Yves Brown McClain: Literary Fierceness

Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

RIP, Wild Oats?

Posted by Dahlia on November 19, 2011

CEMETERY © D2xed | Dreamstime.com

So, I know I’ve been MIA for a while. (I see your eyes rolling and I hear you sarcastically mutter, “A while? You’ve been off the grid for about three months!”) Allow me to take a few moments to explain.

I’ve been having moments of personal reflection lately. And during this period, I wasn’t able to blog like I should. I felt that my direction was wrong, so I stopped rather than continue down the wrong path. In regards to my writing aspirations, I knew the talent was there, I tried to stay on top of industry knowledge, I set up my blog and social media accounts to build this platform. I even have a novel and novella under my belt. But it felt all my effort was for naught because every step forward I took, I got knocked back several. My novel’s release had been pushed back an embarrassing number of times. So, I took my issues to God and waited for an answer.

After some time, this is what was revealed to me about the novel:

“Be original. This story’s been told already.”

And I’m like, “Okay, but I’ve been working on this story for years! I’ve invested time and money on this novel. I have a cover for crying out loud. Do I just toss out all those years of work and go back to the drawing board?”

Again, “Be original.”

So, I thought about it further and I had to admit that my novel was feeling like a combo of a few of favorite TV shows: “Sex and the city”, “Girlfriends”, and “Single Ladies”.  I had identified chick-lit as the genre and my writing steered in that direction. So, if chick-lit isn’t my thing and all the themes that lie therein, then what should I be writing?

“Who said you had to be in a box? Be original.”

So what does it mean for the story “I” had deemed to be my breakout? I really don’t know. It hasn’t been revealed yet. But I recognize that “I” was trying to force it through.

As I continued to meditate, I realized that my proudest and most humbling moments are when something I’ve written has encouraged, motivated, empowered, or inspired someone. Perhaps with my novel, I have focused too much on the (mis)adventures of my MC, the jokes, the shoes, the drinking, and yes, the sex, instead of what the core of what the story was about. What initially motivated me to even write the story to begin with.  Healing a broken heart. Or, how do you mend a broken heart? (I know, that’s Al Green)

So, I find myself at an impasse. I can put this story in a vault, never to be seen or heard from again. Or just set it aside for awhile as I have a few other ideas that could not only entertain, but also do those aforementioned things and return to the story once it has been revealed how it shall be told. Or do I wait?

Decisions, decisions…but I think that just may have been my problem all this time. I felt the need to hurry and make a choice. So this time I won’t force it. I will be patient.

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Posted in Books, Encouragement & Motivation, Purpose, Wild Oats, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

This book would make a great movie…

Posted by Dahlia on August 5, 2011

Taking a popular book and turning it into a movie or tv show happens all the time, sometimes with great success, sometimes not. I can mention the obvious Twilight and Harry Potter series. Then there’s I Am Number Four, The Nanny Diaries, Rizolli & Isles, Lipstick Jungle, Sex & The City (a good example of book to TV show to Movie ) – It even happens to books written by African-Americans and/or featuring predominantly African-American characters. Precious, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Waiting to Exhale made it to the big screen. Disappearing Acts was on HBO. Zane’s The Sex Chronicles got a series on Cinemax. Steve Harvey’s book Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man is filming as we speak. Helena Andrews, who penned Bitch is The New Black just got a movie deal for her book optioned by none other than the super-fab Shonda Rhimes. And yes, the screenplay will be written by Helena.
I don’t know of a writer who doesn’t play Fantasy Casting Director with their books, wondering if their novel, memoir, or self-help book has what it takes to grace either the silver or small screen. We’ve imagined who would play who in the movie version of our book. What can I say, writers dream big. I’d like to suggest a few books, both fiction and non-fiction that would make good movies or TV series.
Flyy Girl — Talk about 80s nostalgia! It’s hard to come by a black woman who didn’t love Omar Tyree’s coming of age novel about a girl in the hip-hop era. Even he knows it should be a movie; the follow up to Flyy Girl, For the Love of Money is about Flyy Girl becoming a movie.
The Strawberry Letter: Real Talk, Real Advice, Because Bitterness Isn’t Sexy — I envision Shirley Strawberry’s compilation of letters from people seeking relationship advice that have become very popular on The Steve Harvey Morning Show becoming somewhat of an ensemble movie, like Valentine’s Day or He’s Just Not That Into You (also started as a book) where the characters don’t all interact with each other, but they’re all connected. I can only imagine the drama, comedy, and hijinks a well-written screenplay played awesome actors could create.
Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm at Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide to Dating, Mating, and Fighting Crime — Written by Damon Young and Panama Jackson, the title alone to this dating and relationship book has me envisioning movie trailers and promo posters. Again, another ensemble cast is in order.
Scenes From a Sistah, Getting to The Good Part, Tastes Like Chicken — this series of books by Lolita Files featuring best friends Misty Fine and Reesy Snowden can easily be the replacement to the void left behind by Girlfriends.(see Gotta Have Girlfriends). However, this show would need to make its home on either HBO or Showtime. Network TV and basic cable won’t do this show justice.
Casting The First Stone — Love, Honor, and Betray — Kimberla Lawson Roby’s eight-book (to date) series of stories centered around Rev. Curtis Black could be the perfect hour-long drama series. Lies, greed, sex, scandals, cheating, gossip, power struggles, scheming, money, love, and church. Whoo! I’d tune in every week. Hey, Brothers and Sisters just got cancelled…10pm every Sunday is appropriate AND perfect.
Those are just my thoughts, and I know there are more out there that I haven’t thought of. So, now it’s your turn. What book do you see making an excellent movie or tv show? If you think a book is better suited for television, what station would you put it on and why?

Posted in Books, Marketing & Promoting, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »