How Not To Tell A Story In Ten Chapters
How Not To Tell A Story In Ten Chapters
by The Urban Spaceman
Chapter 1 – Bearded Madness
Ten Chapters. How am I going to write a whole story in ten chapters? With only 1000 words? It sounds impossible. Implausible. Mad. Chuck Wendig is a crazy beard-wearing madman. Hmm, maybe I can make a story about that… ‘Chuck’s Beard.’ ‘Revenge of the Beard – Part II.’ ‘Beard Wars Episode 1 – The Beard Strikes Back.’ Nah, that’s just silly. I can’t write a story about a beard. Maybe I could get away with it in Movember, but not now. Still, my brain-space is a veritable pit of crazy mind-pictures… surely I can find something to write about.
Chapter 2 – The Virtues of Fresh Fruit Juice
If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s procrastinating. Half an hour later I’ve taken a handful of phonecalls, half of them not even for my department, and poured myself a glass of orange, mango and passionfruit juice. It’s sweet, but also sour, and almost thick enough to be a smoothie. Mmm, fresh fruit juice (not from concentrate). Still don’t know what to write about. Maybe I’ll just browse some news websites for inspiration…
Chapter 3 – News Of The Day (and Chris Brown is a Thug)
Missing planes, baby-killing pet dogs, greedy Russian officials, Chris Brown getting done for being violent. Again. Don’t know why they don’t just lock him up in a cell or put a muzzle on him. Oh look, I have an email! I’ll just reply to that. Maybe it’ll give me an idea for a story. Hmm, nope. Nothing even remotely story-worthy in here. Back to the news websites, then.
Chapter 4 – The Best Story Idea In The Whole World (and possibly whole Milky Way galaxy)
Hey, I know! I could write a story about a plane that goes missing, and it crashes on a mysterious tropical island that’s filled with unseen monsters and hostile native people! What? That’s already been done? Oh, poop. Now I feel like I’m clock-watching. Almost dinner time. Or lunch time, as they say in other parts. Stupid clock, TICK FASTER! I wish I had a time machine so I could go into the future and eat my spaghetti bolognaise and garlic bread, and then come back to this point to write my story.
Chapter 5 – Eat My Shorts, David Tennant!
No, wait. I wish I had a time machine so I could go into the future and learn tonight’s winning lottery numbers, then come back to now and buy a ticket. I’ll get filthy rich, quit my job, and hire somebody to write the story for me! Muahahah. This is an excellent idea. The only problem is, some scientists believe that even if time travel was possible, you wouldn’t be able to use a time machine to go forward, only backwards. So would that mean I’d be stuck in the past if I went back? Or could I come forwards to the point at which I set off? But what if that took years? I’d disappear and reappear in the same instant but I’d be like… older. And people would be all like “whoa, how did you get so old so fast?!?” I don’t think I could plausibly explain that.
Chapter 6 – Save the Children
Since I don’t have an idea for a story yet, I’ve decided to build myself a time machine whilst I wait for my muse to help me out. Taking stock of available materials. A box of 200 paper-clips, some of them with plastic colouring on them. About fifty rolls of cellotape. Lots of bottles of tip-ex, but it’s crappy stuff, watery as hell, and it doesn’t smell right. I think they took the chemicals out so kids can’t get high off sniffing it. Hmm… I’ll need some sort of power source. I charged my Blackberry up this morning… will the battery be strong enough to propel me through time? I don’t know. But I’ve just remembered that over in the engineering building they have this substance which is hard, but when you run an electrical current through it it becomes soft and fluid-like. I need to get me some of that for my time machine. But how to get my mitts on it?
Chapter 7 – Of Mice and Puppies
I’ve figured out a distraction technique but I’m going to need a puppy. Its cuteness will lure the guardians of the fluidy material stuff away from where it’s kept so I can pinch it. But I don’t have a puppy at the moment. Instead, I’ve made a pair of ears and some whiskers and stuck them on my tip-ex mouse. Tee-hee, now it’s a real mouse. Maybe I can use the little cogs inside it in the construction of my time machine. They look to be made of plastic so they’ll prevent catastrophic chronology overload by impeding the flow of temporal particles. I’ve also found a screwdriver that the photocopier man left the last time he came to fix our machine. Now I’m one step closer to mastering time.
Chapter 8 – WWAD?
What happens if I go back in time and alter things, and we all end up speaking German, or worse; French? What would Captain Archer do? Well, he already has a cute dog, so he probably wouldn’t have any problems getting the fluidy material stuff, but I don’t think he’d approve of me using time-travel to get rich and eat spaghetti. Maybe I need to rethink this time-machine plan.
Chapter 9 – Not A Cartoon Villain
Soooo bored. It’s a slow day. Fridays are always quiet, here. Someone jammed the shredder a few minutes ago, and called me over to fix it. Shredders are much easier to fix than time-machines. Wish it wasn’t so quiet. I have paperwork, but I hate paperwork. I’ll just sit on it for a while. Save it for a rainy day. For God’s sake, why do people save all their shredding in a massive pile and do it all at once, instead of doing it as they go along? Stupid people.
Chapter 10 – If At First You Don’t Succeed, Pretend You Never Cared
It’s nearly dinner/lunch time now. Can’t wait. Then not long until home time. Got a sax session after work, and Sid Meier waiting for me at home, so I doubt I’ll get time to build that time machine after all. Probably won’t even get time to write a story. Oh well, I didn’t want to write anything today anyway.