RantFever 4

I pontificate but not in the pejorative sense of the word.

Archive of Rant Fever 3, 2, 1, & Beta

Posts in July 2010

Good Points

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2010-07-26 01:18:59

A few things:

1. Everyone should read Mansfield Park by Jane Austen right now. (That includes you, Green!)

2.  Inception was a good movie, and even though Janeheiress didn't like it, you should see it immediately. (That's right, I said it.)

3.  The only way to travel is with a good friend. (Like Atrayu.)

How to publish a book for teens:

by: Lisa Clark | on: 2010-07-06 16:27:54
It's actually really simple and doesn't take much thought. And I'm sure you don't even need much of a grasp of the mechanics of written English--that's what copyeditors are for, right?

Step 1: Pretend you're really sassy. Getting a sassy haircut and some edgy pictures of yourself always helps. Then put them up on your blog (and your facebook page) and be sure to mention them every hour or so on your twitter account.

Step 2: Immerse yourself in pop culture. The best way to do this is watch a lot of t.v. But make sure you dream about it. Dreams make the best premises for books, because they always seem really brilliant while we're sleeping or groggy.

Step 3: Now it's time to plan your hero. The hero has to have breath-taking good looks and mysterious manners. It's also prerequisite that he has to be or be involved with something supernatural. Don't worry--you can take whatever cliche you want for the supernatural part. Vampires, Werewolves, Fallen Angels, Incubus', Fairies, Alchemists ... they're all up for grabs, and you don't even have to be original. If you want to push the edge just a little bit, reverse the role a little bit and make the hero the "boy next door" while the girl has supernatural powers. But if you do this, make sure that all the characters somehow recognize something special about him that never gets explained. See, if it's apparent to your readers that your lead characters actually are special or different or courageous or strong, they'll find them too intimidating to read about.

Step 4: On to the heroine. First of all, it is absolutely imperative that the heroine has to act really stupid while claiming to be smart. The dumber the better. If you're struggling to find dumb things for her to do, just put her in a bunch of dangerous situations and have her act helpless and/or co-dependent. She might say she's read a bunch of classic literature and has always been ahead in school, but if she actually acts like she has a brain, it proves that she doesn't. Those are the only qualifying characteristics. And you must be absolutely certain you don't give her any personality. It ruins the story. Oh yeah, give her lots of stupid questions to ask, that way the hero can be as evasive as he wants. This will increase her fascination with him, especially if he acts like a jerk about it.

Step 4: Okay, let's talk about conflict. It can't be a real problem; it has to be trumped up, because in the end you're just going to resolve it by pretending it didn't exist in the first place.

Step 5: The plot's not too important either, because as long as you give intimate descriptions of the main characters having multiple DTRs, nothing really needs to happen. People only like to read about sexual tension, so if you've done your hero right and he's the mysterious bad boy he should be, the heroine is going to have enough internal dialogue just drooling over him and his expressions and the way he moves his body and the way he tries so hard to protect her from her own stupidity. There's no room for a plot if you set it up properly. If you don't trust me and are really worried about this, just add in some random make-out scenes; setting them in the rain or by the ocean after a swim is a nice touch.

Step 6: Minor characters aren't all that hard. There has to be a girl who is insanely jealous of the heroine, for whatever reason. Plus, there has to be another guy who has the hots for the lead girl, because no-one would believe, given how stupid she's behaving, that the guy isn't stupid for liking her unless there was another guy who felt the same way. Two guys falling for one stupid girl proves that everyone in this situation is really smart. Plus, with another guy on the scene, it makes it easier and more plausible to have all those DTRs that replace the plot. Make sure that if you mention any parents, well, it might be a good idea to conveniently do away with the parents by having them go out of town or by killing them off in the very beginning. If you can't do that in good conscience, just make them as stupid and clueless as the heroine--that makes sense, because the apple never falls far from the tree. If the hero has parents, which I would advise against, they have to be either mentally ill or sycophants. Siblings? Blood siblings will kill the story completely, so if you want siblings in the story, they have to be adopted. Friends must be the stupidest characters. They have to be unbelievably naive, and they have to get mad at the lead all the time, but they can't ever stay mad, because otherwise they wouldn't want to be involved in all the drama.

Step 7: Finally, it is extremely important to get the right cover art. Flowers, silky fabric, or fruit always works well, but don't go with any background color other than black, and make sure there's lots of red.

There you go. Publishers will love you. Bookstores will love you. And teenage girls will love you ... well, until someone makes a big-budget film of your book. Then they'll move on to something else. Don't take it personally. The new fad won't be any better than yours.

Foot in the Mouth

by: Melanie Clark | on: 2010-07-01 22:50:23

I recently visited a friend in another state and had a blast hiking, enjoying nature, and just hanging out. There is one incident however, that has risen to the forefront of my memory, to my mortification. My friend's mom likes to have friends over for dinner, and on Sunday evening their neighbors came over to eat with us. They were a nice family, and we had a nice dinner. I noticed that something about the way one of their sons (probably in his mid-twenties) talked was a little off, but I didn't pay much attention to it.