Posted: 2006-11-25

Guide to Writing Good Trash

by Phil Phantom


I know, you hate to think of your writing as trash, but if done well, others will. If done poorly, your magnificent creation is just crap, shit, or garbage. Excellent trash can rise to the level of good shit, but you and your good shit will never be studied in English Lit. As for riches, sure, but it helps if you are wealthy when you start.

So, what are we writing - erotica, pornography, obscene literature? Beauty and obscenity are in the eye of the beholder, but we need working definitions for the broad genre of adult fiction. How 'bout these:

Erotica - Trash that appeals to women - sex from the emotional perspective: romance novels, soap operas, passionate stories of sexual love which ends in a cuddle and a proposal.

Pornography - Trash that guys like - sex from a sensual perspective: see it, touch it, taste it, smell it, wallow in it. Run it down, fuck it, flip it over, yank its legs apart, look at what ya done, then move on to the next bunny rabbit.

Obscene Literature - That which most well adjusted humanoids find offensive and not the least sexually stimulating - a curiosity, sometimes interesting, often pathetic, even amusing - the stuff of daytime talk shows and tabloids. Freaky shit. Kinky shit. If that's all you write, you write shit.

We could add a fourth which draws on all three by degree depending on the target audience. Let's call this critter, Pornrotic Lit. If you want to write good trash that appeals to a wide audience of male and female readers (mostly male) you must write Pornrotica, and you must learn the rules of effective writing or you simply will not communicate your ideas, themes, characters, or scenes. The reader depends on you to paint the picture. The reader is deaf, dumb, and blind. Many are stoopid, too. Look at what they read - trash.

The reader depends on the writer to make a story come to life. If done well, you can make a reader climax. Let's see Willy Shakespeare make a trucker cum in his sleeper cab. Of course, after the trucker cums, he'll toss your good shit in the trash. Shakespeare stays on a shelf.

I can't tell you what to write. The stories are up to you, but you may arrive at a formula - the right mix - by looking at your target audience. If eighty percent are male, twenty percent are female, and half of those are kinky mother fuckers, you'll need a handful of porn, a smidgeon of erotica, and some kinky shit thrown in to spice the mother up. Not much of a formula, I agree, but I'm sure you get the idea. This idea goes to the root of effective writing:

Know Your Audience

Okay, so you know your audience. Now, you wanna rite reel good. Let's begin with punctuation. Good use of punctuation is key to effective communication, even in trash, especially in trash. You may think trash is easy to write, but trash is the most difficult to write well. When you write about sex, passion, erotic feelings, and powerful emotions, you are taking on a major communication challenge. When you add scenery and a large cast of characters, you are taking on a writing challenge that makes "Moby Dick" look like a fishing trip to Lake Wannapoopoo.

Melville hardly needed any punctuation until they caught up with the whale. Mark Twain, in fact, used no punctuation. After his editor chastised him for this, Twain sent in a page full of periods, commas, colons, semi-colons and such with the following note:

"Here is the punctuation marks you wanted put them where you want them"

I can make punctuation easy for you. Simply imagine that all of your readers suffer from a condition called Myopic Un-Mitigated Balance of biLateral Equilibrium (MUMBLE). They move their lips when they read.

Actually, they silently speak what they read. They need punctuation in order to breathe properly. Long paragraphs of run-on sentences cause them to pass out. Please consider these unfortunates when you write. Although writing without punctuation or proper capitalization is no reflection on a person's intelligence or education, doing so is inconsiderate of people who suffer from mumbleopia.

They knew nothing about mumbleopia in Twain's day. He had an excuse; we don't. MUMBLErs (as they prefer to be called) suffer in silent neglect.


Guide to Punctuating for the Reading Impaired

ALL CAPS is like shouting. Writing in all caps causes swelling of the inner ear which presses on the cerebral cortex, leading to a loss of bladder and rectal control. Avoid using all caps for more than a few words in a row, even during explosive orgasms.

PERIODS allow a MUMBLEr to breathe. Sprinkle a few in each paragraph. Mumbleopiacs don't care where, but after each complete thought is generally a good idea.

(Note: Follow a period with a sentence or paragraph that starts with a capital letter. MUMBLErs breathe out on the period and breathe in when they see the capital letter.)

