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Here's a note from our fearless ...
Here's a note from our fearless "author":
I feared this might happen. I knew reading was a dangerous business, but now it's not safe for writers either! You see, the author of this book is missing. Well, maybe not "missing." A certain author whom I won't name (okay, me) has abandoned his book and has left his readers hanging out to dry. This is a crime, I admit, but there it is. Most of this book, well, I just haven't written it. And I'm not going to, either.
Why? Oh, I have my reasons. Big. Grown up. Author. Reasons. Unfortunately, I can't reveal them yet. Let's just say a life is at stake (mine) and leave it at that. So will you do it? Pretty please? You'll do it? Thank you! But please hurry! Time is of the essence and you can't wait any longer. You must WRITE THIS BOOK!
Beginnings: The Blank Page
Enough with the epigraphs and dedications! It's time to start writing this book in earnest. Ready?
What happened? You're sure not writing very fast.
Scary, isn't it? A blank page staring you in the face.
Luckily, that's just a drawing. Pages don't really stare at you; you stare at them. It follows that a blank page should be scared of you, not the other way around. Feel better?
Good. Now get to it—
What? Still having trouble?
Oh, I forgot. Here are some lines to help guide your handwriting:
Don't tell me, you want straight lines. So fussy!
It's not the lines? You don't know what to write?
I hope you're not just procrastinating.
OK, OK, I'll write the first chapter. But please, dear reader, don't get used to it. You are going to have to take the wheel soon—even if you don't have a driver's license. In fact, let's not call it a chapter; let's call it a prologue. That way I won't feel like I'm doing so much work.
At the beginning of a book, many writers, especially lazy writers like me, try to grab their readers with a quick action-oriented teaser, like you might see on a crime show on TV. This is hack writing of the highest order. And it's exactly what I'm going to attempt here.
Now pay attention. This is the beginning of your very own book.
The Case of the Missing Author
It all began with a laugh, a cry, and a thud. The laugh was so loud it—
What, you're stopping me already? Oh, you think It all began with is a dull way to begin, do you?
At least you'll admit that the laugh-cry-thud combo creates a compelling sense of mystery....
No? The only mystery is why I'm such a bad writer that it makes you want to laugh and cry at once?
You're a hoot. Where did you get that joke from—my genius rabbit? I'll tell you what, smarty-pants, why don't we keep my first sentence—temporarily—as a placeholder, then you can insert your vastly better sentence at a later time. Fair enough?
Store your first sentence here for later use:
Now, with your permission, I will begin again. Read closely—this is your chance to see a master writer at work! And yes, by master writer I am referring to myself.
The Case of the Missing Author
It all began with a laugh, a cry, and a thud.
The laugh was so loud it made Z____ sit up in bed. It came from across the street and it sounded like the laugh of a madman. It gave him the creeps.
Before Z____ could lie back down, the laugh was replaced by a desperate, piercing cry. The cry of a wounded animal. Or of a man reduced to the state of an animal.
The cry was followed by a thud so heavy it could have been a boulder falling to the floor.
Or a dead body.
Z____ ran into his sister's room. A drastic measure reserved strictly for emergencies.
"A____, wake up."
"Go away." A____ tried to bury her head in her pillow, but Z____ gave her a hard sh—
"Go away." A____ tried to bury her head in her pillow, but Z____ gave her a hard shake.
He told her what he'd heard.
She cocked her head, listening. All was silent now. "And you're sure it was him?" She gestured in the direction of the house across the street.
"Uh-huh. C'mon—we have to do something!"
Grumpily, A____ followed Z____ downstairs.
Hearts beating fast, they cracked open the front door and peeked out. There was a full moon and they could see as clearly as if it were daytime. And yet there was nothing to see. The house across the street looked completely peaceful.
A____ stared at it, more curious than she'd let on. Their new neighbor had moved in two months earlier. They knew next to nothing about him, only that he was supposed to be some kind of author—a profession that might be suspicious in the eyes of some but that intrigued her greatly.
There. Now you know their neighbor is an author. (Did you guess that this author is I.B. himself? Then you're one step ahead.) You see how I'm weaving in crucial information without interrupting the flow of the story?
"Maybe he was reading one of his books out loud," A____ suggested. "I heard writers do that."
"It wasn't words; it was a laugh, and then a scream, and then—"
"So what do you want to do? Knock on his door?"
Z____ shrugged unhappily. He didn't know what he wanted to do.
"He won't let anyone in during the daytime," A____ continued. "Can you imagine how mad he would be if somebody barged in on him in the middle of the night?"
"He won't be mad if he's dead."
A____ rolled her eyes. "Maybe he was watching a sitcom and that was the laugh you heard. Then he switched to a horror movie—"
"And then what—he knocked the TV over?"
