Readability

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 piqué 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.

Please con­tribute to Juliette’s JOB: Her new novel, her blog, her Inter­net to keep the lat­ter going and COF­FEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Inde­pen­dent Journalism!

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.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!