COMMAS don't give time to breathe, but do give the lips a rest. Severe lip injury can result from long sentences with no commas. On the other hand, overuse of commas is the leading cause of stuttering in mumbleopiacs.

(Note: You probably had a teacher who advised (as a rule of thumb) place a comma where a natural pause seems right. That teacher didn't write trash, or good trash. Commas have a purpose. Commas separate items in a series, phrases in a series, an introductory phrase, a parenthetical expression, nice-to-know shit you don't really need, or a person being addressed. You don't just slap them where you feel like it or omit them where they are needed. We all need commas to make sense out of a complex sentence in a crazy, mixed-up, tumble-down world.)

SEMI-COLONS are better than commas for easing lip fatigue but do not allow for the taking of a breath. Use them sparingly to separate short sentences that beat the same drum.

DASHES signal a pause - so mumbleopiacs take advantage and snatch a dash of oxygen.

HYPHENS join words to make a combo word, like "that no-pussy-eating wimp." Also ex-this, ex-that. MUMBLErs seem to be ambivalent toward the hyphen.

ELLIPSES MARKS(... ) are like speed bumps on a page. In proper English usage, they signal omitted material, but they make a MUMBLEr's head rapidly bounce three times. Never get carried away with those dots as speed-reading mumbleopiacs have lost contact lenses and jarred fillings loose when they hit multiple periods, ie:...

(Note: Grammar pinheads get all twisted when you use their precious ellipses dots as indicators of long periods of silence. In our field of literature, we need this tool as sex often involves long periods of silence. Mouths are often occupied and the writer has to wait. Most will keep tapping the dot key while waiting the suckers out. Readers of trash, shit, crap, and garbage have learned to ignore three dots as meaning omitted material, because fuck and suck stories don't omit anything.)

COLONS introduce lists of shit. MUMBLErs and proctologists know to take a deep breath when they see a colon.

EXCLAMATION POINTS raise the eyebrows of mumbleopiacs but do no lasting harm unless repeated after every statement or used in multiples. Overuse of EPs can lead to nervous brow twitching. Multiple EPs (!!!!!!) have caused the eyebrows of some mumbleopiacs to migrate to the top of the head.

(Note: Here, again, we give the pinheads fits with our multiple EPs. Fuck 'em. If that is your style, go for it. Me, I prefer to go to CAPS when the hubby walks in and finds the wife in bed with her mom. I think "WOW!" is better than "Wow!!!!! and WOW!!!!!! should be reserved for those times when you catch your wife and mother in a threesome with Bigfoot.")

QUESTION MARKS wrinkle the brow and bring the eyebrows down and in. Question marks should never be sandwiched between two EP sentences! Never leave a question unanswered. The answer allows the individual to slap the forehead and re-align the eyebrows (note that hyphen).

PARENTHESIS - If something isn't all that important (nice to know stuff, but you can live without it), put it inside a set of parenthesis. In long sentences, a MUMBLEr who is running out of breath knows he can jump over this part in a pinch.

APOSTROPHIES thrill a MUMBLEr as they know you are omitting letters, words, and sometimes, bunches of words. For instance, "them" can be shortened to "'em," and spitting can be spittin', and in words that show possession, ie: "Mary's ball" replaces "the ball that belongs to Mary." Thrill a mumbleopiac; use apostrophes.

QUOTATION MARKS also thrill mumbleopiacs as they signify a speaker speaking. Very often, they are familiar with the speaker and can simply inject, "blah, blah, blah," or "yadah, yadah, yadah," and move right along.

And finally, a word on paragraphs. Every new speaker gets his or her own paragraph, even if all he or she has to say is, "Huh?" Try to keep paragraphs short and sweet. Lump all of your related thoughts into one paragraph and start a new one when you get another thought. Paragraph breaks allow MUMBLErs to go to the bathroom. This also helps those who read from a scrolling monitor. And another thing. Hit the return key twice following each paragraph. That places white space between paragraphs. Do not indent or tab. Keep it clean; keep it tight; just like pussy (note the use of the semi-colon with short sentences, and this don't-really-need-to-know shit I placed in parenthesis along with a combo word I made using the hyphens.)

Thank you for your attention.


Show Me; Don't Tell Me

Now, we are going to cover the principle of showing without telling, especially when writing dialog. Characters make a story, but characters that speak and interact make a story come alive. Our readers don't want to read, they want to eaves drop while jerking off. Place them where they can hear and peek, but don't sit them down and tell them.

