Friday, July 22, 2011

America's Next Top Auth-hole

No one gets in without being asked. And with her untamable hair, large forehead, and gawky body, Tookie De La Crème isn’t expecting an invitation. Modelland—the exclusive, mysterious place on top of the mountain—never dares to make an appearance in her dreams. But someone has plans for Tookie. Before she can blink her mismatched eyes, Tookie finds herself in the very place every girl in the world obsesses about. And three unlikely girls have joined her. Only seven extraordinary young women become Intoxibellas each year. Famous. Worshipped. Magical. What happens to those who don’t make it? Well, no one really speaks of that. Some things are better left unsaid. Thrown into a world where she doesn’t seem to belong, Tookie glimpses a future that could be hers—if she survives the beastly Catwalk Corridor and terrifying Thigh-High Boot Camp. Or could it? Dark rumors like silken threads swirl around the question of why Tookie and her new friends were selected . . . and the shadows around Modelland hide sinister secrets. Are you ready? Modelland is waiting for you. . . .

What you have just read is the official "Product Description" copy as found on for Tyra Banks' first novel Modelland. That's right, a novel. By Tyra Banks. And get this: she's decided to rip off Harry Potter, apparently... only with MODELS.

Looks like we've been Duffed again, my fellow fiction writers. Lizzie McGuire? Snooki? And now Tyra? We must come together to put an end to this madness! We must Tweet it, people! And Tweet it loud! Writers Without Publicists or Sex Tapes unite against celebrity-written crap fiction! #WWPST

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Is this trend dead yet? Because my character is.

Because I found it so therapeutic to post one of my edited-out characters on this blog last week, I thought I'd do it again. The character who I'm ridding my book of this time is a crude young man with a penchant for swearing and racism named Anton. He, much like Lily, was nothing more than a fun character to write. He said stupid things in a stupid way, and I got some laughs at his expense. But he did nothing to help progress my plot. And so, Anton, you're out of the book. Take your bow now, you beefy ingrate... if you can bend over in that tight t-shirt:

The chair surrendered to his body as he shifted his weight into it, the plastic creaking under his heft. He wore an Ed Hardy shirt because he was expected to and a leather jacket I felt sorry for. The poor thing tried its best to stretch out over its owner’s beastly muscles, but it was too tired so it just gave up--gathering in maxed-out creases and folds where his biceps erupted south of his shoulders.

“I fell for this hot Witness chick," he said. "She was hot, like really hot, and she told me that Armageddon was coming. And this was right around 9/11, you know? I mean, there were bodies falling out of buildings falling out planes falling out of... Shit, what was that phrase she used? Hegemonic world order. The skies had opened up and reigned down, she said, the final sign before the end. And I bought it. She got me all riled up saying that was the final straw and did I know what team I was playing for because God was coming. She even knew I was into sports and she used it, you know? How’d she know that? Anyways, I’m still here, the world is still here, the girl is gone and so is all my stuff. She said she gave it to some fucking pioneers in the Middle East. Pakis maybe, or Indians. All I know is I got screwed and I gave her permission. What kind of pussy does that make me?"

Goodbye, Anton. I won't miss you one bit.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Too bad. She was hott.

Thanks in great part to the encouragement of cool strangers I've met through the Internet, I'm working on the novel again. I've decided to start by cutting some non-essential scenes. You know, the kind that don't move the story forward but were just fun to write? In fact, I'm getting rid of a character altogether. Her name was Lily. She was a hard-drinking, upstanding member of society and I'll miss her. Here's one of the Lily bits that's getting the axe:

Lily was on fire that night. She was at least 65 but she worked the drunks like a 19-year-old, flirting and winking and raking in tips. She wasn’t much for flare, but she made up for it with perfect pours and a hairdo so teased you could see right through it. Her breasts were so low and heavy that they buffed the bar. They took up half her body, those massive tits. It was the first miracle that she could stand up straight and the second if you could look her in the eye. She was the original fertility goddess, Lily, proof that the Mayans could time travel. When she emerged from behind the bar to take our orders, her ass so equally gigantic, I was finally able to understand the physics of Lily. Yin and yang, ass and tits. The universe was all about balance.

Sorry, Lily. It was nice to know you.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Do I have to?

I've finally finished draft 1 of my new TV pilot and, to quote Ed Grimley, I couldn't be more excited I must say. I need some time away from it before I edit it and send it off to my TV-minded friend whose opinion means a lot. So what to do now? Back to the book, perhaps? It is tempting, but it's also nauseating.

Every time I think about opening my manuscript I want to cry and then run away. Literally run away -- to a grande frappucino spiked with vodka and a gluten-free vegan brownie waiting for me on a patio overlooking mating whales off the coast of a mystical isle where writing a book is a crime punishable by death. "So don't even start, you hear me!" *guns blazing* And don't even think about finishing!"

The thought of returning to the book that I've been struggling with for so long is incredibly unappealing because my TV writing still feels so full of possibility. But I can't just let this book die without giving it one more try, can I? What to do? What to do? I've tried a few things: time away, staying busy with other projects, talks with my fellow writers, reading tons of other excellent books... but none of these strategies have driven me back to A Happy Armageddon. Most recently, I bought and read a self-help book hoping that would give me the kick in the pants I needed, but I found it unhelpful given the stage I'm at: book completed but in need of one more revision. It's a psychological issue more than an inspirational, technical or voice problem.

Oh how I miss those problems. They were so easy to solve: just keep writing, dummy. It's the "finish writing it again, dummy" that's proving to be my greatest struggle. Because I know that this is the end. Either this last revision works or it doesn't. And, if I'm being honest with myself, that's a really crushing reality check. I thought I was ready to let go of the five years I've spent with this story because I had moved on. I thought that was why I couldn't face it again -- because I didn't need it anymore, because I was too busy with my other ideas, because I didn't care. But I know now that that's not true. That I can't finish it because I'm worried that it will finish me.

I've been thinking about writing a new short story in the meantime. I have a plot in mind and a Moose Jaw setting all picked out. Even some research completed. Maybe I'll give it a try. F-ck, I don't know.

Ugh. I should have been a plumber.