Thursday, June 4, 2009

Chapter Headings, Blurbs and Sarcasm

I met my writer friends at the UCLA Writers' Program. Though most in the group pictured have their own way, there remains a core of four. Recently, I got this note from Sovann.
Kanani- I would only number the chapters if the story deals with fantasy or if it is a children's book or something historical. But for a contemporary piece like yours I would avoid naming chapters, but I would definitely start the first letter of every chapter with velvet embroidered giant letter of the fanciest font on the planet and make the rest of the fonts arial. You should be able to feel the fuzz on the "E"! -Sovann
I take everything from my group seriously. Here is my response:

Yes, I think a giant capital letter in raised velvet to start every chapter is definitely called for. I'm planning on writing my own blurbs by Sydney Sheldon, Jacquelynn Susann and Jackie Collins for the back. Jackie's fake blurb might be more difficult to do, since she's not dead yet. But then, there are a lot of people who don't know that, so probably no one will notice. Anyway, I might bill it as
"Plodding in the footsteps of Syd, Jac, and Jackie..."
During our ponderous lectures from Les, I was able to plan infomercials starring Dionne Warwick. I'll have a special: buy three books, get free astrological advice. Or I might pair up with Joan Rivers on QVC: buy a book and get fair bashing about your clothes.

The cover should look like painted Velvet, and feature a naked-lady mudflap design with a picture of a river running through it . The letters will be in silver foil, and I'll change the name of the book back to "Deep River" to be suggestive of Deep Throat. True, my book has nothing to do with that, but I'm all for cross-branding to make a sale. Can you blame me? Believe me, I dream of slick fiction to make the big bucks so I can have a yacht on the Riviera like Sydney Sheldon. He is, after all, our literary hero who lived until the ripe age of 90.
"It takes me several months to finish the first draft. My secretary types it, and I go back to page one and start rewriting. This version can number anywhere from 1000-2000 pages at a time, ripping all the scenes apart, getting rid of and creating new characters. Two months later that draft will be finished and I'll start all over again. I do that for 12-18 months, doing up to a dozen different rewrites. My publisher doesn't see a word until I bring him the final draft."
One to two thousand pages! The man was a writerly stud! He surpassed that guy in the class where every chapter was a sex scene! Sheldon had what I seek: friends, success, happiness and a secretary. Sydney was "da man."
Your Writer Friend, Kanani