Category Archives: Writing

No Eyes On Pete!: A Short and Gruesome Mystery

electronic-blinking-eyeballs-xl“Look over here, sarge.” Flopkens crouched by the dead grass. “Here are the poor bastard’s eyes.”

Sergeant Pearson waddled over, all three hundred pounds of gut and toupee, and peered down. Sure enough, there on the green – blue eyes. Two of them.

“What the hell.” The sergeant moaned and plopped down on the sod. “What sort of perverted monster takes a man’s eyes?”

“Well, they’re here. They weren’t taken very far, anyway.”

“We don’t know that. Where’s the rest of…” The sergeant checked the notes. “Pete? He was a caddy, correct?”

“That’s what that dumb pro shop guy Curt told me. Pete Pearl. 22. Syracuse. He’s probably under the cart.” Continue reading

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Most Influential Blogger AND 1/8th of a Million Reads?!

If my reads were dollars, I'd be a 1/8th millionaire!

If my reads were dollars, I’d be a 1/8th millionaire!

Great day in the morning! This has been a big week here at Knowingly Undersold. First, after years of pretty infrequent writing, we reached that previously unimaginable tally of 1/8th of a million reads, and then we were nominated for Most Influential Blogger! My cup runneth over! Now, you may be taken aback at the unabashed navel gazing going on here, as this isn’t typically the sort of work we’re cranking out here at Sexy Architects and Norman Invasion Tales ‘R’ Us. But as the recognition and milestones are starting to pile up, I feel it is time to address the state of affairs here K.U. Continue reading

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This Bonkers New Cover Will Boost Book Sales, Right?

But what do I slap on there? The original cover was intended to give the messy 33% Non-Fictional story a sort of textbook feel. Thus, the template with the generic layout, the non-expressive font, and the totally uninteresting subtitling.

I still like it, don't get me wrong

I still like it, don’t get me wrong

Plus, there’s the index at the back of the book, to add to this textbook vibe, providing easy access to all the Antony and Cleopatra and cheap hand job references.

It's helped scholars and perverts immensely

It’s helped scholars and perverts immensely

Continue reading

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Dude, Your First Draft is Way, Way, Way Too Long

Gah! Not good, Dostoyevsky!

Gah! Not good, Dostoyevsky!

You’ve spent the better part of a decade laboring over handwritten notes, turning them into an epic narrative that saw it outlive three different personal computers, four jobs, three apartments, six girlfriends, two cars, and eighteen fish. You snuck off on lunch breaks to work on it, zoned out of conference calls, paid no attention while your roommates watched all of Breaking Bad, and now where are you? You’re 175,000 words completed, and the only thing that can be said is your book is way, way too long.

What the hell were you thinking? Did you really need 500 pages to tell the story of some sad consignment store owner looking for love and meaning in his humdrum Grand Rapids life? And no, it doesn’t matter if its great, it really doesn’t. You’re not Jonathan Franzen, and you will never get the opportunity to tell Oprah to go screw herself. You wrote this goddamn opera of commerce and innuendo, and you want to slay forests to get it five inches from the faces of housewives the world over, right? Well then it’s time to make with the editing, Charlie, and don’t be a pussy about it. Continue reading

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The Fall of the House of Vowels

The author, returning home from his day job

In my long and harried career of not writing for a living, my relationship with my crooked assistants had always been amicable, pleasant, and even enjoyable. Our partnership was one of mutual respect and camaraderie, and the fruits of our time together were considerable. But the years were difficult, and the course grew coarser, and my hoary associates bore the brunt of my opprobrium. It was frustration and weariness in part, but lo, it was largely devil intemperance that led me to ruination – yes, intemperance! I can barely bring myself to copy down the events – so chilling, so horrifying they were, and so recklessly egocentric and jejune I was! But the world needs to know of my epic folly! Read on, if you dare! Continue reading

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Editing My Dusty Old Masterpiece

You are privileged to herein grab a glimpse at my awesome skills on display, with my real time editing process. Everyone who writes has their own way of doing this, and usually they don’t wait years after the last draft to pick up and start hacking through again. However, I’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time pursuing insanely fruitless careers lately (movie extra, Presidential candidate, etc.) and am only now revisiting my completed but messy masterwork.

So let’s crack open the old Word doc and see how things stand, huh? I remember my first chapter being a real humding – what?! What the holy hell?! Seriously? This can’t be right. I don’t remember the first sentence being “Ye gawd Yardley, that crummy stumblebum?!” I wrote that?!? That doesn’t sound like my pitch perfect ear for dialogue at work. Can’t be. Continue reading

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My Sure Fire Money Making Writing Plan!

Sure, the Bible sequel didn’t pan out.  Seems the church wasn’t willing to sponsor the project and adamantly refused to do weekly readings from the new “good book.”  Fine.  I can live with it.  Also, editing the new book with a million covers and titles has proven disheartening, and the publisher is prepared to just call it Swill and release it without my approval.  You know what?  That’s fine, too.  Cause I’ve concocted my surest firest success yet.

 

bookstoreYep, I’m going to get into the world of crank-‘em-out mystery novels.  You know the kind – woman in her forties goes into a bookstore, says to herself that she’s looking for something that “looks like something I’d read.”  They hit upon the mystery section – bingo! – find a book that seems to have a pattern in its title, almost guaranteeing an extended trip with the same characters down non surprising roads for many books to come, and next thing you know, this slightly pre-menopausal lady is out on the back porch, reading about some taxidermist getting himself stuffed in a department store, populated by wacky employees, and bringing in a wacky detective with wacky neuroses, making for interesting reading and light, fluffy evenings of enjoyment.

 

How hard could it possibly be?  I’ve never even considered writing a mystery novel, but honestly, it’s gotta be ridiculously easy.  I’ve read a few of the cheesy variety and you don’t even need a twisty plot.  All it requires is a quirky enough detective and a catchy title.  So let’s formulate this strategy. Continue reading

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