bfa in bullshit detection

June 16, 2012

Hi. My name is Mac. I like to pretend to be a writer. What I mean by “pretend” is that instead of working on the next painstakingly beautiful great American novel, I have found a way to write fanfiction for Cagney and Lacey; Law and Order: SVU; ER; Nurse Jackie; and Crossing Jordan all with one tidy little plot. (My college education, hard at work!)

Over the years, I have received innumerable pieces of invaluable (and totally bogus) advice about what it’s like to be a true *writer*. What every writer should have in their toolkit, when the best time to write is, the cheapest and best kind of coffee to buy in bulk… Normally when getting said information, I’m surrounded by faux intellectuals scribbling this information down in their moleskins. “What I have is going to be so ~deep. It’s going to positively revolutionize American literature. SUCK IT.” Usually after getting this vibe from 98% of the a-holes I’m surrounded by, my face screws up into something Belushi-esque. My brows have a mind of their own sometimes, and normally they show it when surrounded by douchewads. This isn’t to say that a lot of my colleagues are douchewads, quite the opposite actually– I just am prone to eye rolling.

The best piece of information I’ve ever gotten is from one, Mr. Joseph Mazzarino (aka Joey Mazz) the head writer of Sesame Street.  After admiring the Bob and Doug McKenzie action figures  on his desk and accidentally letting it slip that I like to get blazed and watch Welk, he told me the greatest thing I’ve ever heard: WRITE WHAT YOU LOVE. I’ve since been keeping, and refining the list of things I love. It’s been fun! I’ll spare you the agony of sifting through an entire list of shit you’re not going to care about; but I’d implore all of you, (all 2 of you that read my damn blergh) to start keeping this list– and referring to it when you get a bout of writer’s block. It’s more helpful than you’d realize, actually.

The other thing I’d been thinking about in accordance with Joey’s cherry advice, is Austin Kleon’s book, Steal Like An Artist. He brings up an addendum to Joey’s love list that I hadn’t thought of: WRITE THE BOOK YOU WANT TO READ. I got to thinking, what would the perfect piece of consumable media entail? Conversely, what would the recipe for suicide induced consumption look like? I bring you the following:

*THINGS I LIKE* 

(AKA the perfect piece of consumable media in accordance with my taste)

  1. ROBOTS. There would be a lot of robots everywhere. DANCING robots even. 
  2. Syrupy romantic subtext. Preferably homosexual, because that always makes shit more interesting. 
  3. Hospitals. All the action would take place here. (By action I mean ~*~*~GAY SEX~*~*~.)
  4. A believable hero archetype that, while predictable, is still interesting. 
  5. In accordance with the previous sentiment, (or not) a badass friend or mentor that doesn’t bite the weenie. 
  6. (Unless [s]he is taking part in #3). 
  7. Someone has to be pregnant. Just because. 
  8. Just when you think the main character isn’t going to get what he, she or it (ROBOTS!) wants, THEY DO! I’m talking Edward Scissorhands level tears people. Get with the program. 
*THINGS I DISLIKE* 

(And should die in a hole)
  1. Trite, superfluous sentiment. Normally this occurs when the characters express /exactly/ how they feel. GAG. 
  2. The exposition 2’x4′. HEY! LOOK! LOOK! I DID THIS! MY MOM WAS AN ALKIE AND MY DAD BEAT ME! THIS IS USED TO EXPLAIN MY FETISH WITH AUTOEROTIC ASPHYXIATION IN A THROWAWAY SENTENCE! YAY! (Barf.)
  3. Unbelievable coincidence. That thing you need just happens to be here? Wowzer, what luck! This happened in the last paragraph! WHAT A COINCIDENCE! 
  4. Implausible wish fulfillment. In which, every chapter, the geeky male lead gets offered 10,000 blow jobs by each member of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. Pucker up, ladies! Either that, or [s]he’s too aloof for their own good. How’s the weather on planet douchenozzle? Cloudy with a chance of exasperated eye rolls and scattered groaning. Yee-ouch. 
  5. Breaking the rules of your predetermined universe instead of having your characters actually have to work for what they want and need because YOU’RE A LAZY SONOFABITCH. 

I feel like things like “basic grasp of grammar and syntax” go without saying, as they are pet peeves on most peoples’ lists. 
In any case, I’m thinking about actually writing the great Cagney&LaceyLaw&OrderERNurseJackieCrossingJordan fic. Bad idea?
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