Today's question comes from EvilLABrat692, who evidently had read my profile on OKCupid dot com. I've included the whole thing, for your amusement. Gentlemen, those of you reading this should know that this is not, I repeat, not, a good way to pick up girls, even ones as easy as I am. Also, most girls do not respond well to a crude come-on followed by a promise to pilfer their gun safes. I had to edit his language so that I wouldn't have to click the "adult content" setting here on Blogspot. Other than that, I didn't change anything.
Jul. 5, 2010 - 11:50pm. its too bad you are not real...i would f--- your brains out and leave with your automatic weapons while you lay there in a puddle of c-- and sweat wondering what the hell just hit you
Yes, it started with the texting jargon of 13 year olds. No, he didn't use any capital letters, and yes, the words he really used rhymed with duck and rum. And no, there wasn't any more to it, not even a period at the end. Just 43 syllables, some wasted, and sent at ten minutes shy of midnight, it doesn't really qualify as a 3am confession. But style points aside, he has some problems here. Unfortunately, EvilBrat, that's just not how you do it.
It was a two sentence letter, so lets talk about the first one first. The first sentence took away all the impact of the crude come-on and bizarrely unrelated equipment theft, so the first thing we need to do is get rid of the opening apology altogether. Given that you are writing speculative fiction, you really needn't worry about my unreality. It's bad form to break character. It's like a wife, a wife who has spent all afternoon dressing as a whore, a wife wearing tawdry perfume and walking awkwardly in platform heels with straps that go all the way up the leg, a tired, still-lovely woman in torn fishnet and smeared lipstick, a woman who had waited on the street corner for him, while he drove around the block, eyeing the other girls, making her work for it, making her come up to his car and solicit him, a wife who got into the car with him and wanted a hundred bucks for a blow job but let herself be talked into a half and half for twenty, a wife who had taken the twenty and tucked it between her breasts, a wife who had hot and dirty sex with him in the car just around the block, and then she waits, waits until the crucial moment, when it's all about to go right for her husband, who she hasn't had sex with n weeks, and then she abruptly stops and calls out, in a sing-song voice like a fishwife shouting after the backs of running children, saying "Oh, honey, stop. Stop. Stop for just a second. I just remembered. You have to remind me to re-make the grocery list, because Aunt Margie is coming this weekend and needs her gluten-free foods. And then there's Simpson Bar Mitzvah. Remember, honey, we need to go to the dry cleaners for that, and..." That's what starting with an apology is like, gentleman readers. Ruins the mood. So, right off, EvilBrat, I'm so not interested. Looks like you can't even the keep rhythm through a two-sentence fantasy.
Really, I liked the second sentence better, but, again, problems. The hero of our letter is hesitant, not fully committed, using the conditional tense. I liked the boldness of the rest of the second sentence, the odd juxtaposition of the presumably brutal and cathartic sex, and the obviously phallic automatic weapons. By the magic of the wand that is his willie, I am somehow, it isn't explained, transformed into some kind of radiant, passive being, rendered helpless, and then I am robbed of my phallic symbols. He might have something going, there, with his short, haiku-like second sentence. We could make it even shorter, reduce 43 syllables down to 14, making the impact even stronger, a proper haiku, with no opening apology, keeping his unpunctuated style:
f--- you take your gun
brains and c--
on the sun-dappled floor
Better poetry, but still not so good on the seduction. Instead, we could give it just a hint more detail, a lingering image, be more direct, use the present tense, and be more consistent in our character, turning 43 syllables into just 103:
I've been f---ing you, f---ing you, making you call out my name, f---ing you, f---ing your brains out for three hours now as the sweat rolls off our bodies, at first fast, then slow, then fast again. Afterwards, as you lay in the pool of our mingled juices, I take the AR-15 and the Kalashnikov from your softening hands, leaving you naked, your arms open, in the sign of the cross, your legs open, in the sign of the devil.
Now that's a letter I might have responded to! This is a man! He makes no apologies for who he is, and most of all, he pays attention to detail, and has control of his symbolism.
But I shouldn't complain. Any come-on is a compliment. So thanks, EvilBrat. I'm glad I made you laugh.