History is all about characters, and history books tell us who did what to whom, when, where, and why. The question is, how many people curl up with a good history book? That was a rhetorical question. I'll tell you how many. Not many. The best sellers are pulp fiction.

A good novel has characters, but the characters show who did what to whom, when, and where. It's up to you, the reader, to figure out why. A good novel is fun to read because you feel transported into the action. A writer who can transport you into an orgy and make that trip so real you end up wet, writes good shit.

The principle is to show, don't tell. Realistic dialog between characters is a great way to show the reader what's going on and can move a scene along much faster than a narrative description. Let me give an example of the tell method without dialog:

Abigail Binderbutt sat alone in the cavernous anteroom of her sprawling mansion, looking around at old paintings, old books, antique furnishings, breathing stale air. She was bored. She reached to her side table and rang a brass bell.

Moments later, Reginald, the English Butler, arrived. Reginald never hurried. He walked in measured steps so as not to slip on the highly polished marble floors and thereby appear undignified. His class and culture he cultivated himself; therefore, he guarded it carefully. Abigail's came with her birth certificate and she took class for granted as she did everything else she owned.

Reginald made his presence known, then waited. Abigail told him to bring the car around. She could tell by his expression that he found the request odd. He knew she had nowhere to go. He kept her schedule. She hated having her orders questioned, even by expression, and sternly added that she was bored and wanted to go for a drive in the country and that he'd be going along.

Reginald bowed and left the room with measured steps exactly as he had entered. This flustered Abigail more than his questioning expression had. When he stopped to ask if she'd need a driver, or would she be driving, or would he be driving her, she exploded. She told him she'd be driving him if he drove the way he walked, like a man with a croquet mallet up his ass.

He simply acknowledged her and went for the car.

Okay, that wasn't bad. You've read scenes that open that way a hundred times before. You get the picture, because the writer described the picture to you. You're getting my picture, a sketch, actually. You wouldn't get my picture if I spent all day describing minute details.

Lets try this another way. Here's the show method using dialog:

Abigail Binderbutt surveyed the ornate room for the last time, reached for the brass bell and tinkled hard, shouting, "Reginald! Come in here!"

The polished butler carefully negotiated the polished marble floor and stood at the proper distance before saying, "You tinkled, Madam?"

"Yes, I tinkled. Do all Englishmen move so slowly?" Dropping the bell on a seventeenth century inlaid table, she said, "Fetch the Bentley. We're going for a drive."

"Madam, if there is something you require, perhaps..."

"I require the damn car! I'm bored out of my skull. If I don't get out of this antebellum mausoleum in the next two minutes, I'll scream."

"As you wish, Madam." He gave an exiting bow and began the return trip. Pausing at the arched entryway, he turned and said, "Will we need a driver, or will you be driving, or shall I drive you?"

"If you drive the way you walk, like you have a croquet mallet up your ass, I'll drive you. Mush, Reggie!"

"Mushing, Madam.

What picture do you have of these characters, now?

These two people seem more real because you are looking at your picture, and your own mental picture will always be a much fuller one than your impression of my mental picture sketch. If you picked up a novel that began this way, would you be inclined to keep reading?

Which raised the most questions that you'd like answers to, and do you want to be told the answers or would you rather figure them out for yourself?

The overwhelming majority of readers who read for pleasure want to be shown not told. The action must start right away and move quickly. They want the story shown to them in the active voice with realistic dialog. If you're writing for an audience of pleasure readers, you must develop this skill.

If a scene needs describing, let your characters describe it. Let the scene unfold gradually. Clue the reader, don't tell 'em.

Readers also love surprises. By not telling all up front you can lead with clues then hit them with a big surprise. They'll be so excited, they can't wait for another surprise. They'll keep reading. When a read becomes predictable, readers quit reading.

Story tellers are predictable, but story showers are a surprise a minute. Be a story shower. I'm not wearing underwear - SURPRISE!

In our next lesson we'll talk about voice. I plan to wear underwear for that one, but you never know.


Active Voice - the Voice of God

In the writing world we have two kinds of voice - passive and active. Passive voice is for wimps, fairies, and limp-wristed momma's boys. Active voice is the voice of power, action, and drive. Active voice knocks you on your ass, kicks you in the balls, rips out your heart, shows the bleeding pumper to you, then spits in your fucking face while squeezing you to death.

