Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Rules and how to abuse them

For my rabid clutch of followers (please wipe that stuff off your mouth) I present my cool, rational and semi-factual report, documenting my writing progress thus far. I hope the both of you enjoy the update.

SCOPE: To determine if I am indeed drawing from that pent-up creative pool that resides within me or if I’m just screwing around and wasting my time.

MATERIALS: Laptop computer, Microsoft Word, Coors Light, Dark Rum, Ginger Beer, Imagination (mood dependent), Talent (Talent dependant), Time (Life dependant), Fingers (Hand dependant)

OBJECTIVE: To express my fictional ideas in an entertaining fashion without coming off like I accidentally brushed my teeth with a Taser.

EXPERIENCE: Other than some farting around on some sports fan websites and three practice manuscripts – none.

GUIDELINES: Things you need to know.

1)      Write what you know. Failing that, write what you think you know. Failing that, make shit up completely.

2)      Avoid dialog tags; unless there are more than two people in a conversation, a physical expression is needed, if you have no other choice or if you forgot to not use them.

3)      Avoid repetitive, similar, already used, synonym-like words (I’m still working on that)

4)      Watch out for selective typing dyslexia. Thrid/third, from/form, ect./etc.

5)      Learn the correct usages of their, there, they’re, and that there now.

6)      If you think a semi-colon fits, you’re probably wrong.

7)      If you think a sentence is too long, it probably is.

8)      Too many commas make you sound like you brushed your teeth with a Taser.

9)      Avoid repetitive metaphors and analogies.

10)  On occasion, lie.

11)  Show, don’t tell, and unless you’re describing something, then write it fluidly and entertainingly. It work better than ‘look at this shit, here!

12)   If the imaginary readers are women, include a happy ending. If the imaginary readers are men, make sure things blow up. If the imaginary reader is a cat, sell it to a laboratory to have its brain removed, sectioned and analyzed or hire it as your agent

13)  Join a comprehensive, intelligent (i.e. free) writer’s community so you can interact with other writers, share pain, and waste time on something other than that pesky writing stuff.

14)  Learn the genre you’re writing for out of the 7,000,000 vague sub-genres. Chances are you won’t fit in any of them; if so see guideline #10.

15)  Trust your beta readers to be helpful and impartial when they rip out your still beating heart, stick it in a food processor, set it for puree and serve it to you on nachos with a zesty salsa.

16)  Don’t beta-read for anyone else unless you own a firearm.

17)  Learn to write a query blurb, keep your therapist’s phone number on a post-it note stuck to your computer monitor.

18)  Learn to write a query letter, making sure to spell the agent’s name correctly. For writer bio, see rule #10

19)  Invest in a major vodka manufacturer and learn how to write a synopsis.

20)  Learn what the ‘hook’ is for a query then learn why yours suck.

21)  Learn how to write a logline, even though no one seems to know the purpose for it.

22)  Learn your acronyms, including; WIP, MS, MC, YA, MG, NaNo, ROFLMAO, TGIF, OMG, and, most importantly DILLIGAF

23)  Learn patience. See guideline #10 and use it on yourself.

24)  Learn to keep motivated. See guideline #10 and use it on yourself.

25)  Learn to never misplace you therapist’s phone number.

26)  Learn to secretly enjoy other writer’s misery and the correct procedures to create voodoo dolls for their inevitable success.

27)  Edits are never, ever, truly done. And when you think they are, your story sucks.

GUIDELINES: Things you don’t need to know


            I’ve written a bunch of stuff.


            There you have it folks. This is my comprehensive report on what I’ve learned and how I’ve applied it. If this has indeed been a help, great. I’ll visit you in the facility you wind up residing in. If it doesn’t, well…consider the source.

            I look forward to meeting each and every one you at my book signing. As of now it is scheduled for a corner booth at a local McDonalds. Get there early, buy me a Big Mac.

Thank you for your love, support, and contributing to my delusion.


  1. Excellent, reading this made my evening! I promise you this comment is not based on #10. Bravo and good luck writing. May the creativity in your mind flow through your fingers and delight us all.

    (Carolyn's friend)

  2. Outstanding advice! I'm still working on number 8 so that my daily oral hygiene is less painful. But that tazer does get rid of any pesky plaque.

    Number 19 for me will be underway soon. Is it acceptable for me to substitute rum for vodka? This is important. Let me know about that one.

    Sadly Revo, I hope I'm going to get past #27. Gal can dream cant' she? Trying to, but it's pulling me down into oblivion, like the feeling I got when I attempted to watch "Jersey Shore". (see number 9 and 8 which I violate with gusto in this paragraph!)

  3. Can you point me to a resource for #26; I don't think my voodoo dolls have been working. #21 and #14 = SO TRUE! Keep writing my friend...some day I'll attend one of your book signings at the local starbucks (you know, when you've made it really big).

  4. Very good stuff, Revo! Gotta love that irony and sarcasm. Witty is the new black - or so I've heard. Sad how true your guidelines are. Where is that rum?

  5. Hey Revo, I loved your #ThursThreads tale. Be sure to add your email addy or twitter handle and your word count as a reply on your thread. Thanks.