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Writing Rules: Jack Kerouac’s Rules for Spontaneous Prose

By Joseph Rubino on Monday, October 31, 2011 - View Comments

This will be the first in a series of maddeningly good authors giving advice on writing. Enjoy.

1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy


2. Submissive to everything, open, listening


3. Try never get drunk outside yr own house


4. Be in love with yr life


5. Something that you feel will find its own form


6. Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind


7. Blow as deep as you want to blow


8. Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind


9. The unspeakable visions of the individual


10. No time for poetry but exactly what is


11. Visionary tics shivering in the chest


12. In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you


13. Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition


14. Like Proust be an old teahead of time


15. Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog


16. The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye


17. Write in recollection and amazement for yourself


18. Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea


19. Accept loss forever


20. Believe in the holy contour of life


21. Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind


22. Dont think of words when you stop but to see picture better


23. Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning


24. No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge


25. Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it


26. Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form


27. In praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness


28. Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better


29. You’re a Genius all the time


30. Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven

More: Writing

Every Sentence of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, Retold for Bros

By JK Evanczuk on Thursday, March 31, 2011 - View Comments

Some reimagined Kerouac’s masterpiece for bros. Do you think this will reignite the love of reading in the contemporary gorilla juice head?

Some samples:

1 – Epic Beginnings

I first met Dean not long after Tryscha and I hooked up. I had just gotten over a wicked fucking hangover that I won’t bother to talk about, except that it had something to do with a six-foot-five douchebag and a beer bong. With the coming of Dean Moriarty began the part of my life you could call my life on the bro’d. Before that I’d often dreamed of going West to see hot LA actress chicks and try In N’ Out burgers, always vaguely planning and never taking off. Dean is the perfect bro for the road because he knows how to fucking party. First reports of him came to me through Chad King, who’d shown me a few Facebook status updates written by Dean from the Arizona State Beta Phi Omega house. I was totally stoked about Dean’s status updates because they were funny as shit, asking Chad to rate some pictures of girls he hooked up with the night before. At one point, Carlo Marx and I texted about the status updates and wondered if we would ever meet the epic Dean Moriarty. This is all far back, when Dean was not the crazy fucking jagoff he is today, when he was a young Communications major shrouded in Axe Body Spray. Then news came that Dean was out of ASU and was transferring to OSU; also there was talk that he was bringing some slam piece named Marylou.

2 – Flipcup and Phoenix

One night I was playing flipcup at the Delta house and Chad and Tim Gray told me Dean just got in and was staying at the Holiday Inn Express near East Campus. Dean had arrived the night before, the first time in Columbus, with his hotass stacked trixie Marylou; they got out of his Land Rover and cut around the corner looking for some grub and went right into Buffalo Wild Wings, and since then B-Dubs has always been a bitchin symbol of Columbus for Dean. They threw down cash on fucking tasty wings and brew-dogs.

All this time Dean was telling Marylou shit like this: “Now, babe, we’re at OSU, and even though I haven’t laid down the plan for you, we gotta forget about whatever stupid shit happened between us in Phoenix and fuckin’ cowboy up and start thinking about how we’re gonna pregame tonight…” and so on in the way that he had in those early days.

3 – A Natty Light-Slugging Hero of the Southwest

I went to the Holiday Inn Express with my buddies, and Dean came to the door in his lacrosse shorts. Marylou was jumping off the couch; Dean was totally getting his bone on, for to him sex was the one and only clutch thing in life, although he had to work part time at Foot Locker to cover tuition and so on. You saw that in the way he stood bobbing his head, always looking at his Samsung Galaxy, nodding like a young boxer to instructions, to make you think he was listening to every work, throwing in a thousand “Hell yeas” and “right ons.” I went to the Holiday Inn Express with my buddies, and Dean came to the door in his lacrosse shorts. Marylou was jumping off the couch; Dean was totally getting his bone on, for to him sex was the one and only clutch thing in life, although he had to go to the gym and do laundry and so on. My first impression of Dean was of a young The Situation—ripped, funny as shit, with spiked hair—a Natty Light-slugging hero of the Southwest. In fact he’d just been in the hospital for alcohol poisoning before hooking up with Marylou and coming to OSU. Marylou was a nine-out-of-ten with a Mystic Tan and a crazy rack; she sat there on the edge of the couch with her iPhone in her hands and her oversized Dolce and Gabana sunglasses on, waiting like a less-hot Megan Fox in that first Transformers movie.  But, outside of being pretty hot, she was a total bitch and capable of being a defcon-one psycho hose-beast. That night we all slammed Bud Light Limes and pulled stop signs out of the curb till dawn, and in the morning, while we sat around hung over as shit and watching Sportscenter, Dean got up like a total pimp, paced around, and decided the thing to do was have Marylou get some grub. “In other words we need some breakfast burritos, babe.” She had some kind of bitch-out about it and I peaced out.