Guess which voice we write in?

That's right. Active voice is direct, to the point, no nonsense, cut and dry. God speaks in the active voice. God didn't say, "Thy neighbors wife shall not be coveted by you." Hell no, He said, "Thou shalt not covet they neighbor's wife." If God wrote the Ten Commandments in the passive voice, they would sound like the Ten Suggestions. When He writes like a God, you know you'd best not covet your neighbor's ass, neither.

When you write in the active voice, the subject of your sentence does the acting. The subject precedes an action verb. The English language is full of rich action verbs. We even have nouns that serve duty as action verbs - finger, for one.

You tell me. Which is stronger? Mary was fingered by John, or...

JOHN FINGERED MARY!

You can tell passive voice because it sounds like the minutes of a meeting. Check it out:

The minutes of the last meeting were read by Mr. Dudley. The chair was then turned over to his wife, Ann. The meeting hall was suddenly entered by a lion and all hell broke loose. Mr. Dudley's wife was pounced upon by the lion. She was dragged by the butt into a corner and was then eaten whole. The meeting was adjourned in short order.

Now, lets check out the active voice version:

Mr. Dudley read the minutes from the last meeting, then handed the chair over to his wife, Ann. A lion burst into the room. All hell broke loose. The lion pounced on Ann, bit her on the butt, dragged her ass to a corner, and ate her hole. We adjourned the meeting, ASAP.

Now, which version do you think God would like?

God is a busy deity. He writes no more than he has to, and reads no more than he must. The active voice version had fifty-three words, the passive had sixty-five. That's not the main reason God liked it. The active voice version conveyed the real excitement created by a large predator disturbing a boring meeting.

In almost all cases, active voice is better. In the active version, we replaced a vague "It" with a person, "the author." We replaced the wasteful "was written" with a single action verb, "wrote." The author wrote. The active version was tight and clear. All writing should be tight and clear.

Passive voice sentences sneak into your writing like enemy agents infiltrating your AO, weakening your power, causing confusion, misdirection, and creating chaos. After you write something, you must go back and ferret-out those insidious, passive, godless, commie bastards of the passive voice brigade.

Look for the "to be" verb - am, is, are, was, were. These verbs replace action verbs and usually travel with IT, THEY, THOSE, and THERE. Get 'em outta there. Kill 'em. Stomp the crap outta of 'em.

If you see something like this:

There are many crabs in my shorts.

Change it to something like this:

Crabs infest my shorts!

Isn't that better, tighter, clearer?

The first sounds like a simple observation; the second conveys urgency. The exclamation point fits the second but not the first, and a situation like that which I just described should be followed by an exclamation point. Don't you agree?

Remember, clearly identify your subject, then make the subject do the acting unless the subject is being acted upon.

"Ann was eaten by the lion" is passive, but so was Ann at the time. If the author tells Ann's story, passive voice fits. Now, if the lion is the subject of the story, that sentence would suck. We'd want the story from the lion's perspective. We don't care about old biddies in a lion story. "The lion ate Ann!" Far out. Eat da bitch! Am I right?

Now, you're catching on. We want action, right?

We don't want no panty-waist, mamby-pamby, beat-around-the-bush, word-wasting, bombastic verbosity, now do we?


Chicken-shit Adverbs

Now, we'll tackle chicken-shit adverbs.

An adverb modifies a verb, adjective, or another adverb by expressing time, place, manner, degree, etcetera. An adverb answers the how, where, when, or how much of an action:

He ran. (no adverb)

How did he run?

He ran swiftly. (Swiftly is a chicken-shit adverb)

He ran where?

He ran up. (Up is an adverb)

How much did he run?

He ran constantly. (Constantly is an adverb - a chicken-shit adverb)

Simple verbs - run, walk, spoke, threw, puked - don't tell much. They describe an action, but in general terms. Take run for example. How many "runs" can you think of? How about: jog, dash, sprint, dart, lope, canter, gallop, bolt, double-time, quick-step, chase, flee, fly, flew...

Run needs an adverb, as do most other generic action verbs. A descriptive action verb needs no adverb. Lazy, shiftless, sloth creatures without spines use simple verbs and then tack on an adverb to make sense - if they even bother doing that. Are we sloth creatures absent a spine simply because we write trash?

Damn right, we're not. We don't need no stinkin' adverbs. Do you know why?

