Writer Fu

by baldilocks

Of course, I’m still writing my second novel, and, occasionally, I read the advice that others give, even though I know, from the first two or three sentences, whether I want to finish reading the advice. After all, if a writer can’t hold your attention in an article about writing, why should you take her advice?

I’ve had this April 1 (yes) article opened in my browser for a few days–You’ve Got a Book in You (Maybe Five)—and it’s priceless.

Through my intensive research and study of the Modern Literary Canon, I have come up with Five (5) Plots absolutely GUARANTEED to get you published. I also include in this lesson, five (5) plots to avoid, plots that will get your manuscript rejected again and again.

Example of guaranteed publishing material:

Two rich, white college boys are seen harassing a vulture sitting atop a Saguaro cactus. Relentlessly they take turns hurling insults at the bird, each trying to top the other in a perverted twist on the old game called “the dozens.” Despite the pleas of tearful passers-by to desist, they continue and the vulture finally flies off, severely traumatized. Later that day the same boys are walking atop a steep cliff over the sea when the vulture streaks down, causing one of the boys to lose his footing and fall to his death. The guilt-ridden survivor goes on a solo trek into the desert. He returns years later, wiser and more sensitive and founds the new eco-warrior band, Save the Vultures. Free bonus title: To Mock a Killingbird.

Example of rejection fodder:

George Goodman and his wife, Trudy, welcome their new neighbors, Makmoud and Taureg, refugees from Awfulstan, with an Upside Down Pineapple Cake. George and Trudy hardly ever see their new neighbors, but they begin to notice strange behaviors and odd visitors in the night. A glimpse of some suspicious packages in Makmoud’s garage intrigues George. He sneaks in after the neighbor couple go on vacation to the beaches of Arabia, and finds hand grenades and AK-47s. George alerts the FBI and Makmoud and Taureg are arrested at the airport and a major terrorist event prevented!

You get the point…at least I hope you do. Anyway, the author manages to pique interest in the topic, make some creative, funny commentary on political correctness in Big Publishing and plug his own book—all at the same time! (Groan-worthy puns notwithstanding.)

One has to admire that skill.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done on April 2017! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

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