Confessions of A Wanna-Be Bizarro Novelist

Technically the title is misleading. I believe that you are or aren’t what you want to be in life, so “wanna-be” just sounded silly enough to fit the title my post. Today I am riddled with congestion and allergy woes, and the meds can’t work fast enough, but they are working, and I’m drinking a lot of water to thin the grossest of mucus out. I digress.

I believe I mentioned this a while ago; my novel is in the bizarro genre. For those not in the know, bizarro is like cult films. It blends various genre elements such as weird, surreal, absurd, satire, parody, fantasy, and science fiction. It is always entertaining. Many times odd or grotesque. It can be a lot of fun to write. It is also a challenge to work towards. This means I need to go back and reread my notes from my bizarro workshop, just to refresh my brain.

For the record, my novel is chock-full of goofy passages and ripe with bizarro aesthetics, but sometimes I don’t feel like its goofy or entertaining, and that’s cause I’m in the middle of writing it. Writing and rewriting is a pain in the ass sometimes. That doesn’t mean it isn’t necessary, or it isn’t going to happen, because it is going to be rewritten. That’s part of the gig, and as much as I protest, I like revisions. As my screenwriting professor instilled in me, “writing is rewriting.”

Let me add, writing the outline was serious biz that didn’t feel funny when I wrote it. It’s a bare bones, tell the main points of what happens. The concept is goofy, and it fits the genre well, but giving just the facts is not funny. It’s direct and simple.

Sometimes it is frustrating to have that first pass at something, and not know how to make it work they way it is supposed to. For example, I wrote a chapter, hated how it ended, rewrote it, and don’t like how I left things in that second pass. Wisely, I stopped trying to fix it so I can “divorce” that ending, and see where I can fix or cut it. I’m thinking ruthless now, cause I will cut it if it doesn’t work, and partly being so technical with material has me feeling less goofy and keeping a critical eye.

That reminds me that I’ve been wondering if I need a prologue for this story, and if I do it needs to be short and sweet. Something less than six pages. The question is how goofy will it be, because it needs to set the tone without getting too heavy and too serious. I also want to take a quick assessment to see where I am so far, but what I’ve learned from the characters and story.

Humor is tough biz, but then again, I’m tough. Just gotta work through the kinks, and keep working to be better.

As always, happy creative endeavors.



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