8 Simple Rules - Karl Guethert

People often ask how I became such a successful author. I laugh, and tell them it was inevitable. But then they ask: “Well, how did you do it?” I simply stare at them. Wild eyed. Really make them squirm. It’s best when I don’t blink. If that fails to scare them off, I’ll be forced to sigh and actually offer them advice. Something along the lines of:

Step 1: Get plenty of rest before you start writing. About 18 hours straight should suffice. If you have trouble getting to sleep, a few glasses of bourbon are likely to be beneficial.

Step 2: Use your dreams as inspiration. However, be careful how you word the story. Don’t outright state that you rode down the street on the back of a giant hotdog, for example. Especially leave out that your mother (in a bikini) was throwing handfuls of coins at you. Instead, be creative. Suggest that the person riding the hotdog was your nemesis. Strongly imply that this happened in real life. Deny that it was a dream. Fabricate photos if you have to.

Step 3: Pick up a pen and paper. You’ll want to glare at these for a long time. Keep glaring. Then throw them away and get out your laptop you Stone Age idiot.

Step 4: Set the mood. Some people suggest playing soft, non-intrusive music in the background. Others prefer sitting alone, in peace, listening to the ‘universe to guide them’. Those writers are nothing more than stupid hippies. They need to get their heads out of their arses and actually learn how to write. All you need is to crank some heavy metal and headbang your story onto the keyboard.

Step 5: Throw away your first draft. Everyone knows that those are always shit. Always. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you can salvage parts of it for later use. Never even try to tuck the draft away somewhere for ‘safe keeping’. No good will ever come of it. If possible, set fire to your laptop and throw it off a bridge.

Step 6: Re-write the whole thing from scratch. This time, do it properly. If you’re as talented an author as you think, you won’t need to do any editing. If you need to edit, you’re not trying hard enough, and should repeat Step 5.

Step 7: Get published. Take your finished masterpiece into the nearest publishing house and get yourself into print. If they tell you to bugger off explain to them that they’re missing out on the profit-maker of the century. Preferably via insightful hand gestures and profanity. Where viable, utilize flaming dog poo.

Step 8: Rest on your laurels. I like to recommend this step for any endeavour – especially if you have a large ego like myself. If you are not so ego-endowed, writing isn’t for you. Get back to hugging those trees. If you’ve followed Steps 1 through 7 with precise care, your bank should start calling you (repeatedly) to ask if you’d like to move all your money to a larger facility.

Contributor's Note

Karl found great success with Mayhem's First Issue. Looking to build on that, he's back for another round. He still prefers all this over practising all that Marketing malarkey. Writing is in his veins and sometimes he even bleeds ink.


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