My name is Rip Lunge and I am in THE WRITING BUSINESS, see, I was shouting there, just
to wake you up, cos that’s what you guys need. You need to wake up, so that you can benefit from my STAGGERINGLY AWESOME insights into writing. GET IT? Are you awake now? Listen up ladies of the Upper Dicklington Ladies Writing Circle, I’m speaking to you!
I wasn’t always a best-selling author; hell no. You’d never believe it now, but I used to work in insurance. Yeah, you may well shake your heads, I can hardly believe it either. And you know what? I never read anything; books always bored my ass off. But one day I was taking the elevator late on a friday night when there was a power outage. We were stuck there for twelve hours, during which I was so crazed with boredom that I borrowed a novel from this preppy college type. It was by some chick called Virginia Woolf. With a name like that I guessed she was American and that this was some kind of woeful ‘how to catch your man’ chicklit crap. Boy, was I wrong! By the time I got out of that elevator, I was a different man. I wanted to write! I wanted to write so bad, it made my teeth ache. Although I was busting to get started right away, I knew that was wrong and it wouldn’t get me anywhere. So, I thought about what I’d do if writing was a REAL job, you know, like insurance. So, before I even thought about scrawling one word, I set about making a complete statistical analysis of all book sales in English- speaking countries. I read everything I could on writing structure. Then I made a deep analysis of plots and possible structures. You know what? I looked at all this information for weeks before I wrote that single word. The difference is, that
when I did start writing, I knew exactly which would be the right plot, with precisely the right amount of threat, sex and violence to make a bestseller. That was the easy part. Guess what I did next? I put together a comprehensive analysis of literary agents and assembled an infographic of all their hit rates with debut novelists. In the end I built myself a killer power point presentation of my aims and the way I would achieve them and watched it every night before I went to sleep. And you want to know what was the result. Dontcha? OK. I’ll tell you. Yes, I found the perfect agent, who put my book with the perfect publisher and we both stood back, to avoid the recoil, and watched it slam into the Amazon Best Seller list and stay there kicking butt for the best part of a year.
So now, ladies of Upper Dicklington Writing Circle, you want me to do the same for you, dontcha? Of course you do, that’s why you invited me here to your quaint village hall.
I’ve been reading samples of your work, so that I can give you the feedback you requested and I have to ask some questions. What the hell do you think you’re doing? Has any one of you made a statistical analysis of anything? If you care about your writing you better get real, otherwise you can shove this stuff up your boom-shalla and nobody, but nobody will ever read it.
When did any of you last check the Amazon top ten?
Erotica, savage teen violence, rom coms, that’s what’s selling! Publishing is no different to any other business, it’s the law of supply and demand and no one, Audrey, is demanding poetry. Sorry, did I wake you up?
Equally, Felicity. A history of life in the Anglo-Saxon Settlements of East Sussex. Well 50 Shades of Grey, it aint. Not to say those Anglo-Saxons didn’t get a little rough but baby, you could use this stuff instead of novocaine during a root canal job.
Libby, what made you think that anyone gives a flying e-reader for a novel about toothless farm hands operating steam threshing machines? I felt no threat, no peril, nothing made me want to turn a page of your manuscript. Yes, I know the main character falls into the machine, but that felt like a blessed relief. I didn’t care.
Ursula, I have one question for you. Graveyard Lichens; why?
So here’s what I’m doing for you. If you guys follow the Rip Lunge Step-by-Step Statistical Approach to Writing with 36 Point Plot Analysis. Rise at five a.m. and don’t take your butts off your chairs until you’ve written two thousand words without using a single adverb , or some flowery damned metaphor for at least six months, then I promise to return to Upper Dicklington for a lower fee and whip those manuscripts into shit that you can submit. Capische? Is it a deal? Thank-you and goodnight.