Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Finding a Great LDS Story

By Darvell Hunt

On Sunday, I watched the James Cameron documentary about the supposed lost tomb of Jesus. While I don’t buy the story of the bones of Jesus being found, the evidence presented was very compelling—and more importantly, it made for a great story.

In the very controversial novel The DaVinci Code, I didn’t necessarily buy all of the ideas presented about the Holy Grail, but Dan Brown did effectively create a great story and I must admit that I enjoyed reading most of it.

I also didn't really believe that a psychologically disturbed kid could see dead people. However, in M. Night Schyamalan’s breakout movie, The Sixth Sense­, for about an hour and a half, I did believe just that. I suspended my disbelief long enough for me to leave the theater thinking I had just experienced a great story.

I want to find that great LDS story—a great story idea that makes people sit back, nod their heads, and say, “Wow, I never thought of that sort of thing happening, but you know, that’s really a great story.”

But here’s my problem: Members of the LDS Church are interested in truth. I think this has always been a stumbling block in marketing LDS fiction, because how do you tell the truth when writing fiction?

The easiest and safest way to deal with this issue in the LDS media marketplace is to write stories with fictional LDS characters, but leave them in real-life situations. Much of the current LDS fiction fits into this category. But what if I want to write LDS stories with plotlines closer to the likes of Dan Brown or M. Night Shyamalan? My fiction wouldn’t be presented as gospel truth, but as entertainment for people familiar with LDS teachings. Would fabrications dealing closely with LDS doctrine be too much for the majority of LDS readers?

I honestly don’t know. I do, however, want to find out.

No comments: