søndag den 21. juni 2009

HIGHLIGHTS. A Novel in Six Parts

[Thanks to Maxine for the brilliant title. This is the last writing exercise of ten]

I. The main character has a project.
II. An obstacle.

III. An attempt to overcome the obstacle.

IV. Crisis.

V. Temporary failure.

VI. Final success – not necessarily in the expected way.

Length: no need to tell you – I am a rule-breaker anyway.



I. Exalted I leap into the publishing house with my innovative project, “Highlights” (a concoction of nursery rhymes and other semi-manufactured pieces from my writing course, but the editor won´t know that).

The secretary, little sharp-nosed Miss Flinch promises to put the Opus on Mr Bon Aparte´s desk. Of course she is in love with the dict... eh, editor (but I don´t know that yet). Hearing herself saying the Name colours her pale cheeks.

“Bonaparte?” I ask.

”You see, the editor is also a hobby farmer. Ten weeks ago he fell off his brand-new tractor, bang on his head!” The water rises in her artless eyes. “When they put his left arm in a sling, he started calling himself Bon Aparte.” (The editor´s real name is Selfish Farmer, an old acquaintance from the writing course. I certainly don´t know that yet).

II. ”Well, the editor is not quite satisfied with your manuscript, Ms Lowbrow.” Tiny Flinch is on the phone. She understates the case slightly, unwilling to repeat Flamer´s coarse epithets (which is why they cannot be reproduced).

“Then he won´t publish it?” I ask stupidly.

“Publish…? Well, ehm, not quite. Actually he considers suing you for fraud, plagiarism, corruption, unpatriotic activity…” She takes a deep breath. “That was the gist of it, I think.”
The dict… editor´s real name is revealed during our conversation, and the Obstacle is clear to me!

III. I, the Pen Fighter, must try to conquer the Obstacle. (The solution is Character Murder, but I don´t know that yet). As a member of the intellectually challenged sex I immediately throw myself on the floor, wagging my tail (a method which works surprisingly often, believe it or not).

“Honourable Selfless Framer, master of narration, repetition, manipulation, imitation, flatulation …” I haven´t read any of his writing exercises for a long time, but garden gnomes rarely change their style. From my position on the floor I cast sidelong glances upwards. Does he buy my adulation?

“… not to mention the example you set through your important and timeless message about the innocent pleasures of country life among humming tractors and flowering slurry spills…” I continue.

To be continued.

6 kommentarer:

Anonym sagde ...

Lovely little gems!

Dorte H sagde ...

Maxine, thank you. As you will have noticed, I thought your title was very useful for my blog version (where people don´t know whom I parodied and why ;))

It is a real end-of-term joke, and right now I am the one in ´class´ who has the most comments: 125 (including my own answers).

Anonym sagde ...

Very entertaining!

Dorte H sagde ...

Cathryn, thank you :)
- it was certainly meant to be.

Belle Wong sagde ...

Very nice, Dorte. I am anticipating the crisis to come. Enjoyed the names very much. Bon Aparte - that made me laugh!

Dorte H sagde ...

Belle, thank you.