Friday, July 15, 2011

Good Idea, Bad Idea

When I was in high school, I became infatuated with the Steven Spielberg cartoon Animaniacs. There were the Warner's, Yakko, Wakko and Dot, Pinky & the Brain, Buttons & Mindy, Rita & Ralph, ChickenBoo, Slappy the Squirrel and Mr. Skullhead. 30 minutes of animated fun all dressed up for kids but secretly for adults. I mean, really... would kids understand a Woodstock sketch doing a "Who's on First" bit using bands playing at the concert? Nope. But I giggle like a fool to this sketch. ("What's the name of the band?" "Who." "The band on stage?" "Who." "Who is on stage?" "Yes." "Yes is the band on stage?" "No, they're playing later.") Look it up on YouTube. Seriously.

But another favorite of mine was "Good Idea, Bad Idea" with Mr. Skullhead. Mr. Skullhead didn't talk, but he got put in a lot of short skits, including this one, that were mostly pointless. But basically, this one would have something like :

"Good idea... finding easter eggs on Easter morning."
"Bad idea... finding easter eggs on Christmas morning." Eww. :)

I found this compilation on YouTube if you want to amuse yourself for two minutes.

So I was thinking the other day on how I could apply this to writing. Maybe you all can help me come up with some good ones. Here's a couple to get started.

Good idea... making your submission stand out with a well-formatted, well-edited, engaging manuscript and coversheet.
Bad idea... making your submission stand out with pink unicorn paper, glitter, handcuffs, or a personal photo with you in lingerie at your laptop.

Good idea... researching the line or publisher you're submitting to, to make sure your work fits the guidelines and what they're publishing.
Bad idea... copying one of the publisher's recent books word for word and just changing the character's names.

Good idea... making an appointment at a conference to pitch your book to an editor or agent.
Bad idea... following your targeted editor or agent into the bathroom to pitch your book while they're, uh, busy.

Your turn!


Linda Winstead Jones said...

I remember the Animanmiacs well! My kids loved them, and yes, I laughed, too. I still make the occasional Pinky and the Brain reference. You covered the publishing good idea, bad idea basics. If I think of anything else I'll post later.

Oh, how about this: Good idea. getting to know your agent or editor at conference over a nice meal or a cup of coffee. Bad idea. Getting to know your agent or editor and having so much fun you end up getting drunk and dancing on the table. Naked.


pjk said...

Good idea-Pitching a book to your editor.
Bad idea-Pitching a book at your editor. *ouch*

Playground Monitor said...

How about this?

Good idea: Reading lots of craft books to improve your writing.

Bad idea: Posting all over the internet that XYZ's book is filled with head-hopping and the characters' motivations are weak.

I don't remember Animaniacs. My kids must not have watched it.

Angel said...

Funny!! So many ways these things could go wrong.