From One Young Writer to Another: Stay True to You

By Andrew Boryga on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - Comments Off

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Use what you know to get started

Use what you know to get started

My name is Andrew Boryga, and this post is the beginning of a bi-weekly column I’ll be writing entitled “From One Young Writer to Another.” The purpose of my column is to give a different perspective on the literary world. Through my own experiences as a young writer I want to provide some advice for people my age, or at the least, examples of what not to do.

I am a freshman English major at Cornell University. I first became interested in literature in middle school, and since my sophomore year of high school, the only thing I’ve ever wanted to be is a writer. The majority of my writing thus far has been journalistic. I have been writing fiction for less than a year. In most cases my inexperience would be a limiting factor, but on this site it’s a gift.

So if there is any writing issue you’d like to see tackled from a young person’s perspective, whether or not you’re a young writer yourself, let me know by emailing me at andrew@litdrift.com.

I began my first real short story in November. Billy was my first protagonist.

He lived in a small Midwestern town and worked a gas station. He was a sophomore at a decent college but didn’t like it much. He wanted out of his life.

A man pulled into his station one day driving a car covered in bumper stickers, offering Billy the ride of a lifetime. “Come watch the lines on the road with me,” said the ragged old man.

This whole story had been mapped out: the plot –– everything. But after four pages, I had nothing to say. Billy was still in school, getting ready to leave with the traveler and I was preparing to write crazy adventures for the two of them –– crazy adventures I’ve never experienced myself. I’ve never hitchhiked, never bought anything but roundtrip bus tickets and I’ve always known when I was coming home. And so Billy’s story remained four pages long.

During winter break in December, I went home. I enjoyed the food and my old friends. I reminisced. I pulled out my box of old middle school photos. I thought about all the stupid things my friends and I used to do. I thought about my old principal who’d only give late passes to the pretty girls and I thought about the bus driver on the BX 55 who’d yell and holler every time I went through the back entrance.

Then it hit me.

“What the hell am I doing writing about a kid from the Midwest?” I asked myself. I’ve lived in the Bronx for 19 years –– I don’t know jack shit about the Midwest. Read more »

Literary Videos

By JK Evanczuk on Monday, March 22, 2010 - Comments Off

Maybe it’s just me, but there seemed to be quite a few literary videos cropping up over the weekend. From hitchhiking Kafka cockroaches to songs about children’s literacy to an astute response to the ongoing debate over publishing’s future, I thought these videos might serve as a nice introduction to the week. Read more »

More: Books

The Writer As Social Butterfly

By Andrew Boryga on Friday, January 15, 2010 - Comments Off

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The writers of the Beat Generation: proof that being social can be a boon to your writing rather than a detriment.

The writers of the Beat Generation: proof that being social can be a boon to your writing rather than a detriment.

I realized I wanted to be a writer sophomore year of high school, when I learned that engineering–my former ambition–required practicing actual math and science. Not for me.

Impressionable as any 16-year-old, the “writer lifestyle” became all too important to me. I turned to what I thought was the writer look: black-rimmed glasses, messy hair (the natural way), and wrinkled button-ups rolled to my elbows. I adopted the apparent “writer mindset.” My opinions became gold, fart jokes became immature, and as far as I was concerned, no one was capable of understanding the “depth” of my writing.

I lost quite a few friends that year.

Writing itself is a solitary act, a lonely act. However, I’ve learned­­––the hard way––that the solitude of writing doesn’t and shouldn’t have to affect writers’ social lives. Read more »

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