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Redwood Falls Gazette
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    Like all print journalists, I aspire to write The Great American Novel.


    I thought I would let you in on the writer’s creative process by allowing you to see some notes for my 600 page masterpiece-in-progress....

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    Like all print journalists, I aspire to write The Great American Novel.
    I thought I would let you in on the writer’s creative process by allowing you to see some notes for my 600 page masterpiece-in-progress.
    Then, when you buy the book off Amazon, or at Barnes and Noble, you can compare it to my notes to see how my mind reworked the basic material.
    Ahem.
    • Idea for a scene: Oogie Pringle meets the woman of his dreams walking out of a porta-potty at Farmfest.
    • The scene where the walrus eats the coconut — will the readers be able to discern the subtle political commentary?
    • It would help the flow of the narrative if Gladys suddenly developed psychic powers for a couple pages?
    • Check with the publishers about the expense of adding scratch-and-sniff patches to the pages with key scenes.
    • Nellie’s asthmatic cough — rework into a broken leg?
    • Note: the first 355 pages drag a little. Condense down to four paragraphs on page 3.
    • Alvin’s murder by hockey stick is too self-referential.
    • Rework the carpentry scene. How can Dave hit his thumb with a hammer if he goes hitchhiking with an unharmed thumb just two paragraphs later?
    • Check to see if the lyrics to “Born in the U.S.A.” are in the public domain, or if I’ll have to pay a royalty fee.
    Possible titles:
    • Prairie’s Paper Cut
    • Winds of Time, and Stuff
    • Echos of a Confused Guy Eating a Taco
    • The Power of Uff-da
    • Drinking Beer on Icy Roads
    . . . . .
    Suing other people because of your own stupidity is fashionable, so I’ve decided to sue everyone in sight every time I screw up.
    On at least half a dozen occasions I’ve been caught driving above the speed limit, and gotten ticketed.
    My response? Sue the car manufacturer! It’s obviously their fault I got a speeding ticket because they didn’t put anything in the car to prevent it.
    I demand that all car companies install optical sensors that can read speed limit signs, and gas pedals that respond appropriately.
    If that adds a few thousand dollars to the cost of every new car, I figure that’s a small price for the rest of you to pay for my stupidity. Until then, I figure $40,000,000 in punitive damages is sufficient to compensate me for the pain and humiliation I’ve gotten for driving too fast.
    Years ago, my brother got a paper cut. He ran to the bathroom cupboard to get a bandage, and got another paper cut opening the little paper wrapper.
    That’s gotta be worth about $8,000,000 for sure.
    In high school, I never wore a jacket no how chilly it got. Everyone knew only nerd wore jackets.
    As a result, I got a lot of colds. My response: sue the jacket company for not working harder to make me buy their products.
    Think of the possibilities: suing companies for the fact I didn’t use their products! Think of the possibilities!