(George Meredith advised Thomas Hardy to fill his novels with bizarre and exciting people and events. Subsequently, Hardy in an early novel had a person following a person following a person following a person)
I’ve joined a fiction writing group to find
Techniques that writing experts have designed
To show me clever ways to write a story
That is from any standpoint —hunky dory.
And having learned, I send a short review
Of my first book, and I am sure that you
Will think it thrilling. Sergeant Lance Dragoon,
My hero, saves his infantry platoon,
But suffers wounds, evoking sympathy
When he limps back to his home in Tennessee..
And Lance, who won’t accept the status quo,
Through grit and guts becomes a tennis pro,
Then falls in love with Zelda Sybarite,
A stunning Russian spy hermaphrodite,
Who suffers multiple personalities,
All of which show abnormalities,
Among which I include — to entertain ya’ —
Abundant instances of nymphomania,
Permitting me some sex scenes most outrageous
On average every six or seven pages,
Now, Lance, suspicious Zelda’s not a female,
Discovers commie spy stuff in her e-mail.
So then, of course, she has to shoot poor Lance,
To bring a close to this berserk romance.
Lance speaks as he turns floors incarnadine,
Provoking me to use a rare tag line —
As follows: “ ‘Zelda, you seemed Heaven’s gift,
But now you’ve slain me,’ Lance croaked, rather miffed.”
I don’t use tag lines much; I use instead
Great Hemingway’s unique device, “he said.”
I think I’ve used it fifteen thousand times,
Avoiding tags as if they’re heinous crimes.
The passive voice I’ve constantly eschewed,
And shifts in point of view I find most crude.
I also try to use few modifers,
Though “f” words often serve as qualifiers.
And thus, dear editor, discounting glitches,
I think my book will bring us both great riches;
So now for all the pains to which I’ve gone,
Please send a big fat check.