Never Describe the Weather

A writing tip from Sean Beaudoin

Never describe the weather in any context. Always read more than you write. Dig into the embarrassing loam of your own experiences. Swallow it all whole. Don’t use the word “loam” too often. Don’t settle for merely good. A book put aside for a year will be approximately 1000 times better than the one your agent begged you to sell immediately. You only get to put your name on a cover once. Not everyone can be a writer, nor should they. Take out all the crap no one wants to read. Don’t try to rescue a failed piece. Start new. Draw blood. Do not be afraid to make readers afraid. Be vulnerable. Show some heart. Be willing to be terrible for a long time before giving up. Acknowledge that you once were terrible. Be realistic about where you are now. Don’t give characters clever names. Never tell someone “But it really happened” when they tell you they didn’t buy the scene with the monkey. Who cares if it really happened? Never include Nicholas Cage as a character just to be post-modern. Surround yourself with people dying from and for expression. Most of what you write while high or drunk will be garbage. Even Burroughs and Bukowski exaggerated their intake to sell the brand. Listen to 50’s be bop while writing. Do not listen to lazy music ever, especially mid-paragraph. Don’t give away your ideas at parties. Be honest. Be a true friend. Understand where you came from, literally and literarily.

Sean Beaudoin is the author of You Killed Wesley Payne, The Infects, and the forthcoming punk band diary Wise Young Fool (Little, Brown, August 2013). His stories and articles have appeared in numerous publications, including the Onion, Salon, and Spirit—the inflight magazine of Southwest Airlines. He is a founding editor of the arts and culture website, and frequently ends his bio with an ironic or self-deprecating personal comment.

Seventeen-year-old Nero is stuck in the wilderness with a bunch of other juvenile delinquents on an “Inward Trek.” As if that weren’t bad enough, his counselors have turned into flesh-eating maniacs overnight and are now chowing down on his fellow miscreants. As in any classic monster flick worth its salted popcorn, plentiful carnage sends survivors rabbiting into the woods while the mindless horde of "infects" shambles, moans, and drools behind. Of course, these kids have seen zombie movies. They generate “Zombie Rules” almost as quickly as cheeky remarks, but attitude alone can’t keep the biters back. Serving up a cast of irreverent, slightly twisted characters, an unexpected villain, and an ending you won’t see coming, here is a savvy tale that that’s a delight to read—whether you’re a rabid zombie fan or freshly bitten—and an incisive commentary on the evil that lurks within each of us.

Click on the cover to visit the book's Amazon page.

1 comment:

Deb said...

Thanks for these great tips, Sean. I acknowledge that I was once terrible. I may still be terrible, but I've never used the words Nicholas Cage or loam in a story, so that's a plus.