Gallows humor for writers

I see I haven’t posted an item since 17 March. Excuses range from “I’ve been too busy to blog” and “I’m suffering a multi-tasking deficiency” to “I’ve sustained a fit of sanity, wherein I see no percentage in posting elaborate messages into the Void.”

Mostly, though, I’ve been in thrall to a fiction project, a series of speculative novels. The Muse, revealing herself as a dominatrix this time around, has shacked up with me big time. (I speak only figuratively, of course. Good morning, Sara.)

This project is shaping up to be a real monster—in size and, if I’m not careful, in Frankensteinian ungainliness as well. Unless of course the Grim Reaper intervenes, which—given average lifespans for the modern male and the rate at which I’m proceeding—is a statistical near-certainty.

Working dust-jacket copy:

This book is for real readers—for people with almost pathological cravings for gnarly substance, for readers who take Proust on picnics, who wish that Hegel’s sentences were longer and who are sorry David Foster Wallace’s editors convinced him to reduce the endnotes in Infinite Jest from a few hundred to just one hundred pages (388 extant notes in total, with notes within notes and, in least one case, notes within notes within a note).

If you aren’t this sort of reader, then go f*** yourself. This book isn’t for you.


“You can’t say that,” says my Sara.

“You don’t understand modern marketing,” I reply.

4 thoughts on “Gallows humor for writers”

  1. I agree with Sara. I mean, you could say that, it’s a free world. But if you want to convince an Amazon browser to buy the book, you should probably say something else. I’d go with “Piprell describes sexual intercourse in a way that’s just like looking at pornography.” Or maybe, “If you want to lose 50 pounds in eleven days, this book is for you!”

    • I expect you’re right. But of course my draft cover copy is only a spoof–a crie de coeur from an addled author who confidently expects to rank right up there with Hegel as a best-selling stylist and purveyor of popular entertainment.

      Your “lose 50 pounds in 11 days” hook, on the other hand, is brilliant and, unless you threaten to sue me, that’s what I’m going to go with.

  2. Why are you writing for real readers? There aren’t any left. What you should do is make videos. Writing is a dead art form. Remember what Jack Somebody said (can’t remember his last name): “What is a writer but a schmuck with an Underwood?” Nobody knows what an Underwood is anymore, either.

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