Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Write a Novel Based on Clichés

This "Synopsis Generator for the Great American Clichéd Novel" was inspired by a thread on the Absolute Write Forum, one of my favorite writers' sites.

Want to write a really lousy novel using as many clichés as possible? Then, from this list of cliché plots situations, copy and paste whatever you need to make a synopsis for a novel that isn’t worth writing:

A person who appears to be
a simple farmboy (or girl)
the last of a vanishing race
a vampire
heir to the kingdom
a scholar
at death’s door
a very ordinary person
really is (go back to the previous list and chose a different one). However, no one knows his/her secret but a
kindly wizard
hellish boss
wicked step-parent
next-door neighbor
long lost twin
won’t tell if the price is right
tells the world but nbody listens
uses the information for his/her own gain/nefarious means
doesn’t care
holds the key to the secrets of the universe
is the epitome of evil.
Anyhow, this protagonist is on a quest for
meaning in his/her life
true love
money and all that it can buy
a way to defeat evil
absolute power
a means of overcoming the heartbreak of psoriasis
escaping from a bad relationship/unhappy home/social pressure
trying to reclaim the throne
looking for love in all the wrong places
squandering the family fortune
trying to overcome the heartbreak of psoriasis
writing the great American novel
when he/she finds
an old diary
a letter
a computer file
a magic sword
a piece of jewelry
a kingdom far away
another time and another place
a closet
the eyes of a child
a dream
another dimension
a dumpster
which causes him/her to discover
the secret of happiness
the true meaning of (insert favorite holiday)
a lost recipe for chocolate chip cookies
an embarrassing family secret
his/her true identity
and then is able to
live happily ever after
come to terms with a major problem
become a better person
save the world
make a down-payment on a modest dwelling
fall in love
drive off into the sunset
saving the world from alien invasion
escaping death
discovering a cure for an illness
fighting a nameless, faceless evil
marketing a great cookie recipe
returning a lost article
being struck by lightning
with the help of
a computer geek
a dragon
a talking domestic animal
a fairy godmother
a wise-cracking sidekick
the prom date that stood him/her up many years ago
when (pick any two or more)
from out of nowhere
hell broke loose
the dam burst
the heavens opened
the protagonist woke up.
Then the protagonist finds himself/herself (pick no more than three)
in bed
in a kingdom far away
on a space ship
bound for glory
20,000 leagues under the sea
wearing a scarlet letter
in a battle that would determine the fate of mankind
richer than he/she ever imagined
with a new-found knowledge
with a greater empathy for mankind
winner of a lottery
The above story will
touch your heart
render you speechless
move you to tears
move you to action
move your bowels
waste your time
The End

If you ever do write this novel, you might consider running it through your favorite critique group. Don’t forget to give ’em my critique sheet for the clueless.


Blogger CountryDew said...

I dunno. A story about a simple farm boy with a secret to hide from his hellish (female) boss might be kinda interesting, especially if there is a wizard involved. :-)

6:39 PM  

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