited to think that the stories I write help others. I get emails from fans that confirm it but up until now I hadn't truly realised how important the writer's role is. I think I had fallen in the trap of thinking it's just category romance, not so important, just entertainment. Well, I was wrong. It's not just about entertainment and fantasy. These are real people with real issues and real and at times very raw emotions even though I have created them in my head.

My Presents trilogy is all about dealing with difficult emotional situations. I loved writing each brother's situation and the way they and their heroine faced it. They are all quite different and how they deal with life is different but isn't that true for all of us? We do it our way.

I have just finished my 41st book and using the theory and anatomy of story I have learned, I believe it is going to be an exciting journey ahead. I am going to learn more about my characters but also more about myself.

What book helped you? Have there been several or just one? I would love to hear your comments.
Happy reading!


desere_steenberg said...

Hello Melanie

Great post and I am so excited for you with the screenplay ! Congratulations !

Your books have inspired and helped me through plenty in my life specifically Willingly Bedded Forcibly Wedded reminded that things aren't always what they seem.Your recent trilogy of the Sabatini Brothers also has reminded me that giving up is never an option !

Amongst yours there are some others by Abby Green,Heidi Rice and Kate Walker that have also helped me but there are too many to list here.

Thank you for the great post and for the great stories that inspire our lives!

All the best

Melanie Milburne said...

Hi Desere,
You are such a loyal and much treasured fan. Thanks so much for your lovely comments. It's great for writers to hear they have helped someone.
Have a happy day.

Christina Hollis said...

That's great news about the screenplay, Melanie!
Vogler's book is excellent - I've been trying to get hold of the Donald Maas book recommended by Michelle Styles, too, but no luck so far.

Melanie Milburne said...

Hi Christina,
The Donald Maass books are fabulous.I read The Fire in the Fiction last year. Writing the Breakout Novel was so helpful as well when I read it just after I first sold. It made me realise why I had sold!
Working on your craft is always a challenge. I love learning new ways to look at things. It can slow me down a bit as I am thinking much more but what I write but I think it's worth it.
Hope you can track down whichever book you are after. I thoroughly recommend both.

Pat Cochran said...

Books, in and of themselves, have
not aided me with any of my life
problems. What they have done is
allow me quiet and relaxation when
things have gotten too hectic and
busy. Focusing on someone else's
difficulties gives me time to slow
down at my own pace.

Pat Cochran

Nas Dean said...

Hi Melanie,

Great post and I am so excited for you with the screenplay! Congratulations!

Reading all books give me relaxation, so I love all type of books!

desere_steenberg said...

Thank you Melanie but we the readers are the ones who should say thank you to yourself and every other authors out there for the work you do that helps us !Keep well !

Melanie Milburne said...

Pat, that is a good point. The rest and relaxation of a good read is a wonderful way of regrouping. Escaping into a good book is like a mini holiday.
Nas, I am like you in that I love just about any books and can lose myself in the story world. That's also why I love film so much. It's such a visual feast and hits you on deeper emotional level, or at least good films do!