Seven days, seven categories — this is not a coincidence

Librarians are literary muffins of stud, who I admire. You all rock.

HOWEVER: the Dewey Decimal System is a little too complicated for me. There are a billion places to put books. Also, there are decimal points.

Conan the Librarian

Conan the Librarian is the protector of the Dewey Decimal System, but I am not a fan. Not when seven categories can cover EVERYTHING.

I can fit everything worth writing about into SEVEN categories of awesomesauce.

Seven days of the week, seven categories. This is not happenstance. It is meant to be. As an added bonus, there are no decimal points whatsoever.

Also not a coincidence: these are the seven major categories of this blog. All other things that I post will be sub-categories of the Big Important Things — unless I screwed up and the Gods of Javascript or whatever gave me stupid categories that I cannot change or delete without destroying the series of tubes.

Obviously, the most important shebang is Writing Secret Wednesday, which will get the most reliable posts.

I may happily skip Thursday, because Thor’s Day is a holiday for Swedes like me. You do not offend the god of thunder. But skipping Wednesday would be wrong, wrong, wrong.

If I post on other days of the week, I’ll stick with the proper categories, since my promise to America and the world is that you won’t land on this blog on a Friday only to find some giant random post about the character arcs on Desperate Housewives. (Note: that was what we call a joke. I will never write a word about Desperate Housewives, except for the words I just wrote, which are possibly a mistake, now that the googles will see those words and possibly send Desperate Housewives fans here by mistake. No. Please go away.)

Here you go: seven days, seven categories.

1) SURVIVAL SUNDAY

Because if you’re dead, you can’t read or write anything at all.

This category includes things like zombies, the apocalypse, guns, surviving the zombie apocalypse (with or without guns, your choice), fighting, MMA, jujitsu, krav maga (half because it’s simple, half because it’s brutally effective and half because I like how it sounds, thus giving it an extra half when everything else in the world only gets TWO halves) and doomsday preppers — plus making fun of WATERWORLD, the worst apocalyptic movie ever.

Sample post: Zombie movies are NOT standard horror movies

2) MUSIC VIDEO MONDAY

Because somebody has to play more music videos than MTV.

I often take a red pen to the actual lyrics of these songs, thus disqualifying entire genres (Swedish Death Metal, mumblecore, raging emo shouty-shouty stuff) from being featured on these pages. Because if I can’t understand what the singer is screaming then no, I’m not gonna write about it, even if the supposed lyrics are stuffed into the liner notes of SATAN’S BRIDE EATS YOUR SOUL.

However, it is completely fair game to post interesting music videos without lyrics at all, if people are doing something cool like a Metallica covers using cellos.

Sample post: ELECTRIC AVENUE, as interpreted by the Red Pen of Doom

3) TINSELTOWN TUESDAY

No matter what you write or read, you’re influenced by moving pictures, whether those pictures are (1) on a giant screen in humungous building where 20 cents worth of popcorn costs you $8.95 or (2) on a slightly smaller screen in your former garage, which was the only place in your house big enough to fit the 74” Samsung plasma 3d ultra-HD monstronsity.

We can learn many, many useful things from screenwriters (giant screen) and scriptwriters (Glowing Tube). Hear me know and believe me later in the week: whether you write speeches, novels about zombies or newspaper feature stories, you will be amazed at how useless books about your craft really are. I mean, beyond useless. The toughest thing is structure, not comma splices, compound modifiers and some author’s system that uses 3 x 5 index cards and such. STRUCTURE AND STORYTELLING ARE KING. And the best books on structure and storytelling are from Tinseltown.

So: go buy Blake Snyder’s SAVE THE CAT and Robert McKee’s STORY. Then you’ll know the language I’m speaking on Tuesdays.

Sample post: Everything they taught us about stories was WRONG

4) WRITING SECRETS WEDNESDAY

This is the beating heart and soulful soul of The Red Pen of Doom.

Writing and editing. Speechwriting and storytelling.

Four sample posts, because this stuff is IMPORTANT AND FUN:

The evil secret to ALL WRITING – editing is everything

The Red Pen of Doom guts THE NOTEBOOK

Out of fairness, I destroy my favorite genre: thrillers

Romance novelists are secret, epic army of man boosters

5) RANDOM THURSDAY

Thor’s Day, right? The Norse God of Thunder would say, “Write about whatever you wish.”

That may include random videos of epic fails, or a post about whether or not we should ban Monday, a horrible day, thus giving us all 16.6 percent more weekends. IT IS A PLAN.

Sample post: Vicious alien beast battles round Earth vegetable

6) FRIENDLY FRIDAY

Guest posts. Links to amazing people you should follow on the Twitter.

Shout outs to writers, editors and funny people whose blogs you are required to visit. You know, that sort of thing. Nice posts, packed full of nicetude and friendliness. The series of tubes could use more friendliness, right? Because there is a surplus of grumpy trolls and wannabe Internet Tough Guys.

Sample post: Friendly Friday: Theresa Stevens, Glowing Mystical Being

7) MEDIA STRATEGY SATURDAY

Don’t you agree that social media means boring old mainstream media should curl up in a corner and die already? I mean, nobody needs old radio, TV and newspapers when you have the UNLIMITED POWER of Twitter-Facebook-Pinterest-LinkedIn-BlahBlahBlah.com — plus, as a secret weapon, all the loyal readers of your mom’s blog about knitting sweaters for poodles. You are invincible! Get on the phone today and hire the best architect in NYC  to start the blueprints of your  62,000-square-foot mansion with a movie theater, bowling alley and Olympic pool, because you will sell millions of books / albums / movie tickets once your latest tweet / blog post / promotional idea goes viral.

Yeah. Not so much.

I know a little about journalism, publicity, speechwriting and the whole social media thing. I HAVE DEGREES AND SUCH, and wrote 210+ posts for the NYT’s about.com as their expert on publicity. On certain special Saturdays, I will blow up conventional wisdom into itty bitty pieces, shaking your unshakeable faith in the magic of the series of tubes and making you rethink the whole idea of putting all of your eggs into that virtual basket. Social networking and media are useful, yes. But not all-powerful. Old media is not dead yet, young Skywalker – not yet.

So: this category includes Twitter, the Book of Face, social networking vs. social media (they are different) and all such things.

Also: journalism, publicity and scandals involving people who make FAR TOO MUCH MONEY.

Sample post: 11 brutally useful posts on publicity for writers

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Guy - Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Guy – Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that was a finalist for some award.

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9 Comments

Filed under 5 Random Thursday, Housekeeping

9 responses to “Seven days, seven categories — this is not a coincidence

  1. Pingback: Now open: applications for the Toughest Internship in the World | The Red Pen of Doom

  2. This sounds like a great blog… being a writer myself, I can appreciate the amount of effort you are putting into the posts.

    I myself only have three regular post days – Monster Monday (I pick a monster from my books and talk to them/about them), Writer Wednesday (I review books, interview writers and generally blab on about writing) and Feature Friday (Basically “Show and Tell”) which happen or don’t happen according to how much college work I currently have!

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a webzine to get out for this month…

  3. April 16th is National Librarian Day. Just sayin’.

  4. Excellent! I always look forward to your insightful and amusing posts! (And awesome to see a UHF reference in here, too!)

  5. I love your wide range of subject matter! You better get crackin’ as my sadistic 7th grade teacher used to say….

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