Yesterday, I went back to see The Avengers one final time before it leaves theaters and we settle in for a two-month wait until the DVD release. (Unless those rumors of an extended cut are true, in which case, I will probably go back one more time.) I haven't seen a movie that many times in theaters since Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. (Shut up, okay, that was a great movie!) It really got to me. When I was able to concentrate yesterday, it hit me: it was the writing. There were no gaping plot holes like there usually are in big-budget summer blockbusters. It was such tight, tidy writing. Of course it was, Joss Whedon was responsible for it. But it's still just really inspiring for me. My poor husband doesn't understand why I needed to see it four times and why I'm seriously considering pre-ordering the Avengers Assembled collector's set. He's not a writer or much of a nerd, so I can't explain it to him. Mostly, I just settle on telling him that Cap has a really nice ass that is best viewed on the silver screen. That isn't a lie. (Seriously. Chris Evans has an amazing rear end and in the new Captain America costume especially, his shoulders-to-hips ratio turns my biological clock into a ticking time bomb. It's unfortunate.) I'm lucky enough to be married to a wonderfully secure man who just rolls his eyes and shakes his head whenever I mention a crush.
Anyway, when I got home of course I felt inspired and ready to work on making my own writing just as tidy, so I managed to churn out an action-draft for a writing exercise and then tackled a little more of the short story anthology I'm working on. I've done so much writing in the last week or so it's kind of crazy. I have two novellas outlined/action-drafted and two more with only the barest outlines, all four of those with very clear beginnings and ends and very clear word count goals. I have the first sequel to Please, Sir in the works. I've finished the first draft of three of the short stories for Lost and Found and I'm looking at completing the fourth tonight or tomorrow. I started up again with The Guest and started thinking about something I'm calling VietZombies for right now. I even started work on the novel I hope to take on for NaNoWriMo.
I did the math and have been practicing meeting the word count goals. In the three nights I've attempted to write 1,667 words (the approximate daily word count you need to meet in order to write 50,000 words in thirty days), I've succeeded. The first three nights are easy. It's the last three nights that'll be hard. I'm hoping to be ready to take on NaNo and win this year. I've never written a novel in a month and it's been a long time since I attempted a story longer than about 30,000 words.
Short stories are kind of My Thing. Novels? Not so much. But I'm kind of stubborn. I like to push myself to learn and master new writing things.
And then I like to do what I can to perfect the things I've already learned.
So... I guess that's the point of today's post, then. Drive. Knowing what I want to accomplish with my writing. Having written things to look at and take inspiration from and model my work on. Not that I want to write a superhero movie, but I certainly want to write lean, clean stories. I want to write characters that make my readers root for them--or against them. I want to be good.