The Fun We’ve Had
by Michael J. Seidlinger
Lazy Fascist Press, 2014
168 pages / $11.95 buy from Amazon
How do you write a thrilling and entrancing Alt Lit novel?
Start with a chorus of disembodied voices telling us that “the waves are helloes; the incoming storm the sincerest goodbye. Like every single one of us, they are holding on. We held on until we could no longer hide. No one can hide out at sea.”
Then, add two characters trapped in a coffin adrift at sea. Make the characters as disparate as possible—have one be an old man and one a young girl. Set them at odds with one another—the more tense the better.
Then write in a very cryptic style. Use a lot of ambiguity, but be sure to not answer ANY questions that you’ve raised about your characters. Who are they? How did they get in the coffin? Why do they seem to be trapped in each other’s bodies? (Well, maybe answer one or two of them, but only at the very end of the book, otherwise it will spoil the fun.)
Keep up the tense pace with framing devices. The five stages of grief should work nicely. Also an alternating “his turn”/”her turn” chapter division will work nicely.
Add some sex, some existentialist dread and some metafictional flair.
Write a line like “Everyone is capable of a lifetime and nothing more,” and a line like “Everything changes. Nothing is true.”
Toss in some motherfucking sharks and a hurricane of jellyfish falling from the sky, which will result in the mincing of your character’s physical bodies (but not their spiritual presence).
Add some of that aforementioned closure, but not too much! Wrap things up nicely. Talk about how we’re all in this sea called life together. There are no lone sharks.
After you’ve do all that, you should have a book that looks like Michael J. Seidlinger’s The Fun We’ve Had—one of the most gripping books to come out in a while. Now sit back and bask in your creation and wait for the praise to roll in through Facebook and Twitter.