Sunday, January 16, 2011

I Was Thinking...

...once again about monetizing this blog.  (Hang with me, guys and gals - read it through to the end.)  I check the stats about once a week - I'm getting enough hits to make it worth my while, which is something that I never expected to happen.  I could make easy money just by writing whatever I feel like.  As an unemployed college student living at home, that actually sounds rather appealing.

But then I realized that it would be selling out.

I refuse to sell out.

By making it so that I make money off this blog, I am letting marketers control what I do.  I am telling you, the readers, that I do not value you enough to keep the ads away.  And while the blog may still be mine, I can assure you that it's only a few steps away from giving up my creative license.

I refuse to do that.

It's the same concept with the story I'm writing.  I'm at nearly 3000 words, which is a personal best for me, and I'm still trying to figure out the characters.  I like the flaws I'm seeing with them.  I like the way the story line is moving.  I want to try to get it published by the end of the summer.  But if an editor tries to get me to change the fundamental characteristics of each person, forget it.

I don't want to lose the integrity of what I'm doing.

I feel a good example of selling out is Stephanie Meyer.  Now, before everyone starts slamming me or getting defensive, I have nothing against Ms. Meyer.  In fact, I own all four books - in hardback - of her Twilight Saga.  I was 17 when I first read 'Twilight' and I fell in love with it.  My tastes have changed tremendously since then (reading 'Salem's Lot' did a lot for me in that respect), but I still remember the feeling of loving her books.

I was fairly excited when the first movie came out, too.  What appealed to me was that she, the author, was going to be taking a fairly active role in the production of the movie.  To me, that meant that she was going to keep it true to her characters and to her story.

I was so wrong.

The movie killed the Twilight Saga for me.  I was horrified.  They cut some of my favorite - and what I felt to be crucial - scenes.  They had poor dialogue.  The film had major stars for all the roles, and they didn't even really act that well.  And it felt all wrong; everything about it did not feel like the "Twilight" I read as a teenager.

(I have been told the rest are much better done, but I haven't seen them.  Shortly after seeing the movie, I moved on to other things.)

My goal in life is to be a professional writer.  I have already given thought to it, probably more thought than I should.  And I've come up with several principle rules I intend to never break.

1. I will never write something just because I can make money off of it.  In other words, I intend to write the stories that I have always written, exploring the characters the way that they want.  I have no intention of writing something just because there's a market for that particular genre or story.  It's not fair to me or to the characters.

2. I will never give up my creative license or power.  If I do in fact become a best selling author down the road and someone decides to make a film adapation of my book, then I want it to be right.  I want to be part of every step along the way.  I want the characters to have justice done for them.  Truthfully, if we ever get to this point, I want a film producer like Wes Anderson or Peter Jackson to do it.  Not someone like who did the first 'Twilight' movie.

3. I will not produce anything that I would not read myself.  If I don't like how it's turned out and I'm not entirely thrilled with it, then I plan on making it better before I publish it. 

So, in other words, I'm going to be broke for the rest of my life because I'm not going to conform.  Oh well.  At least I'll be happy, right?


In other news, I watched film numer 2 of 7 yesterday with my family.  It was "Fantastic Mr. Fox".  It was fantastic.  It truly was.  I laughed at the humor throughout and the stop motion film style was fascinating to me.  Wes Anderson directed it (the guy who did the "Darjeeling Limited"; gotta say, that one grew on me between blog posts - but that's a story for a different time...) and it was based on the book by Ronald Dahl. 

I need to read the book.  Ronald Dahl wrote "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" as well as "James and the Giant Peach", both of which I've read and loved.  He's a brilliant author for young people.  He really is.

"Fantastic Mr. Fox" had a great cast, too.  George Clooney, who I respect as an actor, was Mr. Fox and was brilliant.  Brilliant I say.  Meryl Streep was his wife, Jason Schwartzman (I remembered his name this time!) was his son, Ash.  I mean, it was great.  The voice acting (which I've heard is actually harder than live acting) was spot on.  My sister and I got such a kick from the movie.  We were still quoting it today, which is awesome.

Go watch it.  It is a great family movie.  Seriously.  There is plenty of humor for everyone in it as well as a meaningful story plot.

I feel like there was something else I was going to blog about, but I can't remember.  Huh.  School starts on Tuesday.  I'm nervous as all get out.  I'm taking more classes this semester than I've taken before and I'm a little intimidated by the potential work load.  But hey, I can handle it.  I know I can.

Also, I typed this whole blog post with wet finger nails.  I get bonus points for that.  Just so you know.

Until we meet again, dear readers,


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