Plot Going For A Song

Origins of ideas

You often hear authors – fiction ones especially – saying that the most common question they are asked is ‘where do you get your ideas?’ From a reader’s point-of-view, it’s a fair question. Even though we write books, we still want to know how other authors work, how they develop their plots and ideas, and how they interact with their agents and publishers. Some authors, exasperated with the question, have written pieces claiming to buy their ideas from retail outlets. A few weeks ago we spotted ‘Plot For Sale’ on a signboard alongside a Devon country lane, which inspired us to compose some verses on the theme, based on ‘Logs to Burn’ (see our newsletter 27).

Plot for sale

Signboard of Drew Pearce, a leading firm of estate agents and surveyors based in Exeter, offering ‘Plot For Sale’ (with thanks to Drew Pearce for permission to use it)

Plot going for a song

Plot for sale, plot for sale,
Plot to make a fairy tale.
Here’s a word to make you wise,
If you hear the agent’s cries.
Simple plots are frowned-on now,
Use one with great care.
Complex plots can end in knots:
Use one if you dare.

Plot for sale, plot for sale,
Plot to make the readers quail.
Here’s a word to make you wise,
If you think the agent lies.
Ghostly plots are always good:
Publish in the fall.
Real-life plots are out of vogue:
Publish not at all.

Plot for sale, plot for sale,
Plot to make the critics wail.
Here’s a word to make you wise,
And see beyond the agent’s sighs.
Genre plots are evergreens,
But they sell too slow.
Romance plots just join the dots:
They rake in all the dough.

Plot for sale, plot for sale,
Plot that is the holy grail.
Here’s a word to make you wise,
And find the plot the agent buys.
Love stories always sell:
They are worth a mint.
But sex and porn, however poor,
Are never out of print.

Plot for sale, plot for sale,
Plot to get you out of gaol.
Here’s a word to make you wise,
If you hear the agent’s cries.

Our next book

Many readers and event organisers have asked about our next book. For quite a while we have been working on different ideas, certain that each one would appeal, but to no avail so far. We are therefore looking to acquire a decent plot and have several spare plots for sale, never before used! Actually, we hope to revisit them at some stage and are meanwhile researching one or two other possibilities. Watch out for our news over the next few weeks.

Update

We have started on a new book and will post more news when we get time (the ‘Plot for Sale’ in the picture is still not sold).

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