"Why not? Aren't all writers supposed to be crazy?"
Z____ laughed, his mind turning to the mystery series he was reading: A Series of Secrets by I.B. Anonymous. If their neighbor's books were anything like I.B.'s, then their neighbor must be completely nuts.
His sister was right, thought Z____: in a writer's house, sounds didn't necessarily mean what you thought they did.
Remembering all the twists and turns and zany reveals in I.B.'s secret stories, Z____ allowed A____ to lead him back upstairs.
Shortly afterward, the door of their neighbor's house opened, and a pair of eyes peered out into the night. Satisfied that he/she/it wasn't being watched, the owner of those eyes crept out of the house.
A moment later, he/she/it had vanished.
Out of the distance came the sound of a dog—or was it a wolf?—howling at the moon.
SPEND TEN MINUTES IMAGINING WHAT YOU WILL WEAR WHEN YOU'RE A FAMOUS WRITER.
DECIDE IT'S ALL WRONG.
THINK OF SOMETHING ELSE TO WEAR.
DECIDE IT'S ALL WRONG, TOO.
Writing Materials: The mise en place
Well, did you like the beginning of your book? Think you can do better?
Good. You can prove it by answering the following:
What happens next?
(Almost all fiction writing boils down to that essential question.)
What—you're not a fortune-teller? You can't see the future? Very funny. I meant, what happens next in your story—not what happens next in your life. You may not be able to see the future, but as the author of this book you can write it.
You still don't know what happens next?
I don't mean to insult you, but I'm not surprised. It's very difficult to make something from nothing.
Creative freedom is all well and good, but in my opinion, writing requires a degree of preparation. I feel the same way about dinner. Making dinner, that is. (Eating dinner I'm happy to do quite spontaneously.) Whenever I cook, I try to assemble my ingredients beforehand. I don't want to get halfway through my chocolate chip cookie dough only to discover I've already eaten all the chocolate chips.
The French have a name for this practice of preassembling ingredients, as they do for many crucial culinary activities: the mise en place. The set in place. To make sure you have all the materials you need for your book, I suggest you create a literary mise en place.
What should go into your mise en place? Aside from those chocolate chips, of course. (Chocolate, I'm sure you'll agree, is absolutely vital to the writing process.) Well, what is necessary for writing? Let's start with the basics:
a writing utensil (pen, pencil, crayon, feather quill, electronic computational device, lipstick, chocolate-smeared finger)
a writing surface (napkin, table, tablet, chalkboard, bedroom wall, dusty car window, plaster cast, old tennis shoe, palm of hand)
and ... something to write about (Ah, now that's the tricky one, isn't it?)
What should you keep by your side to help you come up with story ideas? One answer is: anything that inspires you.
Feel free to ignore this list and create your own:
A bad dream
A good joke
An old comic
A broken toy
An overheard conversation
Excerpted from Write This Book by Pseudonymous Bosch. Copyright © 2013 Pseudonymous Bosch. Excerpted by permission of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted May 8, 2013
I just bought this book from Barnes and Noble today and I am nearly done with it. It is, in all simplicity, a guide for how to write a novel. I plan to become a novelist in the next few years, so I find it quite helpful, though I don't know your intentions for your slightly later years. O.o Anyways, PB basically is urging you to re-write The Secret Series, but with a few little quirks and differences. Irritating, yes, but it helps since you know the basic flow of the story. And, like in all of his books, PB adds his odd-yet-halarious sense of humor to the book. I'll stop a-talking (No, I'm not really talking to you...probably. o.O) so you can get a-reading/a-writing.-Agent Snitch (A ten year old.)
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Posted May 6, 2013
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Posted May 4, 2013
I can't wait to read(or write,whatever)this book! Will sombody who already read this book PLEASE tell me if this book is good? I am also a huge fan of the secret series!!!
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Posted July 5, 2013
Posted August 27, 2013
Well if your looking for a secret series book, this is not it. He tells what to write in the book and its nots that fun. Most of it is him writing or talkinto you. I bought this book thing i would write out the rest of cass and max-ernest's life but it is somthing complety unrealted. I fell as if P.B lost his magic and cleverness in this book.
- The Bookworm
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Posted May 1, 2013
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Posted April 4, 2013
Welcome to another of the "Bluejay Games" and thanks for participating!! The same rules as last time apply...
Follow the "assignment" to enter!! If you don't follow the assignment, you will not be eligible for the prize...
No cursing/bad language/inapropriate things, etc.
PLEASE post your name, and a title for the story, like this...
A Boring Essay
by Mr. Grumps
Or something similar.
0 out of 8 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 11, 2013
No text was provided for this review.