Yesterday, I read this:
The Top Ten Storytelling Cliches that Need to Disappear Forever
Did you read it? Or did you skip to here? If you skipped, that’s okay. Who’s gonna know? But the rest of this post will make more sense if you click on the link and at least skim the list of cliches, m’kay?
Now: Here’s what I think about that post:
“I agree! And I’m dancing with glee!”
“Huh?” you say. “How can you agree that a writer shouldn’t use this list of cliches? For fuck’s sake, Hyperlink from Hell is loaded with them!”
To which I say: “You bet it is! It’s front-end loaded! It’s satire, remember? I can’t begin to say how thrilled I am to have hit the bullseye on 7 out of 10 of these!”
But listen: Hyperlink isn’t JUST satire. It isn’t just Pinocchio, poking his little (and sometimes not-so-little) nose into society’s blowhole to see where the bloated whale of our culture springs a leak. I took great pains to make sure he’s also a real boy — a real story about real(ish), crazy people. And I know some of you readers REALLY get that. And I love you for it.
But I’ve also realized that for other readers to get that, they need the other two books in the series, like, NOW. And they aren’t finished. So maybe I should have waited ’til they were done before publishing the first book, but live and learn — and I’ve learned so much from this last year and met so many wonderful readers and other writers, that I wouldn’t go back and change a thing…
Except one. I will soon be uploading a new version of the ebook, with a preview of the second book plopped on the end. Yes, you will soon learn if there’s a body in the tunnel! You won’t have to wait. And after I make those changes, I will make the book free for a while.
Then, after the troll anthology is out, I will write my fingers off to get those other two books out as soon as I can.
Now, about those cliches… Let’s have some fun with them!
1. Characters describing themselves in mirrors: Yes, Jimmie does, just once, stare at his face in the mirror and describe what he sees. But since his appearance keeps changing at Al’s Almighty whim, how else would he know what he looks like at any given time? It’s a win-win!
3. Blaming bad behavior on bad parenting: The whole book is a satirical look at this one. ‘Nuff said.
4. Too many inside jokes/references: All part of the satirical experience, at no extra charge.
5. The chosen one: Bullseye!
6. Countdown clocks: I am practically orgasmic that they included this one on the list!
7. Veiling your message in a dream: Or three! Weeeeeeee!!!
10. Knocking characters unconscious for plot convenience: Poor Jimmie! I did this countless times to him! And all on purpose! (I am a fucking genius!)
Now, I know what you’re thinking:
“What about numbers 2 (Broadcasting an upcoming plot twist), 8 (Using sex as wish fulfillment) and 9 (Magical Negroes and Noble Savages)?”
Well, I’ll do my best to squeeze 2 and 8 into books 2 and 3, but as for 9? No fucking way. I will simply have to admit defeat on that one — wouldn’t touch it with a 10-foot Polish person — but you know, my own list of Cliches from Hell…
Is just getting started!
Grant E. Hamilton’s 1885 political cartoon for the “The Judge” magazine.