11 Levels of Novel Writing Success

Here’s what important about this:

The only goal is not level 10.

The goal is to make sure you savor the first 6 levels.

1. Finish a complete novel.

2. Finish a complete novel that does not suck.

3. Finish a novel you actually like.

4. Someone reads your novel.

5. Someone who is not a relative reads your novel.

6. Someone reads your novel and LIKES it.


7. Your novel is published by an actual publisher.

8. People buy your novel.

9. LOTS of people buy your novel.

10. You spend the rest of your life living off the proceeds of your novel.

11. Mayyyyyybe you write another novel.

Manifesting a Manifesto

The job recently just tossed out a “Creative Manifesto”.  Based on the reaction I’ve seen and heard, it was not particularly well-received.  And I have to agree with that assessment.  And being obsessed about things like that, obsessed about analyzing failures, I started to think about why.  And it was pretty easy to figure out what the problem was.  It wasn’t actually a manifesto.  The following resulted.

On Manifestos

My god, the last thing a manifesto can be is boring.

Manifestos live inside a permanently screaming exclamation point a hundred foot high, on fire with delight in its own madness.  Manifestos want to punch the world in the face.  They want to kick you in your id and make you think that your actions can alter the orbit of the world — and that you’re a horrific fool for doubting your power for a blue-hot second.

If manifestos aren’t obsessed, crazy over the top insanity, or at the very least a cranky collection of pissed-off wisdom, then they’re not manifestos.

Instead, they’re HANG IN THERE inspirational posters, based on images of cute kittens – only the kittens are wearing Ray-Bans and pretending to be gangsters.

Pfft!  Pfft!  Hsssssss.  Bang, bang!  Pyew, pyew!  I am fierce!

Niiiiice kitty.  Nice, harmless, toothless kitty.  (pat, pat)  You can haz cheezburger.

The following post is an uber-manifesto, a manifesto di tutti manifesti, a godfather of all manifestos, created Frankenstein-like from other fine examples of the form.

A form that doesn’t just promise revolution, it demands it.

Later, I will come back and link all the sources.  Maybe.


30 Burl: Deck the Halls

This one had a strange career.  Obviously, it’s one of our more listenable ones, because it’s straight forward chunky guitar rock, the three of us are singing along in reasonable tune, and it has a nice silly ending.  We weren’t trying to creep you out particularly.

The thing is, it’s also the simplest ones we ever did, and if they were so inclined, folks could even sing along to it.  So it got picked up for other circumstances.

Like: It appeared on an album put out by Leapnet, my old agency in Chicago, which had Xmas cuts from various employees.

Like: It got used as a soundtrack for an insane Flash movie by some German guy.  I have the .exe file somewhere, and will upload it later for folks to download.  Might even see if I can convert it into a Flash file than can be viewed online without downloading.

SONG:  Deck the Halls

As always, recorded live in one take.