If not for my decision to read all the books in John L Monk’s awesome indies project, I would never have read page one of Dan’s Lame Novel . Especially not with its plain lame cover. I mean, we’ve all read enough lame stuff. We should subject ourselves to something deliberately lame?
I have so many things to say about this work that I don’t know where to begin. Does the writer break all the rules or uphold them? Both, if you look sideways. For example, almost every chapter starts with the weather and the location of the character, an aid to readers in case it’s been a while since we set the book aside. Now I kind of like that technique in a novel–it keeps me on track. But since his intentions are lame, Rinnert goes over the edge, describing his own weather and what he has been doing between chapters, and how his character hasn’t moved or accomplished anything. He also talks confidentially to the readers and berates his characters (who may hear him and talk back).
Yes, the author is a heavily felt presence in this story, I think the kind of entertaining guy you’d like to have at a party. The novel is more about his writing process than about the character. To avoid all possibility of making his main guy a hero, Rinnert gives him a ludicrous name: Dryer Vent. And because a main character’s path must be full of obstacles, he puts Dryer Vent in a bunch of impossible situations then ridicules his difficulties.
I had to keep reading because the writing is so good. Rinnert manages to repeat without seeming repetitious. Here are a few bits. (I hope you get the joke without the context.)
“Yeah, I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t be a real street name anywhere, but I don’t feel like searching online to find out, so I’ll just keep my fingers crossed and remind you it’s a fictitious address, so don’t try going there…Let’s carry on.” (Author commenting on setting).
“Oh, I never mentioned the bushes before? Shame on me. Anyway, they were there, and he found an opening, so he’s ducked in there, hoping to evade the car.” (More authorial comment).
The whole thing is a parody of the writing process and lame fiction, perhaps genre fiction in particular. Savvy writers (you and I, of course) and anyone who needs a break should love it–just carry it around in your phone or e-reader, dip into it when you’re exhausted, when you need a chuckle, when you’re waiting somewhere. Or when you think your WIP is a POS.
And it’s only, what, 99 cents? Treat yourself to flawless writing with absolutely no pretenses. Then we’ll all have this joke in common and can just repeat the title and laugh together.
Dan’s Lame Novel!
(Don’t skip the Forward.)
So what is Dan C Rinnert doing now? He says “I have about sixty-eight works-in-progress.” Here’s a bit about his current top three:
1. In the semi-sequel to “In Search of the Legendary Phineas Ray,” three friends brave the outlands of their world to find a way to defeat an up-and-coming tyrant, unaware of a larger threat looming over them all.
2. Investigating several murders in a small town, an experienced detective finds his world is not as normal as he’d thought and stranger than he ever imagined.
3. After a man loses everyone and everything important to him, will he ever be able to win back the first love of his life and find happiness again?
Dan, message me when you publish the next one. @carolervin6 Meanwhile I’m going to go “like” your Amazon author page.