Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Writer at 24

I usually write film or book reviews on this blog or tidbits on how to write. I don’t usually write just random pieces about myself. I like to stay on topic. Though, I guess now that I’m turning twenty four, I think I should write about some things I am happy and disappointed about. Some things I’m happy about are that I have an elegant writing style and dry wit that has gained a following, and wide syndication on the internet. My goal is to break out of internet syndication and be put into syndication in newspaper. I still love that feeling of being published on paper. I know I was born in the wrong era. Also, I want to write a novel, and be sure to win a Pulitzer Prize. I hope that my reviews of film and books are better than just fan boy raves or rants, as often so much of the criticism on the web tend to be. I also hope some people get some use out of my writing advice columns. My goal is ultimately a few things which are to write novels and a syndicated column, and to win a Pulitzer Prize for commentary or criticism. We can’t forget that Pulitzer, because I plan on putting that on every book cover of my series of fantasy novels aimed towards children, as well as my adult novels written in the style of Nick Hornby. I hope though that my elegant poses really get noticed, and this blog leads to a job (hopefully at a newspaper). Also, that my memoir “I’m Annoying” becomes a national bestseller, and gives hope to hopeless college students across the nation. They’ll say, hey, this guy was annoying too, and made a career out of it. Maybe I can too.

Though, I mean the good kind of annoying. Not the Rush Limbaugh, holier than Gawd, kind of annoying. My goal is to, while I ponder what my novel is going to be, is get a job at a newspaper. I want to write either reviews or columns. I started to write columns when I was still in high school, writing commentary about politics, technology, film and life in general. The title ‘columnist’ just seems to fit me. I’ll write conservational poses. It’s like we are talking on a bench about the subject I am writing about, and it’s that folksy unique lookout on life that’s going to get my column syndicated to five hundred newspapers, plus the book collections of columns and the speaking engagements, as I sit inside my nice house, polishing my Pulitzer Prize, than I will write a series of fantasy novels for kids and a adult novel that will all be bestsellers, as my readers of the newspaper column will follow me into the bookstore stacks and hand over hard earned cash to buy books with my name on it. See my dashing picture above the column every week in the newspaper, as I embarrass my future children by writing about them in my syndicated humor column.

Than I will remind my children that it is my syndicated column that had paid for the roof over their head. And it’s that column that will pay for their future therapy sessions. After all, I will tell them, I went to New Paltz. My mom asked me the other day why New Paltz doesn’t have a P.E. requirement like SUNY Binghamton that my brother attends, does. I told her that the only thing we exercise at New Paltz is our emotions. Of course, I’ll attend liberal New Paltz, and be liberal, until I make a million bucks from this column people post on their fridge and then I’ll turn conservative like P.J. O’ Rourke or Charles Krauthammer or George Will. Not like Ann Coulter. I mean the lovable conservatives. The ones, who have a sense of humor, like Dave Barry. The problem is that first of all, I need a syndicated humor column that people find cute. As I write about my kid’s cute problems and complain about my wife. Than people will post up the newspaper column on their fridge and go, yes, that guy has the same problems as I do. Like, little do they know, I do and I don’t. After all, I am an elitist of the mainstream media. After reading about a horrible event on the cover, they will turn to the opinion pages to read about my latest adventure, finding humor in everyday life.

Anyway, those are my future plans. Also, that my syndicated column gets turned in a sitcom that runs for around eighty eight episodes, than gets sold into syndication. Did you know that Dave Barry had a sitcom based on him and ‘8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter’ is also based on a humor column. The humor column was by W. Bruce Cameron. He started out writing humor columns on the internet, which soon led to him being the most e-mailed columnist on the web. Soon after, he got a job for the Rocky Mountain News writing a humor column. After that, syndication followed. Then a sitcom based on his column about his teenage daughters. So, both of those guys ended up divorced. It didn’t stop them from writing humorous antidotes about their family life. Though, I’ll never have to worry about that. I’ll never divorce a woman who finds my annoying personality charming. And after, all that’s why coffee was invented.

