It’s Just Some Text – Get Over It

Dead Island
Dead Island - game footage FTW!
Having recently noted the deluge of press for the Dead Island videogame trailer, I’ve decided that in order to sell my next book I’m going to ask someone more talented than I am to write a short piece of text for it.

I am thinking of asking Stephen King or Simon Pegg… or both.

Yes, I‚Äôm going to ask them to use their actual talent to create some text that I can use to sell my book, Dead Idea. The text will be loosely based on my book. The text will be ‘leaked’ online in order to convince people that my book (Dead Idea) is creatively rich and interesting. The text will also convince people I have the talent and that the content of my book will be up to the same standard.

I’m also going to ask my pal Paul to write some slow, mawkish music using his oboe and the D-minor chord. I am going to include this as an MP3.

Simon Pegg & Stephen King
My new book – called Dead Idea Рis using some tried and tested ideas all of which have been imagined and creatively realised by people way more talented and original than I am.

It‚Äôs a book (called Dead Idea) about zombies attacking people who aren‚Äôt zombies yet but will be if they don’t beat the zombies. It’s set in a football stadium or a nightclub or somewhere.

If I’m really honest, I’ve not really put that much thought into writing it. There are no novel nor interesting angles or techniques in there. I mean, why bother? It’s not as if I have the talent or the inclination to provide any insight or originality. It’s not as if people want those kind of disruptive problems.

Interviews for Dead Idea
Of course, when I’m interviewed about it I’m going to talk about “metaphors”, “analogies”, “zeitgeisty moments”, “modern moral morays” and “insightful commentary”.

I’m also going to talk about “a bit of fun”, “awesome bloody madness”, “game-changing genre reboot” and “recapturing the adrenalin of zombie lit from back in the day”.

Depends on who is doing the interview.

The simple fact that I’m using some tired mechanics wrapped up in a few clichés shouldn’t make any difference to the piece of text I’m asking Mr King or Mr Pegg to produce for me.

They have free reign, well near as damn it. I’ve asked them to make sure that they “Pep it up a bit. Make it emotional but not so emotional that it actually forces the target market to assess their emotions in the world outside of schlock and awesomeness.

Dead Idea – Remember How You Felt!
The idea is to evoke enough emotion in the reader so that, in this age of fragmented media and information overload, they remember the name of my new book – Dead Idea ‚Äì and they don’t notice the weary ideas and pedestrian writing when it finally rolls out. By the time it rolls out I want my consumers to defend Dead Idea like it was their own child about to be murdered in its holiday bed.

Ideally the consumer will confuse the text written for me with my own actual work.

You see, I need people to remember, I do not want them to think about Dead Idea. Jesus Christ! If they actually think about Dead Idea and the amount of money I’m asking them to fork o over for my bland rehashing of an idea that’s been done, if I may say so, to undeath – well, I’m fucked.

Importantly I need them to start talking about the name of my book (that’s Dead Idea) now so that I can convince retailers to buy in stock before the reviews are out.

My problem is, however, that I’ve not finished Dead Idea (the name of my new book) and the bits I have finished are, frankly, so utterly uninspiring that I can’t even get my girlfriend or any of my friends to show much interest in it.

So, I get someone else to use their work to convince potential clients that my work is worth buying.

My problem – although I trust both Messrs Pegg and Mr King’s talents – is that the glut of zombie popular culture that I’m attempting to extract the last few fruits of profit from requires a Unique Selling Point. Hence the dead child.

Dead Idea
Sure some people’s children have actually died, but we cannot sacrifice the creative force for the minority. Sure, I could ask Messrs Pegg and King to ensure that the dead child appears peripherally rather than right up front but, honestly, where’s the emotional impact?

Honestly? If it was down to me I’d use a dead zombie puppy or kitten but I can’t. My target audience likes puppies and kittens. More people have loved and lost pets than they have children. More of my market has had dead pets than they’ve parented live children for fuck’s sake! Lol.

