Monday, February 09, 2009

Victoria Strauss -- Opening Paragraphs for Sale

Check it out: Opening Paragraphs for Sale.

Writing is hard. Stringing letters together to make words? Hard. Grouping those into meaningful sentences? Harder. But the hardest part? Ask any successful novelist: the hardest part is writing the opening paragraph.

Uh, okay. First paragraphs are tough. First sentences are tough. So?

The good news is that you don't have to be the one to write that first paragraph, because professionally crafted, ready-made ones are for sale by The Avocado Papers right here on this page, at the very reasonable rate of US$1.75 per word. You will not find a better deal anywhere on the internet. Not so sure? Go ahead: find a better deal.

Hmmm. Intriguing idea! What's on offer? Let's see--

The President was in a pensive mood as he wondered what sort of arc his second term would follow, and idly surveyed what he believed to be the Washington Monument (but which was, in fact, the Capitol) through the tinted, bullet-proof windows. It had been a tough day, but as his motorcade sped along the edge of the Mall some minutes later, his body tensed as he thought about how lucky he was to have a Secretary of Defense who was so good at sucking cock.

With an opening paragraph that good, imagine the novel that might follow!

The focus of The Avocado Papers website is humorous/satirical, so it seems safe to assume that the paragraphs are also satire, and the "service" is not intended to be taken seriously (the fact that various commenters have taken it seriously is all part of the joke). Nevertheless, the shopping links do lead to Paypal, where gullible individuals and their money might easily be parted. I wouldn't be in the least surprised to discover that a naive writer or three have shelled out cash for one of these (no doubt) intentionally dreadful paragraphs.

13 comments:

BuffySquirrel said...

They almost look computer-generated. Good for a laugh, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Ah! Now we know who is stealing the work of those authors who are afraid to post their novels in public.

But that first paragraph you cited is a lot more entertaining that most of what you'll find on novelist crit sites!

FibCarver said...

And if purchasing a fancy pants opening paragraph doesn't turn your crank, you could always buy your way into heaven:
http://www.reserveaspotinheaven.com/index.htm

I've finally given up asking 'what next?'.

nightsmusic said...

It was a dark and stormy night....

*snort*

Paul Maurice Martin said...

At least the joke here may not be so badly targeted. If you're looking to buy words there's a chance that writing isn't your calling...

Anonymous said...

These are fantastic!

MisterChris said...

Okay, so i wasted far too much time and far too many brain cells reading the drivel you linked me to.

I'll soon sue for the loss of my IQ.

Hey, I could write a song with those lyrics...

Mad Scientist Matt said...

That sample almost had me wondering if it was really a paragraph long version of the Bulwer-Lytton contest.

Katrina S. Forest said...

he-he, I like the logo, "Waste your time. Waste a friend's time."

Deb said...

Hey! Maybe it really WAS a dark and stormy night!

Sheesh. Some people.

I suspect this was really Alec Baldwin upping his efforts to turn our brains to green gelatin.

Jane Smith said...

I wonder if we could put together enough of those paras to make a whole novel? It would rival Atlanta Nights.

T. Anne said...

That website is a joke? I want my money back!

Nalo said...

weak...with...laughter...