By Greg X. Graves
Posted March 10, 2012
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This is a message to my fans.
You have to help me.
No, I’m not going to roll out some plea for retweets or facebook likes. This is serious business.
I need help, because I’ve been ensnared in a conspiracy that could shake the very foundation of fiction writing. The impact reaches far beyond household names like Stephen King, JK Rowling or Greg X Graves and all the way down into the lives of regular work-a-day writers like Neil Gaiman and George RR Martin.
1889 Labs forced me to use an outline for Freedom Beer.
I was outraged but, you know, the miserly overlords at 1889 Labs are the ones who sign the checks for my six dozen yachts. Being over a barrel is nothing compared to being over a gem-encrusted carbon fiber ship’s wheel.
At first it was a friendly suggestion.
“Oh, hey, Greg, it’ll help you maintain consistency. Serials are hard. Lots of characters to keep track of.”
I received that email while I was jumping a yacht over one of my other yachts, so they thought that I was blowing them off.
Then they started pleading.
“Please, Greg, use an outline. Here’s an example. They’re very simple. Think of your editor.”
I couldn’t think of my editor right then, however, because it’s hard to think about much when you’re involved in illicit night time boat races against pirates who have bet their buried treasure against your solid titanium Rolls Royce with diamond-lensed headlights.
Then all of those penny-pinching Scrooges hit me below the belt in my money purse (woven of cashmere and gold threads).
“Listen, Greg, we have soaked our checkbooks in gasoline and are holding lit matches. Use an outline. Now.”
At that point I figured that those pirates were a bunch of filthy-bearded seadogs that had lied through their fake gold teeth about their treasure, so I set down my shovel. I took a look at the sample outline that 1889 Labs sent over.
And how I wished that I was back digging holes in scorpions’ nests on that island.
The worst part is that 1889 Labs claims that lots of authors use outlines! What kind of sick mind clutches our puppet strings in its wizened claws? What sort of evil lurks in the gaps between numbered chapters?
The devil is in the details and outlines give it a cloak of invisibility.
Spread the word!
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