Friday, April 6, 2012

Part 2 of Showing the Average Boob How to Write a Literary Masterpiece

    Here in Part 2 We pick up where we left off Tuesday.    

   Now for the story. In this type of novel you should open your tale with sprawling literary metaphors and incomprehensible descriptive adjectives. Here’s an example:
   The night fell like a raven’s wing across the face of the alabaster Moon. In the distance the hanging branches of the Apoloosa trees kissed the mossy, yet gentle shore of Lake Terracahoochy. Alidapples and mudspinners splashed wildly as they feasted on the cukaberry bugs that lit too near the crystalline surface. The air was warm, moist and thick with the rich aroma of damp earth. Life was good.
   But then the rains stopped....
   Uh-oh! Trouble’s a-brewin’! Right? You see, it doesn’t matter that there is no such thing as Apoloosa Trees, alidapples, mudspinners or cukaberry bugs because these types of books are read mostly by professional students who have been in school so long they have no idea what the real world is like. Their impression of southern people is that they are kindly, hospitable and for the most part...retarded, so it seems quite likely to them that alidapples and cukaberry bugs are just folksy names the retarded southerners made up for lake fish and flying insects. (Note* keep in mind that somewhere along the way one of these scholarly brainiacs might have accidentally taken a physical science course and could question your research. If that happens just put on your best Foghorn Leghorn voice and reply:
   “Sir! Ah say, sir! You have impugned mah dignity with your salacious and mean-spirited accusations! Ah demand, ah say, demand an apology, not just for myself but for the fine, fine people of the South whose very honor you have sullied!”
   Terrified you might challenge him to a duel, he will immediately withdraw the question and apologize.
   So, we have our setting, characters, and incomprehensible metaphor laden opening. Where do we go now? This is where library books about the dust bowl come in handy.  
    Fill the first few pages of your novel with a boatload of little known facts. This will make you appear academic and professorial; then move right along to where the cow pie hits the rotary cooling device.
   In our story, the Truehearts lost their farm to the evil banking guy and have loaded down their rickety old truck with all their worldly belongings in hope of starting a new life in California. During their journey it is your job as the author to throw at them every conceivable horror you can imagine.
   An example:
   “Maw,” Jenny says. “I’m afeared that Granny’s got the brain fever.”
   “What makes you think that, honey?” Maw replies.
   “Well, the fact that she’s got her backside pressed against the window and is mooning a truck full of rabbi’s has got me a mite worried.”
   “Hmmmm,” Maw says. “I reckon you might be on to something.”
   Here’s another example. The Trueheart’s truck has broken down on the top of a steep hill. It’s unbearably hot and Pap is tinkering with the engine. As the family mills around, Grandpaw gets an idea.
   “Jenny,” he says. “Go fetch that old broomstick handle and shove it in the tailpipe.”
   “Yes sir, Grandpaw.”
   As Jenny scurries away, Grandpaw pulls Pap out from under the hood. “Listen, boy,” he says. “I have had jes about enough of this tomfoolery. Now you stand aside whiles I start this here engine.”
   “But what do you know about engines?” Pap asks. “You ain’t never owned nothing but a horse and buggy your whole life.”
   “That’s right! And the old ways is still the best ways. Why, when my old mare wouldn’t move I’d jes pick up my handy broomstick handle, stick it in her tailpipe and she’d git to moving right quick!”
   “I done as you tole me, Grandpaw!” Jenny calls out.
   Grandpaw sticks his head under the hood. “Now go turn over that engine, boy!”
Pap shrugs, goes over to the driver’s side window, reaches in and places his finger on the starter. “Ready!”
   “Turn it over!” Grandpaw shouts.
   Pap pushes the button.
   There is a sound like a thunderclap as a cloud of black smoke bursts from the tailpipe launching the broomstick like a javelin. It clunks Big Elvis on the back of the head as the wheels jerk forward, the hood slams down on Grandpaw and the truck proceeds down the hill.
   “Hep! Hep! Hep!” comes Grandpaw’s muffled cry, his arms and legs flailing wildly.
   See how simple it is?
   Now let’s move on to the tear jerking moment when one of these nitwits bites the dust.    Who will it be? Well the safe bet is to knock off the black guy. Why? Well, in these stories the black guy is like the unknown away team member in Star Trek with the red shirt. Doomed, Doomed, Doomed!
   But first, he must perform an act of unbelievable courage and loyalty. So, let’s have him rescue Grandpaw as the truck careens down the hill.
   “Hep!! Hep!! Grandpaw bellows as the truck picks up speed. Big Elvis, whose head is just starting to clear after being clunked by the broomstick, sees a shortcut to the bottom. WITHOUT CONCERN FOR HIS OWN SAFETY, Big Elvis charges down, his muscular legs pumping like crazy.
As the spare tire is jarred loose and starts to roll down the hill, the truck veers off the road and heads toward the cliff. Big Elvis, seeing this, gives one last burst of speed, dives in the open driver’s side window and pulls the brake.
Just inches from the abyss the truck comes to a stop.
    After climbing out of the truck, Big Elvis pulls Grandpaw out from under the hood. The old man is winded and deeply grateful.
  “Big Elvis,” he says with heartfelt appreciation. “You are, without a doubt the finest nig....
   WHOA! Hold the phone! Back up, back up!
   Although our story takes part in the early thirties where the N-word was commonly used by both black and white, we are PRESENTLY living in the world of political correctness and unless you want to kill your book’s chances of making it to the bestseller list, tread very carefully here.
   An alternative.
   “Big Elvis, you are, without a doubt the finest African-American to walk God’s green Earth and I’m sure that if not for the white man holding you down, you would have become the president of the United States.”
   Yes! Much, much better!
   “Well thank you, Mr. Trueheart,” Big Elvis says. “I too believe that there will come a time when both black and white will live together as brothers and in peace and when that day comes...”
   As you can see, Big Elvis is rapidly becoming a bit of a windbag. So to keep the story moving along, now would be a good time to reintroduce the broken loose spare tire.
   “All men, be they black or white,” Big Elvis continues.” Will join hands and...
   “Land o’goshen!” Grandpaw shouts as the tire plows into Big Elvis sending him sprawling over the side of the cliff.
   Ta-Da! Problem solved.
   One of the best things about writing a literary masterpiece is that you can knock off as many characters as you want. In fact, it is almost expected that at least one of the family members will kick the bucket during the journey.
   So, who will it be? Who will it be?

   Come back next Tuesday and find out!

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