Friday, March 26, 2010

If This Sounds Familiar, Skip It

I've been in and out of town a lot, some trips for fun, some not so much fun. But I taken STONER2 with me everywhere since my editor wants it as soon as she can get it. So I've worked on it sitting on a sick friend's patio in Saint George, and at a little table in a motel just outside of Zion National Park. Ron, the mobile revisionist.

Here's the part that might sound familiar: Every time I go through this draft I can cut. A line or two of flabby dialogue here, a lazy descriptive passage there. A better joke here, a more Zeus-like bolt there.

Cutting isn't for everybody all the time, and I know I'm the Surgeon of St. Paul during residencies. But this book just can't be rotund. Colleen's charm is too atomic, Ben isn't the kind of narrator to stand and gaze.

For anybody thinking of submitting a ms., here's a new way to think about the first pages, the ones that are so important. Forget about content and think only of velocity. Try it and let me know what happens.


P.S. I'm looking for a title for STONER2. Any suggestions? The winner gets credit on the dedication page.


  1. Druggie and Dweeb? Jonesing and Jerky? Wastoid and Wuss? Ditch Weed and Depakote?

    Remember, for the dedication, my last name has two "n"s.

  2. Hmmm...Toker and Tool?

    If not, I second Anne on The Squeakel.

  3. Some anagrams of Stoner and Spaz:
    Rant Ass Pod Zen
    A Zap Send Snort
    Stanza Respond
    Radon Snap Zest

    The Z really screws things up, Ron...

  4. Very funny! And Chris chided me for not telling what happens in the story, so how could anybody concoct a title. She's right, of course, so here's all anyone needs to know: same two characters, the usual number of emotional ups-and-downs, and an ending where they are still together.
    He loves movies, she has trouble staying clean and sober. He's the narrator.

    Does this help?

  5. I keep thinking about changing the modality of the words: Spaz Gets Stoned or Spazzing or some such. I like the rhythm of Spaz Something Something. Spaz Sells Out, Spaz Wants More... but nothing's right.

    It's hard to match the brilliance of Stoner and Spaz.

  6. I agree, Anne. The original title rocks.

    Just for kicks...

    Stoned and Spazzed :0)

  7. "Tic Toke"
    "Tick, Tock, Tic and Toke"
    "Tic and Toke"
    "Spazzing Stoner"
    "Skipping Spaz"
    "Skip to My Doobie"
    "Spaz to My Doob, My Darlin'"

    If anyone of these BRILLIANT titles makes the cut, remember Moris has one "R."

  8. I'm tending to agree with you guys, and even Liz wants STONER & SPAZ in the title in some form. I don't see why not STONER & SPAZ II since Ben loves movies and all the sequels almost always way the Roman numerals.


  9. Stoner & Spaz: The next chapter.
    Stoner & Spaz: The movie version.

  10. Stoned and Spazzed...

    A toke-(n) from a newbie. :0)