Friday, October 4, 2013

Day 271 of the 365 Days of Blogging

The author, Dane F. Baylis




Somewhere down the line you may figure out a way to get over on this advice. For now, you will never, ever, ever:
  • Start out with, "It was a dark and stormy night." - "The sun shone intensely through the shimmering heat of the Mojave afternoon." - "It was a crisp and moonlit October evening in upstate Vermont. The air temperature was forty-two degrees Fahrenheit and the relative humidity was fifty one percent with a dew point of thirty-three point five degrees." OR ANY OTHER PERMUTATION OF THE WEATHER!
  • Or begin a story with, "She was riding across the field on a large and virile Minotaur who looked a lot like her ex-boss Marty. He was carrying an alligator briefcase that needed to be fed every thirty minutes and insisted on discussing Sartre's views on existentialism and the details of her upcoming wedding. Then the alarm went off!" OR ANY OTHER LAME-ASSED DREAM SEQUENCE!
  • Or resort to the truly low life alternative, "Mary and John had been in love since their Junior year in high school. They'd attended the same college where they'd excelled in Information Technologies and Macrobiotic Yoga Dietary Planning. They lived in a penthouse apartment in Lower Manhattan with their two point five kids and couldn't think of one unsettling thing to contribute to this limp idea. Sigh." HAPPY PEOPLE IN HAPPY LAND ARE MIND NUMBINGLY BORING. NO, NO, NO! PERIOD!
   Get it? Good. I really don't feel I need to add to it except, don't waste fucking time! Get into the story. NOW! Establish the tension and conflict from the outset, and ratchet it up at every available opportunity.
Can you get away with violating the above list? Of course, if you're good enough. But, (There's always a caveat, you know there is.) some intern is going to see your work first. They have been armed with an extensive list of things that are poison to anything that crosses their desk. Any guesses what three of the biggies might be? Hm? Aw, go on, take a wild stab at it!
Just some more helpful hints from your Uncle Dane.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------, love, write it like you spent some time figuring some of this stuff out ahead of time.
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Dane F. Baylis

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