So I have a fictional version of myself on TV. Hopefully with a better looking wife than the one I’ll end up with. Also, a better looking me, and cuter kids, and then as I said, the name ‘Alec Horowitz’ will be a brand name. It’ll be a name people turn to when they want a column to put on their fridge because the story I told was either humorous or touched their hearts. Also, because I won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary, and my humor column provides them with some solace in their depressing lives. But hey, I only say this is my business plan because writing these humorous little columns seems to be the only skill I have. Maybe I should have taken up something else in my 24 years on this planet. Oh, I don’t know. Like skydiving or modeling. After all, I do have a face for pictures. Think of the girlfriend I could have had. And think of the girlfriend you could have had.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tips On Writing

Recently, the Huffington Post ran a piece about the new rules for writers. After reading the piece, I thought to myself that it was time to get back to basic rules for writing. So, here are my rules for writing.

1. Read. I can’t tell you how important that is. I can’t stress that enough. I can’t tell you how many people come up to me and tell me they are writers, yet they don’t have time to read or don’t really like to read but yet they say they are amazing poets or great storytellers. Nothing against Harry Potter, but if you’re going to re-read Harry Potter fifty times, and read nothing else, then that’s not really preparing yourself for being a writer. That being said, J.K. Rowling is amazing at back story and clear poses. She has some great lessons to teach those who want to write. Though, if you love fantasy for example, and Harry Potter introduced you to it, then you should explore further in that genre. Nothing wrong with that genre. You need to either read more then one thing or explore further in a genre you love. Saying you want to be a writer and not reading, is like saying you want to be a musician but don’t listen to music or that you want to be a swimmer but don’t like water. Also, it doesn’t matter what kind of writer you want to be. Sometimes those who want to be TV writers or screenwriters find that they watch a ton of movies or study the sitcom, they think that’s the key to writing. It’s not. At the end of the day, what you write is meant to be read, weather by actors or kids or adults or whatever. To write what is meant to be read, one has to read.

2. Write. You need to write. Maybe you won’t write the greatest thing right off the bat. Very few people sit down and write Harry Potter or Carrie the first time. Those few are the lucky ones. Maybe you will write short stories. With creative writing, be prepared to be disappointed with your first few attempts. You have to learn pacing. As I learn the art of fiction, I can’t tell you how many times I go into my bad habits. I love to get the story moving right off the bat, often. Within five pages, I know if my character is a wizard, vampire, robot curious about its own existence or government project. Or simply, if it’s a more realistic character, I will have it tell you its problem right off the bat. Pacing is tough. We didn’t know that Potter was a wizard or Carrie had powers until we got introduced to the world they inhabited first. You need to leave clues (yet again, another thing both Rowling and King are great at) but it’s so temping to right off the bat get to the exciting part.

3. Practice. I write mostly film and book reviews for this blog. A blog is a great place to get your stuff out there. Though, if you are going to blog, I think you should write out every blog entry onto a regular word document first. Approach every blog entry as if you’re writing a piece for a newspaper. Your Roger Ebert writing a movie review. Not some guy writing a piece for a blog. Write about a topic. Don’t just write a piece about what you ate for lunch. Writing non-fiction is a good way to start. Write about what already exists, while on the side you try to pace your dreams into workable fiction.

4. Stick with it. You might have a couple thousand cracks at that first novel. What should it be? The kid discovers he’s a wizard, angel, robot, knight in training, or an alien? Try out all your ideas and see which one takes off. If the outlandish isn’t working for you, then maybe you should try to write a novel about something you have experienced in life yourself. Or write short stories for all your ideas. Perhaps that’s better. A novel is a daunting task and a commitment. As I said, we all can't be Stephen King or J.K. Rowling or Dean Koontz (how does Stephen King, by the way, seem to publish a novel every twenty minutes but can't crank out a column for Entertainment Weekly on a weekly basis?)

5. And finally, good luck. As I said in my column on how to write columns, make me proud.