Because we are sentient beings with a brain, spinal cord, and opposing thumb, that's why. We have the ability to seek out and find the precise verb that best describes the action. We won't settle for run. Run is for wimps and pansies. Same goes for all those other verbs that need adverbs. We won't associate with those bastards, will we?

Fuck no! Now, let's talk about those chicken-shit adverbs - the LY adverbs: slowly, quickly, softly, gently, lovely, greatly, swiftly, gingerly, doggedly, dastardly, stinkily, comically, etcerly., etcerly., etcerly...

Take any common adjective and tack on an LY, you got yourself a chicken-shit adverb. Why is it chicken-shit?

LY adverbs are chicken-shit because they waste words and are easy to come up with. Just take a simple verb, a simple modifier, tack on the LY, you got great literature - right?

Bullshit! Any pin-headed geek can do that. Why search for the perfect verb like sprint, when you can just write, "run swiftly?" Why think and work to come up with "castigate" when all you have to do is write, "berate harshly?"

Trash writers never take the well-traveled path, the easy trail, the freeway. We slug it out in the trenches, break trails, smash through obstacles, plow through barriers, and bowl over monoliths to accomplish our objective. And what is our objective?

To communicate effectively and make people cum.

I know, you're thinking, "Shouldn't that be expressed without relying on a chicken-shit adverb?"

This was a test. Come up with one by next class when we tackle tired-assed clichés.


Tired Assed Clichés

Well, did you come up with a good action verb for communicate effectively? Yeah, me neither. Fuck it; let's move on.

Now, we get down to the nitty gritty of good writing. We're going to talk about metaphors, similes, and same-sames. When you leave this class today, you will be changed.

This lesson gets to the real spice of writing. This is the garnish of the writing entree, the icing on the writing cake, the head on the mug of writing beer, the fruit in the written fruit cake. I'm talking about same-sames - metaphors and similes.

Metaphors are words or phrases that stand in place of other words or phrases. Shit is the most widely used metaphor in the English language, and because that word is so widely used, shit should be treated like the whore she is: used where no one can see you, and never put anything in writing when dealing with a widely-used whore.

The following passage is a perfect example of shit writing:

I set my shit next to Marty's shit, then we shot the shit until some shitbird stumbled through, the shit hit the fan, and I got the shit knocked out of me. I never said shit, but here I was taking shit off this dumb-shit talking shit about us leaving our shit where he could trip over the shit. No shit!

This is what should have been written:

I set my duffle bag next to Marty's rucksack and we engaged in small talk until an altercation ensued. I was accosted by a total stranger. I never said a word to this idiot who I took physical abuse from, and all because he blamed me because he doesn't look where he walks. I'm serious!

Now, I know you're all saying you understood both, and some are, no doubt, thinking the first example is more colorful, more true to life, and more expressive. That's because the first draws heavily on metaphor, one metaphor, "shit."

In that passage, shit stood in place of duffle bag, rucksack, small talk, altercation, an injury, a nonverbal response, a physical reply, an idiot, an accusation, belongings, and a declaration. That's a lot of shit for one word to carry, but shit can carry that load in speech.

Even when written, we take clues and cues from the context in which the writer uses shit, but a speaker has the advantage of gesticulation and expression to help communicate effectively. We know that some shit is good and some shit is bad just by the look on the speaker's face or the inflection in the voice. Some people say "Shit" and look like they need to wipe their mouth. Others say "Shit" and make you wish you had some. When we speak, we all know our shit and never get our shit mixed up, because our shit is straight when we talk shit.

Writing shit, or any other over-used metaphor, is a whole nuther' can of squealie worms. The more representations a metaphor has, the greater are the chances for ineffective communication. If you write shit and confuse your readers they will stop reading your shit. If readers stop reading your shit, you'll be back in the crap gallery. So, what's the rule on used metaphors?

Leave tired metaphors to crude, casual bullshit sessions.

Now, let's talk about good metaphors, the spice that's so nice, the hallmark of excellent writing. A good metaphor is one that fits perfectly and is unfamiliar. A good metaphor is like a diamond in your shoe. It gives you pause, makes you stop, makes you look closer, then when you discover what you have - elation!

Like a found quarter, a new metaphor enriches you. Furthermore, you feel smart. You figured it out. You got it. You made the connection that others missed. You're a smart cookie - sharp, bright, quick, alert. Nothing gets past you, and you feel a kinship with the writer because you think alike.

