There are many websites where you can get writing advice, for example, this one: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/05/27/if-you-want-to-write-a-book-write-every-day-or-quit-now
Here at Felapton Towers and via our leading Science Fiction/Fantasy/Military History publishing arm Cattimothy House, we meet and train many aspiring authors – people who we’ve turned from mere robotic vacuum cleaners into leading voices in modern fiction. We’ve compiled all our experience and writing advice into this one article that WILL help you turn your dreams into a book!
So you are about to write a book? Remember, on the day you start, millions of others will be starting a book also. Worse, BILLIONS of people live on Earth and many of them are also capable of thinking about starting a novel. Bear in mind that approximately only SIX books are published each year and of those FOUR are guide books to Disneyland. In order for your book to be published, it has to be better than the books those several billion people on Earth might write. Most of those people have more interesting lives than you and also probably nicer personalities.
Lesson 1: You have to defeat your rivals. Your book has to be better than your rivals. Looking at the odds, that implies you’d be best trying to sabotage them from finishing their book. But how? Well, articles like this can help! Find a blog, a writers group or maybe a popular online media organisation and instead of writing a book, write an article full of bad writing advice! BINGO! All those billions of rivals will read it, follow your advice and either write a terrible book or give up in exhaustion.
Lesson 2. The two most important words you can write in any manuscript are “the” and “end.” Also “a” is pretty damn useful. You need articles both definite and indefinite and also use the word “end” a lot. Take Tolkien (please!), why do you think Bilbo lives at “Bag End”? Because “end” is very important. Why? Because EVERY book ends with THE END in big bold capitals and underlined. If you don’t have “THE END” at the end, how is the reader going to know that the book is over? Editors at fancy publishers expect to see that kind of shit in manuscripts you know? Like this:
Ha! Bet you stopped reading right! Old writer’s trick there. Seriously though, that was just an example. Don’t use the power of “The End” until you’ve actually finished the story! Otherwise, your readers will be going “Huh? Why are there all these extra chapters after the end of the book?”
Lesson 3: Somewhere along the way your fancy-schmancy competitors mosey off. I’m too stupid to mosey off. Heck, I’m so dumb I wouldn’t mosey off if my fingers were bleeding because I’ve been typing so DAMN HARD that my callous have worn through and I’m typing with the bloody stumps of my finger bones. You want to know what writing is like? Do you? Do you PUNK? It is exactly like the film ROCKY. Before I start writing I follow a strict regime of running up and down the steps of famous buildings and punching sides of frozen meat – not with my fists but with my TYPING FINGERS. That’s how I learned words like “mosey” because also writing a book is a lot like watching a film with John Wayne, maybe the Searchers but also like Rocky, like the Searchers but the guys doing the searching are Rocky Balboa and it is in New York and he has to punch sides of frozen meat but he is on a horse.
Lesson 4: Write Every Third 5 Minute Interval in a Period of 15 Minutes. You knew this already from the title. Good. Reading is nearly as important as writing when it comes to writing. However, remember you have NO TIME for reading because you must be writing. ZERO distractions people! No family, no life, no movies, no hobbies, no reading because those bright glittery distractions will bring NOTHING but emotional pain and regret. People betray you, TV shows get cancelled, your pets secretly hate you. The only solution is to retreat into the world wholly separated from the rest of humanity into which no external ideas can penetrate. Nothing feeds the writing powers like total sensory deprivation. You are going to need salt, lots and lots of salt. Also, some sort of tank which you can fill with a warm saline solution in which you will float, disconnected from reality. Drift, drift, drift, they can’t find you here, in the tank, the back stabbers, the freaks who prey on you, what the hell do they want from you, always taking, taking, taking, Shhhh, you are safe now. Lie there, floating for exactly TEN MINUTES. Use a timer. BEEP BEEP BEEP! Ten minutes are up! Now type, type type! Ouchy! Minor electric shocks from your laptop in the saline – you’ll need to figure a way around that but the pain is good for productivity. BEEP BEEP BEEP! Five minutes are up! Now drift for ten minutes again.
Lesson 5: You’ll need some scary goons. Firstly they will help stop your so called ‘friends’ and ‘family’ and ‘social services’ and ‘police’ from intervening in what will appear to them as a bizarre descent into a regimen of salt baths and electrocution hazards. Also, they will keep your legion of fans away that are all out there whispering, can you hear them in the silence of the tank? Yes, you can, they are whispering “we want your book” or is it “you are a loser” or is it the Enochian language of the angels? You’ll not want to go back into the tank but you’ve paid the goons well and they have strict orders to ignore your protests. Their dead eyes will ignore your pleading and carry your weakened body back to the tank after your repeated escape attempts.
