I'm a Loser:
How To Write Bad Beatlefic
Note: the following was written in a fit of bad-fanfic-induced pique and is meant as extreme sarcasm. Anyone who takes it seriously needs to go in for therapy, or be struck repeatedly about the head with a blunt object.)
So, you want to be a bad Beatlefic writer, eh? Well, take heart: nothing could be easier! The Internet is positively infested with noxious examples of this particular genre. Of course, there's still a lot of good Beatles fiction out there you'll want to steer clear of. (Like that "Rooftop Sessions" place! Avoid it like the plague!) However, the following advice will be sure to keep you firmly on the wrong track.
1: Pay no attention to spelling and/or grammar.
Why should you be bothered with all that boring stuff? YOU know what you're trying to say; who cares if everyone else thinks it looks like alphabet soup? Anyone who suggests you should work on your spelling and grammar is obviously trying to "restrict" your creativity as a writer.
Therefore, don't ever use the spell checker when you write. Or, if you do, at least make sure you routinely mix up similar-sounding words. ('Your' and 'you're', 'its' and 'it's', 'site' and 'sight', etc.) This will help give the impression that you're both illiterate and lazy.
2. Be sure and write yourself into your story.
Commonly denigrated as "Mary Sue/Gary Stu" fanfics, these are the best way to start yourself on your bad writing career. Make sure your character is as blatant a self-insertion as possible (for example, he or she has the exact same name as you).
If you're a girl, be sure your Mary Sue is beautiful, talented, intelligent, kind-hearted, loved by all, plays the flute, has a marvelous singing voice, and gets the Beatle of Her Dreams in the end. (Or dies to save him. Or both.)
3. Don't bother to learn anything about the time period.
History is even more boring than spelling and grammar, isn't it? Why should you actually have to learn anything? And in your spare time, even! Why, you've got no time for that sort of thing; you've got fanfics to write! So be sure your historical and cultural knowledge doesn't go back any further than late 1999, if that.
For example, why research what kind of technology existed during the 1960's? The Internet, cell phones, and TV remotes have always been around, haven't they? And who really cares what clothes people wore, or what type of cars they drove, or what kind of slang they used? You know what people are like from your extensive decade-or-two of life experience, don't you? Well, go right ahead and assume that people in every era were exactly the same as the one you're in now. And be sure and throw in a lot of blatantly obvious references to modern-day music, movies, and TV shows...this will make people think you're "clever".
4. Never go back and re-write anything.
Maybe that's good for other people, who aren't as brilliant as you are. But you go right ahead and assume that every word you write is perfect the moment it leaps onto the page. (Or screen, whatever.) The more time you waste trying to make the story a good one, the less time you'll have to crank out more fanfics that are just as bad. The faster you spew these things, the more people will respect you! Really! And I've got some oceanfront property in Kansas I'd like to sell you, too!
5. Always express strong emotions via ALL CAPITAL LETTERS!!! AND LOTS OF EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!!!! AND THROW IN SOME RANDOM QUESTION MARKS, JUST TO BE SURE?!?!?!!!!!!?!?!!!!?!!!?!
6. Include lots of gratuitous sex and violence, as well as every profanity you've ever heard in your life.
This is very "cool" and "grown-up"; just ask any twelve-year-old juvenile delinquent. For extra emphasis, write the sex/violence/profanity parts via all-caps and multiple-exclaims, as above. And try to repeat the same dirty words several times in the same sentence, in case nobody "got" it the first time.
7. Make the characters fit the story, not the other way around.
You know how some authors are always prattling on about "characterization" and similar nonsense? Well, forget all that. You can make the Beatles say, and do, whatever you like! You're the writer, aren't you? Who cares what these people would've been like in real life? You've got a great story to tell, and you're not going to let little things like facts stand in your way, are you?
So remember, if anyone reads your work and says something like, "John wouldn't have said that," or "George would never act that way," or "Ringo did NOT harbor a secret desire to eviscerate the other Beatles as they slept," ignore them! This will distinguish you from those dull old writers who actually show respect for the people and situations they write about. There's no way you'll ever become a superbly bad author if you follow their advice. Always bear in mind the philosophy of the tantrum-prone three-year-old: It's MINE MINE MINE and I can do WHATEVER I WANT!!!!
8. Most important of all, take all suggestions and criticism as personal insults.
Obviously, the only reasons someone would say anything remotely negative about your work are: #1, They're mean people and they hate you, or #2, They're jealous of what a sensational writer you are. It's obvious! How could there be anything wrong with something you've written? And be extra sure to ignore it when multiple readers tell you the same thing again and again. I.e., "They didn't have space shuttles in 1965," or "This opening could use a little work," or "You really ought to learn the difference between 'your' and 'you're'." Obviously this is all an evil plot and these people are out to "get" you.
The only feedback you should listen to is the kind that goes, "OMG!!!!!!!!!! YOU'RE STOREYS SO KEWL YOUR A BRILLENT WRITTER!!!!!!!!!!!" Now, these people know what they're talking about. Be sure to cultivate a few of these flunkeys as hangers-on, so you'll always be reassured as to how wonderful you truly are.
So! You're well on your way to desecrating the noble craft of writing and bringing despair into the hearts of professional wordsmiths everywhere! It'd be best if you start right away; first, just think up an idea out of thin air, without mulling it over or doing any kind of research. If your plot is one that's already been done to death by countless other bad writers, then so much the better.
Then write the actual story; ideally, this shouldn't take longer than eight minutes (or slightly more if you really use a lot of exclamation points). As soon as you're done, have your best friend glance at it briefly to tell you how cool it is. Then, confident that you've spawned another masterpiece, take the final step and plaster it all over the Internet, including posting it multiple times to the same message board. When you do so, advise the readers ahead of time how incredible your story is--they may be too stupid to realize it otherwise--and emphasize that you want exclusively positive comments on your work. Then just sit back and watch the praise roll in!
And actually, if you truly follow all this advice to the letter, you may become too bad a writer for the Beatlefic genre. You may want to pursue something more suited to your talents, like excruciating romantic poetry involving one or more of the Backstreet Boys, or Transformers/X-Men/Harry Potter/Buffy/Sailor Moon/Pokémon crossovers featuring time-traveling robotic outer space Velociraptors. It's worth a shot.
(The writer of this wretched and fallacious "advice" cannot emphasize enough that it is meant as sarcasm and not to be taken seriously in any way. Also, she does not wish to receive irate mail from people who really do write Transformers/X-Men/Harry Potter/Buffy/Sailor Moon/Pokémon crossovers featuring time-traveling robotic outer space Velociraptors. Thank you, good night, and God bless.)
Margaret C. Racine has been writing odd little sci-fi stories on and off for the past several years, and is an award-winning watercolorist in her "other life." She enjoys classic rock, Star Wars, Transformers (yes, THOSE Transformers), and mystery novels. She lives in Arizona. Her website, Creative Dreams, can be found at www.cr-dreams.com.
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