Using a dead kitten as the key focus, right up front, with no warning, it will not have the same impact. So, I’ve asked Messrs Pegg and King to ensure some form of infanticide occurs from the off.

Real art does that, and you can defend real art against, well, nearly anything. It’s bloody Teflon is real art.

Real artists and works of art such as, well, none leaps immediately to mind, have used dead kids staring you in the face from the first paragraph.

So, I don’t see why the advert for Dead Idea that I’m getting other more talented people to produce and that does not reflect the actual work I’m producing should be judged differently.

And what harm is there in it?

Dead Idea – a Book
People like zombie stuff, that’s for sure. Who wouldn’t? It’s an easy enough trope to manipulate. It is certainly scary in a comforting way. It has also created rule-sets: “Fast zombie vs Slow zombie” etc. The knowledge of these ‘rules’ provides a sense of community among those more inclined to yell, “Fuck you, ya bucket of cum!” than “I’d not thought about it like that, let’s have a talk”.

Zombies are certainly less likely to encourage actual analysis than using the homeless, the disabled, the poor or terrorists as “the other”. The problem is, however, that by now even the most dull-minded of consumers are starting to notice the constant repetition of a Zombies, Zombies and more Zombies.

Well, maybe not the most dull-minded. Certainly not those consumers who are abjectly cowardly in raising an opinion that might see them as “funless” or “just saying it for effect”, and they’re my market. I love those guys.

So, the zombie cult remains profitable and its death still some months off. At least that’s what I’m telling my publisher. I mean, it is still quite possible to elicit cries of “Awesome!” and “Hellz yeah!” and “Genuine LOL” from the Idiocricy by slapping the following onto the Internet and using some pre-seen footage, probably in slow motion and probably with that mawkish music.

“Zombie My Little Pony!”

“Zombie Mario Meets Zombie Obama!”

“Zombie Cake!”

“Zombie Libyan Uprising!”

Don’t Forget! Dead Idea! Coming Soon!
So, I hope that Messrs Pegg or King decide to take me up on my request to enable me to hitchhike their talent. I only want about 400 words out of one of them – plus Paul’s oboe noodling. As long as they remember to ensure that a child dies in there – a zombie child who isn’t actually a zombie at the end of the backwards piece – then I reckon that I can, like a pimp for the soul Рsolicit just enough emotion to make this shit stick long enough for word of mouth to take off.

Some people might complain though. This is not the end of the world, this merely calls for a damage limitation exercise. For that I can trust to the kind of people who are unable to see an advertisement when it’s crammed into their gullets like corn into a French goose. This inability comes from the delicious fact that these people have already committed to the idea that their hobby is actually their world. These are the kind of wonderful consumers who will defend my 400 words of trope-repeating, wearisome tripe against all-comers.

In order to help these fantastically sticky fans along, I’ve already got some arguments lined up for them:

1) It’s just some text, get over it.
2) If this was a poem and not a schlock novel then you’d say it was art!
3) It’s just some fun, get a sense of humour.
4) It’s not EVEN a real CHILD FFS!
5) Why don’t you think about the real dead kids in Africa?
6) Didn’t you hear the music? Didn’t you see it was to be read from back to front? Are you stupid?
7) Do you hate novels? Are you a hater?
8) Why are you trying to censor stuff? That’s what the Nazis/Communists/Democrats did/do/want to do.
9) Just because you felt bad about the dead child being used to sell a product doesn’t mean you’ve got to bum me out by making me feel bad. STFU!
10) Awwwww are you butt-hurt? Get a life loooza!

And don’t forget… the absolute killer rhetorical response, it’s Number 11, it’s:

11) So, they used a dead child in that advert for killing kids in road accidents!!! Did you object to that too!!! Haterz gonna hate… jus’ sayin’. Piece out.

Yes, I reckon, marketing-wise, I’m on a winner.

Please leave a comment. Many thanks.