Lesson 11 no is it 1 or is it 111 and what, yes. Never sleep. What do you do when you sleep? You dream. And where do those dreams GO? Do they go onto a written page? No? NO? WHAT ARE YOU THINKING!!!! That is precious imagination juice just spilling out of your brain and going NOWHERE. That’s like your SEED your MOJO your essence and using it up on what? DREAMS? Seriously, are you even TRYING? Do you want to write a book or not, you pathetic excuse for a human being? NO SLEEP. Sleep drains your imagination, it makes you dull and rational. Cut out sleep and you won’t deplete your imagination juice each night. BINGO! CREATIVITY JUGGERNAUT! That’s what you’ll be.
Lesson $%^&*(). Research! You’ll need a cloak and someway past those goons, you hired. Maybe you shouldn’t have given them guns. Listen, there is a hatch in the kitchen, it gives access to pipes under the house. No, no, no time for questions – LISTEN, trust me the hatch is there. Wait till the guards are sleeping (ha no book deals for them!). GET TO THE KITCHEN. Now find the hatch and get into that space. Hold on, shhh, one of the guards is stirring. OK, he’s still asleep, move. Right, follow the pipes. They lead to a facility. You’ve always known it was there, the facility. It is where they have kept tabs on you all those years. Find the horse. The horse is your friend. Now ride through the facility till you find the computers. There is a snail there who was your boyfriend at school, it’s weird because he is a snail and also your boyfriend from school but all grown up and now you are at school but it is a garden and the grass is soft, soft, soft… WAKE UP!!!! Ha, caught you dreaming! STOP IT! You are wasting imagination juice.
Lesson 2. Give up. What are you doing to yourself? You can’t write. You are hopeless.
Lesson 18. Get past Lesson 2. Forget your doubts and uncertainties. You define yourself. You must NEVER question yourself AGAIN EVER. Emerge from the tank. Your goons move towards you but uncertainly this time. They can see it in your eyes – the cold certainty of a man who knows no doubt. Did I say ‘man’? No, you’ve surpassed that. You are a being of PURE WILL. You make Nietzche look like a ditherer. One by one your goons kneel before you. They are frightened and in awe, for they have looked on the face of God. You forgive them for their blasphemy. Your book awaits but mere writing is beneath you.
Step outside. At first, it will only be the weak minded who will hear your call. The forgotten ones. They can sense the presence of your mind through the fog of their confused existence. “Come to me,” you whisper and they hear you, from the Le Paz to New York, from Toronto to Mumbai. Billions begin their pilgrimage to find you.
Soon, the others can ignore you no longer. You are a phenomenon that governments cannot escape. You still keep your goons close to you, for they are the blessed ones who first saw your glory when you emerged from the tank, your fingers worn away to stubs but your eyes glowing with a golden fire and your skin translucent like alabaster.
The UN meets. NATO meets. The Bilderberg Group and every shadowy conspiracy of world elites meet. All to discuss YOU. What is this being who can command nations? They cannot possibly understand.
You are the writer and at last, you have found the page for your manuscript. It is a palimpsest, full of the writings of others, over which you will write your TRUTH, your WILL. That page is called ‘the world’. The words you write are:
11 responses to “If You Want to Write a Book, Write Every Third 5 Minute Interval in a Period of 15 Minutes, Also Never Sleep”
(For certain definitions of “good” and “advice”, anyway.)
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[…] (6) UNRAVELINIG THE SLEEVE OF CARE. Camestros Felapton, recognizing the world’s hunger for quality writing advice, nevertheless has decided to let them starve a little longer — “If You Want to Write a Book, Write Every Third 5 Minute Interval in a Period of 15 Minutes, A…. […]
I feel like this is a mix of the Chucks (Tingle and Wendig).
My hired goons made me write it
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Lesson the second fifth – find a good editor and never let him go. Not even if he begs. “It puts the feedback in the basket…”
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Find a proofreader then hide the manuscript from them. What they tell you is lies, leis, liis!
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So how long has Timothy been doing NaNoWriMo, then?
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I actually adhere to the “write every day” mantra, because it works for me. But damn, what a stupid and condescending article that was.
Great takedown by Tomithy and yourself.
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That was obviously supposed to be Timothy,
I didn’t even bother to read the article past a few quotes people were putting up, but this satire made me fall on the floor laughing because I’ve seen so many of these ridiculous things be put forward over the years, (which is why I didn’t bother reading this one. It sounded particularly insipid.) You skewered all of them nicely.
It is a continued source of astonishment for me that novelists who have been in the business quite awhile and even successful at it still have no idea how fiction publishing actually functions and how readers buy books, and push notions like they are in direct competition with other fiction authors, or that successful authors have the ability to tank new authors’ careers with publishers. And who make extravagant and inaccurate claims about that market, and then mumble about poetic license and hyperbole when called out on it. The reality is that fiction publishing does have room for authors who seek to damage other authors instead of join forces with them, so I’m grateful that a lot of other authors speak out and are supportive.
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