Wednesday, August 11, 2010

How To Write Award-Winning Literature (Sponsored by Blood Meridian)

1.  Give your protagonist absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsoever so that everyone can really relate to him.
2. After the first fifty pages there is no need to mention him.  Describing the homogeneous landscape will be enough to remind everyone of his miserable existence.
3. When he does decide to reappear, reveal the history of other characters whom you haven't introduced by making your protagonist listen to long, overwritten stories told in vocabulary far beyond the speaker's (and the listener's) intellectual capabilities.  But they shouldn't speak like that unless they're delivering exposition.  That's gay.
4. Don't give your characters names, or if you do, don't reveal them until there is absolutely no context by which the reader can understand to whom the name refers.
5. Racial stereotypes count as characterization.
6. Your characters don't need to be distinguishable except regarding the degree of violence with which they are willing to kill each other.
7. Women aren't people, and rocks are more interesting.  Write about those.
8.  Plot should develop as follows: The group, of which the unnamed and unmentioned protagonist is a member, rides through a desert until the horses are tired, kills something, and then a random character expounds on an irrelevant and Neal-Cassady-esque topic.  Repeat with minor variation in available petroglyphs in order to demonstrate movement of said group.
9.  Testicles are the only body part of any importance, and cutting them off is worse than killing someone.
10. If part of the action takes place in the Grand Canyon, there is no need to say so, or describe it in a recognizable way.  Everyone will know what you're talking about.
11.  Once you decide on a title, make sure you overuse all of the words in it throughout the story so that people notice and think it's profound.

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