CLEVER YET SOMEHOW UNRELATED TITLE

20 Feb

Start short-short story with a simple sentence that hooks readers with personal investment—perhaps recognition of pop culture items, brand names, etc.—and a transgressive juxtaposition. Possibly follow with a deadpan comment. Absurd rhetorical question?

Crafty refrain to be repeated.

Use lots of small paragraphs for the pretense of emphasis and earnestness.

Another deadpan comment.

Channel quotidian life via Raymond Carver via Anton Chekhov without intensely studying either of the latter or scrutinizing the former. Verb nouns and noun verbs. Hyphenate adjectives.

Witty observation about character’s personality. Fragments. Fragment. Employ first person plural as if never done before. Drop in tautology for zen master effect.

Crafty refrain.

Get good at parataxis. Very good at parataxis. So good at parataxis that your sentences, almost by magic, will become hypotactic.

Have characters speak laconically and dry. Use asyndeton, gerunds.

 

[Unexplainable white space]

 

Deeply searching, yet ultimately shallow rhetorical question?

As you reach the end of the piece and you’re feeling saucy and breaking out the logorrheic polysyndeton and don’t know how to end in a pithy manner but you know it must end soon because without the Joycean throwforward to Wallace everyone is in suspense. Fragment. Let down. Bring down the mood with banal platitudes and possibly switch to second person, you.

Crafty refrain.

Some words that are vague, but, you know, like, in a good way-kind-of-thingy, that sometimes, someone, somewhere, can’t possibly unspool because the thing has no actual content, or whatever.

End with non-sequitur.

 

[Dramatic white space]

 

Sincere ending.

 

 

Thinly disguised, insane, over-the-top bio that, by necessity, has to include overly personal, and quirky, details about author’s dog, breakfast choices, current location, and blog address. Extensive list of publications that no one will follow up on in titles that no one has ever heard of. 

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3 Responses to “CLEVER YET SOMEHOW UNRELATED TITLE”

  1. Sarah February 21, 2012 at 9:36 am #

    I laughed out loud. Multiple times.

    Well played.

  2. Rosalie Morales Kearns February 29, 2012 at 10:49 am #

    I like that you tagged this both “good humored ribbing” and “pillory.”

    • Kyle Winkler February 29, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

      Thank you. I would like to think the two aren’t–in my disturbed perception–mutually exclusive.

      Though I know they are.

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