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Archive for January 2010

Success…in 109,360 words.

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I have written a novel. 

About six months ago, a friend of the family and I were talking, and he asked me what I would do with my life if money and time were not a problem.  I’d be writing novels, I said. 

This friend of the family has a couple of connections–not the kind that guarantee a book contract some day, but the kind that can look at my work, and give me the kind of help I need to attract one. 

After we had this conversation, I decided I finally needed to take this thing seriously.  I had a bunch of ideas floating around in my head, three of which I thought would make pretty good stories.  One of them was a holy-cow-never-gonna-write-it-till-I-got-a-few-under-me idea. 

I ran the ideas I had past some people; all of them said to go for the one I didn’t want to touch.  Who can argue with that, right?  Besides, I’ve been writing freelance regularly for a couple of years now; my discipline was better, but I had doubts about my stamina. 

So I looked into some books about how others authors wrote their novels.  Most of them mentioned outlining, a practice I had felt discouraged about because, as any serious writer knows, you’re supposed to let the plot and characters unfold and develop naturally.  You put your characters together in a setting, hit puree, and see what happens. 

I’ve tried that approach before.  Nothing ever happened. 

So I started an outline last October.  By the end of the month, I had laid out the bones of the story.  Since then, I’ve worked nearly every day to give it flesh and clothes.  I set my pace at 1,000 words a day, and just kept at it till it was done. 

First draft clocks in at 378 pages, double spaced.  I finished it last Friday. 

Now it will go in a drawer for a month.  I need some distance because, as it sits, this draft is pretty crappy.  Good writing is rewriting.  I need some distance so I can come back at it, kill about 10,000 words, and hope there’s a story there that’s really worth telling.

Written by taj

January 25, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Posted in General

Quick Review: Avatar

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Saw the movie.  I hope to expand my thoughts and deliver a real review, but here’s the gist: Avatar is a great B-movie, wrapped up in incredible special effects. 

The story is its biggest weakness; the narrative fails to challenge the audience on any level.  And that’s okay–there’s a lot left there to enjoy.  The problem is that there’s so much there Cameron never bothered to tap.

Hope to write more on this soon.  For now, Overstreet’s review pretty much nails it.

Written by taj

January 11, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Something to keep in mind regarding Avatar‘s cash haul

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UPDATE 1/7/2010: Just checked the updated numbers, and Avatar has sold an estimated 51,858,700 tickets.  That places it at # 87 in box office receipts adjusted for inflation.  Not too shabby. 


[I]t helps that 75 percent of its domestic business is coming through higher priced 3-D ticket sales.

Box Office Mojo puts Titanic‘s est. ticket sales at 128,345,900.  So far, Avatar hasn’t made the list.     

Hope (and I do mean hope; plans these days just never seem to come together) to see it in 3-D this weekend.

Written by taj

January 4, 2010 at 8:10 pm

Posted in General

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