Irony: missing, presumed dead

One of our best monkeys brought it to my attention this morning that our referrer logs show traffic from a Google search for ‘julian ruck the bent brief amazon’ (without inverted commas). Rather tickled by this, I took a hop and a skip over to Google, and lo and behold there we are on the first page for anyone using that search term (which may indeed be a rather acquired taste). I wonder if we’ll end up on the front page for the search term ‘Julian Ruck’?!

It would be nice to fit in as a counterweight just underneath the Wikipedia article, which contains the evidence-free assertion that Julian Ruck’s books have sold ‘several thousand copies’ and that he is represented by literary agents Andrew Nurnberg Associates (whose website does not list Julian Ruck as one of their authors). The Wikipedia page mentions the ‘Kidwell-e Festival’ but does not reveal that the festival was cancelled due to lack of numbers, which makes us wonder if Julian Ruck himself is the only person writing content for the Wikipedia page.

Be that as it may, scrolling idly down the other results for that search term brought me to a delight I had previously missed. Yes, Julian is in the business of sharing his advice on creative writing:

It’s so, er, remarkable that we reproduce it here in full for your immediate delectation:

Forget reams of descriptive baloney, might sound good but your average reader couldn’t care less if weeping leaves reflect their agony to eyes that see nothing or trees that whisper wispy sweet somethings to a greyness that has forgotten time and place while little fairies of forgotten imagination strut their sparkling limbs across moonbeams replete with drastic love and memories of so much that could have been………. You get my drift.

We can all yell words, they are pretty cheap after all, but it’s the story-line that matters and the written atmosphere that the reader can feel and touch, without being suffocated.

Oh, the irony. We have an incorrect comma in the first sentence as if to emphasise Julian’s credentials for proffering this ‘tuition’, and then the bizarre sight of the man who wrote:

‘Suddenly he leapt up from the table and dashed for the dilapidated toilet situated next to the stables. It had to be this toilet; it was reasonably sound proof and hardly ever used by anyone. He reached the toilet door, yanked it open in a thorough state of panic and let loose a surging Niagara of vomit, at the same moment his bowels detonated and nearly lifted him off the ground. For one hour his arse and stomach continued to ambush him. All he could do was sit on the toilet and wail ‘Oh God!… Oh God!… Oh God! over and over again. He wanted to die.’

…telling us that we shouldn’t suffocate our readers. No, we should just provide them with a written atmosphere that they can feel and touch. Feel and touch; not just feel, but (yes) touch as well. A touching, feeling atmosphere; you could almost grope it.

And that’s not all. No, Julian has more advice for us; what he calls ‘Creative Writing Tuition – Level 2’. Are your bowels clenched in anticipation?

Don’t try and be a smarty-pants by showing how clever you are with the English language, there are plenty out there who are smarter but more to the point where’s the value in writing a story that no-one else is going to understand? Keeps things simple.

Irony, are you okay? Oh my God! Quick, someone call an ambulance! I don’t think irony’s breathing!

Really, every time we think this one trick pony has well and truly left the stable, and that we should get back to our day jobs in the sulphur mines, Julian rises to new heights of self-delusion. It’s positively Münchausian.


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Filed under The Society for the Preservation of Commas

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