Friday, January 25, 2013

The Elements

Every literary tale is a combination of elements: description; dialogue; plot. It’s how the elements are mixed that make the work unique. Too many fictional novels and stories are cookie cutter, following familiar models to such extent the works become generic. This extends to “literary” works with their overly-detailed settings, over-crafted sentences and lethargic pace, to popular genre books which are absent of thought, depth, ideas—and in some cases any sense of reality.

With my new pop ebooks I’m trying to present a new mix. My objective is to be as fast-paced as anything going, explosive, yet also willing to present a clash of viewpoints. I love writing dialogue. I loathe “stream of consciousness” inside somebody’s empty head a la David Foster Wallace, whose work I’ve always found, like most readers, unreadable.

What are your models? What voices go through your brain? Do they correspond with mad American reality—or are they instead an escape from fast-paced reality? Many of us struggling to survive in this crazy hard fast society find ourselves inside something akin to a nightmare.

A writer I know recently told me how much he loves listening to NPR. I can’t see it. Those precious monotone voices put me to sleep. It’s no accident that NPR is a foundation of the status quo establishment “literary” scene. Genteel; privileged; smirky; safe.

Give me instead the last ten minutes of Jay Mohr’s sports radio show, which is pure speed uniquely American craziness—and wildly entertaining.

My objective is to write fiction that will make all literary writing instantly obsolete. A jet next to a biplane. I’m getting there, slowly but surely.

(Read the ebooks Ten Pop Stories, Mood Detroit, Crime City USA, The Tower, and The McSweeneys Gang, all affordably available.)

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