Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Step Away from the Cliché
1212 Superior Lane.
Road to Welleville, USA
RE: Book Pitch
Writers are full of clichés just as old barns are full of bats.
… anything you suspect of being a cliché undoubtedly is one and
had better be removed. ~ Wolcott Gibbs
Dear INSERT AGENT NAME HERE,
Haven’t you had just about enough of manuscript submissions so rife with trite expressions, their heady stench wafts around your inbox long after you’ve hit the delete button?
Writers who employ such pathetic, phoned-it-in-because-I-wanted-to-get-5,000-words-written-today phrases and ideas, which have become the epitome of flotsam bobbing down the proverbial river toward the graveyard of good intentions, will absolutely benefit from my book Step Away from the Cliché.
To transform lackluster seen-it-all-before prose, writers can utilize the handy annotated glossary to look up cliché “keywords” and “phrases” that will turn their customary dreck into dazzling nuggets of literary genius.
Just like Glen Close’s character in Fatal Attraction, sluggish, cliché-ridden prose is hard to ignore. But if writers insist on upping their word count with drivel, at least the drivel should be inspired. Short words are lazy words, let’s be honest. (NOTE: Roget’s Thesaurus is a good companion to my book.)
“Live and learn” could be transformed to “Subsist, observe, and sip a nice cup of coffee while you ponder your lack of alternatives.”
“What goes around comes around,” says your protagonist as he stares (under hooded eyes) at the “villain.” I don’t know about you INSERT AGENT NAME HERE, but when I read lazy dialogue like this, I want to chop the author’s arms off and feed them to my pet iguana. They don’t deserve appendages when they could have written something like this:
“Karma’s a sarcastic bitch and she’s got a wicked backhand.”
At approximately 310,000 words, Step Away from the Cliché is certain to be a must-have for the robust manual-buying body of aspiring writers who lap up every published book on the “art” of writing in the hopes of producing the next vampire tome that has you agents creaming in your Fruit of the Looms.
If you think this book has legs, (and I think we both know it does) you’ll also be interested in my other work in progress - a two part series for screenwriters: Step Away from the Voice Over and Step Away from the Cheesy Flashback and/or Montage.
INSERT AGENT NAME HERE, should you decide to take me on as a client, you’ll be making 15% off me for years to come. I am nothing if not prolific.
Much appreciation in advance for your solicitous (and astute) consideration on this matter,
Posted by Jeni Decker at 4:30 PM
Labels: cliche, humor, Jeni Decker, writing
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Instead of saying "This post is the best thing since white bread" I'll now say "This post is better than Rick Perry in a hog-calling contest", which you have to admit is pretty damn good.ReplyDelete