Great writers plant gems in their writing the way great chefs place garnish on great dishes. We don't eat for garnish nor read for metaphorical gems, but when we notice them, we feel enriched. We are never too rich to quickly stoop and snatch a shiny quarter, nor too old to feel like a child again once we have it.

Similes and other same-sames are also metaphors. They stand in place of something else. They represent. A simile usually starts with the word, "Like," because similes represent by saying what something is like. Ie:

He flew like a bat out of Hell. She swam like a fish. There is also the "Than" or "As" simile:

Faster than a speeding bullet. Slower than a turtle. Slick as a slug. Sharp as a tack.

Most similes are very tired, and in most writing, similes should be avoided like shit. If you can come up with a new simile, your reader will love you and think you clever. A new simile is like a gem in the chewing gum beneath your seat.

Don't be looking under your seats, you morons. If you find gum, you put it there. Pay attention. The rule for writing similes is: dance with her if she's a virgin.

We're going to watch a short Army training film. The film is called, "What's a META For?" Pay close attention. What you learn is this film can save your writing from the crap heap.


Roll 'em!

What's a META For?

Corporal Jim Kelley poked his head in the commanding officer's door and said, "Were you looking for me, Sir?"

Without looking up from his cluttered desk, the captain said, "Get me the META, Kelley."

"Uh... did you say metal?"

"META, Kelley... M-E-T-A... META."

"Uh, yes Sir. Right away, Sir."

Kelley eased out, shutting the door. He stood against the wall of the bunker tunnel complex and glanced both ways down the corridor, looking for a friendly, knowledgeable face. The tunnel was a faceless void - an empty colon in the bowels of a sleepy volcano.

"META?"

He needed to find the NCOIC and made straight for the Bunker Bar. He wasn't sure he'd find anyone at ten in the morning, but he found Yolanda behind the bar polishing the nipple on a Hillary Clinton tittie mug.

"Yolanda, you gotta help me. What's a META?"

"Nothing's the matter; what's a matter with you?"

"No, M-E-T-A, META. The Captain needs one right away, only I don't know what it is."

"Why didn't you ask?"

"Sonny said I have to stop looking and acting clueless. Are you sure you never heard of a META?"

"I'm sure. Sounds to me like one of those military thingies, like DEROS, FTA, QTTMB."

"QTTMB?"

"Yeah - quit talking to my breasts."

"Oh, sorry... You're probably right, but what can it mean?"

"Beats me; Ask Sonny."

"Is he here?"

"Where else? In the corner behind the slot machines. He's briefing that new girl, Barbara. Look, take him aside and tell him to get a room, will ya."

Kelley smiled, gave her a Boy Scout salute, then made for the corner. He stalked in from the rear like a toothless predator with sore paws. The NCOIC sat close with his bad arm resting on her good shoulder, trailing the chrome claw of his hook lightly up the nape of her neck to tease the ear, making her scrunch and giggle.

Kelley also noticed Sonny's good hand sliding up a bare inner thigh, disappearing under the hem of a tight mini skirt. The diversion always worked; at least, in the early stages.

The shy nimrod heard Barbara say, "Sonny, you shouldn't touch me there. My husband wouldn't like this at all."

"That's understandable. Marines are built totally different."

Kelley cleared his throat. The briefer and the briefee sat up. Sonny turned, saying, "What is it Kelley? I'm very busy. If this is another dumb question, I'm going to rip your lips off."

"Well, it's a question."

"Look, Jimbro, save your lips. Whatever it is, take it elsewhere."

"But you said I shouldn't be looking clueless all the time."

"You don't have to if you handle it right. Instead of going around saying, 'What's this, and what's that?' try this technique. Act like you know what it is; you just want more information. That way, you'll look curious, not clueless. You do that by saying, 'What is this or that for? What does this or that do? How does this or that work?'"

"Yeah, but for this, I really don't have a clue."

"It doesn't matter. Do like you did for head-space. You asked what head-space was for. The answer clued you to the fact that it relates to a fifty caliber machine gun and the tuning of that gun to fire properly. See what I mean?"

"Yeah. That's great. Sonny, what's a META for?"

"Bring your lips over here."

Barbara said, "Here, allow me." She turned in her seat to face Kelley, smiled and said, "This is my favorite, Jim:

He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.

