Thursday, October 15, 2015

Bullets... and Bullet Points

My friend Annette Matrisciano is finishing up a wildly suspenseful crime novel called Dead Rite -- not much like this one (no coffins to speak of, though plenty of dead bodies!). But what can I say? I love John Dickson Carr's work, and was happy to stumble across this funky old cover art. Annette's book could almost be called neo-noir, for the atmosphere, but fails to be noir in one essential way: we like her two heroines. They might each of them do a few less-than-admirable things, but they are not amoral.

Anyway, Annette took some time off from stressful revisions to pen this little gem of author's irony.  Here, for your pleasure, is:

Dissecting The Mystery Novel – Chalk Outline and Bullet Points.
By Annette Matrisciano

*  Expect scenes to be liberally salted and peppered with inner dialogues exposing soul searching and freight dumping.  We all know it's gotta go somewhere.  Like landfills.

Chapter 1 - Big, fat unhappy open!!
The other 60 chapters:
●  Meet our protagonist.  Oh my, she's feisty!  Cute dog, too.
●  Meet our other protagonist - Noble princess – high ideals with silver-spoon syndrome.
●  Villain number one.  Nut job.
Follow all the above for a few more chapters.  Unless your cell phone rings.  Do you resume?
●  Scrappy handmaiden – and sex – because someone's gotta do it.
●  WTF is she thinking?  Protagonists and reader know the answer, but both continue, nonetheless.
●  True love.  Maybe. Yes.  No. Uh... still maybe.
Don't go in the attic!  Reader now sits on the edge of his or her recliner.
●  Fuck-ups, wrong turns & hubris galore balanced with, I'd pick her first for my dodge-ball team!
●  Concealed weapons and lace panties.  Always a crowd pleaser.
●  Oh, God!  The 'why me' pity-party.
The ringers – meet villains two and three.
●  Hellloooo!  You didn't see that coming?!  Reader gets to make judgements about protagonist.
●  You shoulda listened to me vs. I shoulda listened to you.
●  Confirm and deny – AKA Doubt Samplings.
Dead bodies.  A sprinkling of at least three is usually advised.
●  Occult tastings served here.
●  Career boosting bit-parts for character actors.
●  Proof he's a douche.  Lots of proof.
Requisite weeping.  Repeat.  Requisite weeping.
          ●  The “Luke, I am your father” showdown, with serial possibilities
●  Villain's long overdue kick to the groin dished out by heroine.  I have two of these final blow scenes – One for each of my complex and well drawn protagonists.
●  The BFF closer.

And when the last page is turned:
All my friends tell me how great it was.  My mother is dead, or she might have liked it, too.