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Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Vin Diesel makes an unlikely muse

It's time for the sixth round of the AWChain. In the last link, Andrea Allison of Southern Expressions writes about motivations for writing. She comments that if all one can think of when one wakes up is writing, then writing is what you should do. Well, I'm not sure if I could pass that test - what I wake up thinking usually depends on what I can expect the day to have in store. For example, I have an interview tomorrow - I'll probably have it weighing heavily on my mind when I wake up.

My inspiration - if it could be called that - for taking writing seriously is a rather amusing one. I'd written some books as a kid that never got past the first chapter. What got me to try taking writing a bit more seriously was, of all things, watching The Fast and the Furious when it came out. This movie did for technical accuracy what Ed Wood Jr. did for continuity editing. I laughed at quite a few scenes that were supposed to be serious.

The plot and characterization were equally bad. I know what you're thinking - what guy criticizes a car movie because of those? Traditionally, a car movie can get away with characters who have as much depth as a piece of sheet metal. But they still need to do things for believable reasons. It just wouldn't do, for example, to have Sheriff Buford T. Justice suddenly deliver the keynote address at an NAACP conference without a very compelling explanation as to how he'd changed his ways enough to get an invitation (Remember, "Who's the sheriff here, boy?"). The ending of The Fast and the Furious left me completely puzzled as to why Paul Walker took the actions he did - no real forshadowing, no explanation, no nothing. I left the theater thinking, "I could write a better car movie script than that!"

So I tried.

And wound up with something long and unfinished, and now most of its gags are hopelessly out of date. But once I'd opened that valve, I couldn't get it closed. I started writing some other things - first a book on car mods (now on its second draft) and now a fantasy novel, plus this blog and some articles I've pitched to various magazines. It's addictive.

Up next is Organized Chaos.

Here's a list of all participating blogs:

Just a Small Town Girl
A View From the Waterfront
Southern Expressions
Mad Scientist Matt
Organized Chaos
At Home, Writing
Writing From Within
Pass the Torch
Fireflies in the Cloud
Sounds of Serenity
Kappa no He
Infinite Vanity
Gillian Polack
Of Chapters and Reels
Curiouser and curiouser
The Road Less Traveled

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Vin Diesel has been my inspiration a time or two as well, but not in relation to writing or cars :)

Great post.

previous comment deleted, because his intial with the above statement just read wrong LOL
hahahaha I was going to say something similar BK. You beat me to it. Great minds think alike.

Have you voted for Vin as your Lovemark yet?

Good luck with the interview!

I've read and watched stuff that made me think I could do better too - it's a great motivator, isn't it? :)
I must say that is a GREAT post title! I saw Fast and Furious too. Now, he may 'muse me, but not for writing, I think;)
Inspiration comes in all forms (poorly made films and bad books included), and you were smart enough to tap on it when it came. Great going!
Get that book finshed, polished, tweak the jokes! And then get it published. There is an enormous car audience out there just waiting for you!
No Vin Diesel inspiration at this end of the world, but the itch to show that specialist subjects can be presented realistically *and* well in fiction dogs my heels. Your story rings so many bells!
I would say having Vin Diesel as a muse is very unlikely. I thought for a minute you were going to say he was a great mechanic or driver. Using him as a standard works since your using him as the floor, everyone else will be higher :)
Vin Diesel neve inspired me. I loved 'Alex and Emma' a lot.
The movie that touched me deeply is 'The Man from Elysian Fields'.
I have to admit that Vin Diesel was the inspiration for the principal adult character in my YA novel. Not necessarily my muse, but I can't envision anyone else pulling off the character. (Not thinking too far ahead, am I? Note to self: sell book first, film option second.)
P.S. I stopped by from AW
I know what you mean, Matt. I've read enough books over the years - published books, ie the author sold it to a publishing house - that were utter trash in my mind. Poor grammar, spelling, punctuation, poor sentence structure, awkward phrasing, cardboard characters, inaccuracies, dull, flat, boring... Well, not necessarily all in the same book, but that's beside the point... :D I finally said, enough times, "I could write a book better than this!" And I finally started.

So for me, in a way, really really bad published novels were my inspiration. :)
Vin Diesel. Two words sum up so much. Le sigh. Fun post! :)
Maybe I should watch more bad movies! It's true, though, that some things I've read have made me realize that I can write at least as well as they do.
Hi Matt, I like the car-themed metaphors you've got going on in this post. Cheers, Jen.
Amazing how things work out - glad it gave you the inspiration to write!
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