Barbara laughed, slugged Sonny's shoulder, and said, "Isn't that a hoot? Don't you just love that one?"

Sonny rubbed his shoulder and said, "Yeah, a hoot, but now Jim looks as perplexed as a hacker who means to access T:flw.quid55328.com\aakk/ch@ung but gets T:\flw.quidaaakk/ch@ung by mistake."

Jim backed away from the table. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and "Jeopardy" comes on at 7 p.m. instead of 7:30. He smiled the way a basset hound does when he farts in mixed company, gave them his signature Boy Scout salute, then returned to the bar.

Yolanda held another tittie mug up to catch the faint light coming in through the north firing port. A storm gathered steam outside, making her inspection more difficult. The thunder was much like the sound of a thin sheet of metal being shaken backstage during the storm scene in a play. Hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease, but Kelley and Yolanda couldn't see that.

Yolanda set the mug down, saying, "So, what's a META?"

"Beats me, but that Barbara chick is one weird lady."

"Yeah, she has a vocabulary, like... whatever."

Karen made her entrance, wringing wet. She stood beside Jim and shook like a retriever. Her hair glistened from the rain like nose hair after a sneeze. Her eyes were like two brown circles with big black dots in the center. She looked over and smiled.

Yolanda said, "So, how'd your date with Lt. Singer go?"

"He was pleasant enough, but if my life were a movie he'd be buried in the credits as something like 'Second Tall Man.' Besides that, he's married."

"That explains it, then. First Tall Man is single."

"You got that straight, Sister."

Turning to Jim, Yolanda said, "Lt. Singer and Karen had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met. You should have been here when those two saw each other. It was like a scene from a 'B' movie:

Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.

Jim shook his head. As they'd been talking, Richard entered the bar and went straight for the north firing port. There he stood, tall as a six-foot-three-inch tree stooping to peek through a six-foot aperture. As Jim approached, Richard said, "The hailstones look just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease."

"Hey, Richard. I was just wondering - what's a META for?"

Without looking over, White said, "The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't."

Jim peered past the big man's shoulder but saw no boat and certainly no bowling ball. He shrugged like a man with a chip on each shoulder, then left the big guy to ponder the weather.

On the way out of this bar caught in the Twilight Zone, Jim met Bob, Phil, Bernie, and Kerry on their way in. He followed them to a table, hoping these men hadn't been affected. When they sat, he pulled up a chair. They ordered Hillaries (Texas Tornados in the First Lady's mug). Jim ordered a Chelsea. He was on duty, he explained, after they looked to him as though he were a smiling basset hound with a tiny dick.

When the drinks came, the men toasted stormy weather. Jim downed a swig, then said, "You know, I was wondering, what's a META for?"

Bob said, "She caught your eye like one of those pointy hook latches that used to dangle from screen doors and would fly up whenever you banged the door open again."

Jim looked around for her. Bernie said, "Bush - that's one."

Phil offered, "Boonies - there's another."

Kerry said, "I like 'The World'. The World says it all, Bro... Hey, 'Bro', that's one, ain't it?"

Jim eased away from the table leaving half an 'A'-cup of TT in the tiny mug. He marched directly to the CO's office. On the way, he encountered an apparition straight out of a puppy's nightmare - A near-naked Tommy Bass on a pogo stick.

Tommy came around a bend in the tunnel, bounding from one side to the other while making forward progress, his long hair teased and flapping. He wore a genuine Arapaho loin cloth with Go Go boots. Peacock feathers stuck into the backs of each boot created a dance of color with every bounce. He boinged his way toward Jim then began marking time like a kangaroo drum major in a backed-up parade.

Tommy tucked the M-60 machinegun under his right arm and said, "[BOING] Wasup, Jim? [BOING]"

Jim was glad to finally encounter someone who was still his normal self. He said, "I think something is making everyone crazy."

"[BOING] No shit! [BOING]."

"What's with the pogo, Tommy?"

"[BOING] It's my new [BOING] static offense invention [BOING]. This'll make 'em shit [BOING] and miss, dontcha think? [BOING]"

"I suppose, if it don't wake up the volcano."

"The trick [BOING] is to fire when the stick [BOING] is in contact with the floor [BOING], otherwise, I spin [BOING] out of control from the recoil [BOING]."

