Good Narrative Principles

Deal with the Devil


I went down to the crossroads, computer in hand. Midnight was approaching and I was ready to make a deal with the Devil. I wanted to write a cogent script. One without narrative holes or flabby motivations. Sculpt it around a story that you could watch with a full bladder and forget that you needed to pee because it was that good. The moon was rising. Conditions were ripe. A chorus of cicadas serenaded me as I waited. And then suddenly hush. Not a sound. A tall man with a high brimmed hat, the sort that Abe Lincoln favored appeared then. Held out his outstretched palm. I offered him my computer. He touched it with both hands. Gave it back and was gone. The cicadas returned. The next morning, before showering or even brushing my teeth, I hit the power button. Nothing happened. Instead, I smelled a faint odor of burnt toast. Luckily I was backed up.

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