Saturday 1 November 2014

You’re Assassinated Mid-Series

Signs of a problem: breath absent; skin cold to touch.

The symptoms: feeling pretty darn cheesed off.

Your friends warned you about the dangers of tackling stalkers, cocaine addicts and critical reviews but would you listen? As a result of your pig-headedness, you are now dead – assassinated by Shit-Hot Rod.

Now a ghost, you tread familiar paths, watching the destruction you left behind. Your stalker writes fan fiction set at your funeral. The Igbo people say a prayer. Your cat sits on your bed mewing. Somewhere, on the other side of the country, an author dedicates Fifty Shades of Triceratops to your memory.

As news of your death spreads, sales of your books – children’s stories about flatulent giants – soar through the roof, making money that will support your confusingly on-off lover and allow the pet rescue sanctuary to build a kitty hotel.

Ah, your flatulent giant series. You re-create it in your mind – giants bottom burping whilst up ladders, giants bottom burping whilst up beanstalks… such varied comedy gold. You feel a pang deep in your stomach when you realise you will never be able to tell the world whether Bogusbill Motorwaylegs survived the avalanche that killed three squirrels.

Or will you…?

If you’re a responsible writer, you will have left a will detailing how you would like your series to end in the event of your death. You will have named the perfect author to do the deed. A pity that few authors are so forward thinking.

In the event of no specific direction, you could try using your ghostly powers to possess your target author. If you prefer a lighter touch, you could transmit your outline for the conclusion using paranormal telepathy.

Make sure you choose your author well. You should pick somebody familiar with your genre and tone. A prissy, flowery writer might not be able to capture the full power of a giant’s fart. An erotica writer might describe aspects of the giant’s bum that children are better off without. A drabblist may fail to convey the intricacies of a giant’s scent. It takes skill to replicate effectively the style of a totally splendid hotshot author.

If ghost-writing isn’t for you, see if you can be reincarnated. Fan fiction endings will be plentiful by the time you’re old enough to write again, so you’ll have to go through the laborious process of rising to fame once more. This time, try to do it without making quite so many enemies.