"Yeah, I can see where that might be a problem. Say, Tommy, what's a META for?"

"Beats me [BOING], but if one [BOING] gets in the tunnels [BOING] his ass is grass [BOING] and I'm the lawn mower [BOING]. Later bro. [BOING]... [BOING]... [BOING]."

Jim watched Tommy bound down the tunnel, the back flap of his loin cloth waving goodbye and showing the punji scar he picked up in Nam after having sat on one. That was not a pretty sight.

Jim moved on to the captain's office. He cracked the door and poked his head in. When the CO acknowledged his presence, Jim timidly asked, "Sir, what's a META for?"

"A figure of speech in which one thing is spoken of as if it were another. Now, where's that damned Map Evaluation and Tactical Analysis report I asked for thirty minutes ago?"

"The META?"

"Yes, the META!"

"Right! I'm on it, Sir. Right away, Sir!"

Jim eased out, shut the door, leaned against the wall, and said, "Shit fuzzy."

The End


Being Clear as Mud

The greatest fault I find in the writing of most writers is the plethora of ambiguities in sentence after sentence. Most can be figured out, but why make the reader work. If reading becomes too much work, or the reader keeps getting lost, confused, and disoriented, your creation will join crap and be thrown, not tossed.

Simple pronouns are the most common culprit: he, she, it, we, us, they, them. Give THEM a name. Give IT a name.

Here is a typical example where the author has four men in the scene and keeps using the pronoun, he. The men have discussed several objects: dicks, hands, twenty-dollar bills, beer. The author tosses this line out:

He took it out and slapped it on the table.

He who? It what? Slapped what? Why?

This is what he should have written:

Bill hauled his dick out and slapped that fat puppy on the table.

Now, we see the picture, a who-has-the-biggest-dick challenge. We also know Bill has to haul his out and IT is a fat puppy.

Yes, that took more words to write but added so much more color and clarity. You must see ambiguities as opportunities to add color and clarity. Seek out the ITs and the THATs, the THINGs. Change them where needed.

When you have two or more same sex characters in a scene, be very careful with the he's and she's. Switch to names. At least refer to one by name.

In dialog, you can clear away some mud by using the name of the person being spoken to. Example:

"Look, Fred, I am not interested."

With just two people involved, you may now go several lines without any he-said she-saids.

NEVER drop a he-said she-said in the middle of a statement. Example:

"Look," She said, "I am not interested."

Dropping a he-said she-said at the tail end is almost as bad. Example:

"Look, I am not interested." She said.

If the speaker needs to be identified, clue the reader up front. Best of all, as much as possible, rid your writing of he-said she-saids. Someone may think you're an English teacher or head a journalism department - proof reader or editor. Good trash writers don't need he-said she-saids, nor do their readers.


E-writing

Writing in bits and bytes is all you can ever hope to do if you aspire to be a great trash writer. Nobody is going to waste good paper on this shit. Readers won't turn your pages or toss your book. They'll scroll and delete. If you don't grab your reader and hold 'em by the short and curlies, they're outta here.

If your writing is difficult to follow on a scrolling monitor, they're outta here. White space is your friend. Short paragraphs are good. Put white space between short paragraphs. Many authors like to put two spaces after each sentence.

Use good punctuation. Those little marks help readers make sense of what makes perfect sense to you.

Each new speaker gets his very own paragraph with white space above and below, even for a "Huh?"

Butt everything up against the left edge of the monitor. DO NOT INDENT the first line of a paragraph.

Write using a good text editor such as TextPad. Save in.txt format. Check the final draft on various readers such as Notepad, Wordpad, MSWord, Word Perfect. Zip it and ship it using Winzip.

Write and then let the shit sit and age. Rewrite while seeing it anew. You'll go, "What was I thinking?"

Writing, even E-writing, is rewriting. Rewrite! Rewrite! Rewrite!

RUN SPEL CHEK! How hard is that?

Keep the writing tight. Don't ramble. If you find yourself describing too much, think of a better way.

Have someone proof your final draft. The more, the merrier.

Stay in one tense (present, past, or future) especially within one paragraph.

Don't get carried away with cum scenes like your hands went spastic all over the fucking fringe keys.

DON'T CUM ON THE KEYBOARD! While writing good pornrotica, men should wear a condom; women should insert a Tampon.

By all means, enjoy yourself as you may be the only one.


Finis