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Old 20th November 2012, 06:32 PM   #1
Vortigern99
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Be in my novel! (Yes, you with the fascinating life story!)

I'm writing a novel in which a number of people have their life stories extracted from their brains before they are murdered by a supernatural assassin.

Either because I'm lazy, or because I have a lot of other complex material to build my book around, or because I just want to write the best, most engaging and real-seeming novel I can possibly write, I'm inviting JREF members who think they have an interesting life story to summarize their biographies in a paragraph or two, so that I can put them into the book.

I can either use your name or, if you prefer anonymity, I'll make up a name to attach to your fascinating bio. I'm hoping you'll give me the nations, states and/or cities where the events of your interesting life occurred, as well as your general age (20s, 30s, 40, 50s etc will suffice).

There will be no material compensation for this, obviously; "payment" will consist of the thrill of your story (and name, if you choose) to be in a supernatural thriller that has already been called "strong and eloquent" by literary agent David Hale-Smith and lauded as having "international appeal" by agent Barbara Zitwer.

Here is the format I'm looking for, but feel free to play with it, expand or tweak it to your own preferences:
My name is Noah D. Henson; I'm in my 40s. I grew up half in the city and half in the rural woods north of Houston, Texas. My father was, during my childhood, an alcoholic bar-fighter and Harley motorcycle rider, who went on to become a career English composition teacher in SLC, Utah. My mother was a legal secretary with a penchant for ragtime piano and a tendency to scream at her children, owing to the stresses of raising two kids by herself. My sister was shy when she was little, but became troubled and rebellious in her teens, and contracted AIDS from a one-night fling with a good friend who happened to be an intravenous drug user. My maternal grandmother also helped raise us kids; she was born a Virginia country girl but married an ambitious man who built half of Houston, and his fortune with it, in the 50s and 60s.

As to myself, I am a frustrated comics artist who wanted to join the US Army but could not owing to Type 1 diabetes. I married badly in my 20s, to a woman who later died of complications of liver disease and bulimia. My sister died of AIDS a few years later, and these deaths along with my grandmothers' have weighed heavily on me. I've since got my life together, am happily re-married, and now work a variety of odd jobs as I develop my global horror-thriller novel with illustrations by the author.

I have a lifelong love of fantasy, horror, sci-fi and superhero fiction, films and comics. My fandom has sustained me in the darkest times of my life, and still does so today.
I plan to layer these bios into the novel as the by-product of a certain kind of murder, a supernatural death which imparts the life-story of the victims to their killer, for plot-related purposes which I will decline to reveal. If you'd like to play along, please do! I'll take the best and most interesting of the bios and, with the writers' permissions, insert them into the book, perhaps with changes where appropriate.

Thanks for your time!
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Old 20th November 2012, 10:23 PM   #2
EventHorizon
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The details of my life are quite inconsequential... very well, where do I begin? My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a fifteen year old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. My father would womanize, he would drink. He would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Sometimes he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy. The sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament. My childhood was typical. Summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring we'd make meat helmets. When I was insolent I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds- pretty standard really. At the age of twelve I received my first scribe. At the age of fourteen a Zoroastrian named Vilma ritualistically shaved my testicles. There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum... it's breathtaking- I highly suggest you try it.




What plagiarism? I don't know what you're talking about.
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Old 20th November 2012, 10:42 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by EventHorizon View Post
The details of my life are quite inconsequential... very well, where do I begin? My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a fifteen year old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. My father would womanize, he would drink. He would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Sometimes he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy. The sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament. My childhood was typical. Summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring we'd make meat helmets. When I was insolent I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds- pretty standard really. At the age of twelve I received my first scribe. At the age of fourteen a Zoroastrian named Vilma ritualistically shaved my testicles. There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum... it's breathtaking- I highly suggest you try it.




What plagiarism? I don't know what you're talking about.
He is right, you know - about the chestnut's. I have never known a lazier nut - all they do all day is curl up by a nice fire and wait to be coned and eaten. No get up and go, damn their tiny eyes!!!
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Old 20th November 2012, 11:13 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Vortigern99 View Post
Either because I'm lazy,
Yep, that's it.

You're the author, I'm not writing your book for you, ESPECIALLY without payment.

Not that I have an interesting biography anyway, so it's no loss to you anyway.
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Old 20th November 2012, 11:39 PM   #5
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No one would believe me.

And some of it is not safe for disclosing on the Net.
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Old 21st November 2012, 01:25 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by EventHorizon View Post
The details of my life are quite inconsequential... very well, where do I begin? My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a fifteen year old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. My father would womanize, he would drink. He would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Sometimes he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy. The sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament. My childhood was typical. Summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring we'd make meat helmets. When I was insolent I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds- pretty standard really. At the age of twelve I received my first scribe. At the age of fourteen a Zoroastrian named Vilma ritualistically shaved my testicles. There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum... it's breathtaking- I highly suggest you try it.
Long-lost cousin Georges! We wondered where you had got to!
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Old 21st November 2012, 09:00 AM   #7
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'Kay. Point taken.
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Old 21st November 2012, 09:04 AM   #8
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Do they have to be real or do you just want interesting vignettes?
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Old 21st November 2012, 09:13 AM   #9
Vortigern99
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Originally Posted by Tomtomkent View Post
Do they have to be real or do you just want interesting vignettes?
Real. I can make up any number of fictional bios -- I've done so already in the novel -- but I want the ring of truth which only, well, truth can impart.

You're the author, I'm not writing your book for you, ESPECIALLY without payment.

Spockette, I want to be clear here that the vast majority of this 600+-page novel is already written. I need about 5-10 paragraphs of true-life stories to flesh out the villain of the piece. If you don't want to contribute, obviously that's fine with me, but don't contend that you'd be "writing my book for me" when I'm asking for what amounts to window dressing of a gigantic mansion I've already built brick-by-brick.
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Old 21st November 2012, 09:27 AM   #10
Hecubas
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Hmm, very clever, but how do I know you're not the supernatural assassin and will kill me once I divulge my story?
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Old 21st November 2012, 09:37 AM   #11
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Never mind. Deleted.
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Last edited by Tomtomkent; 21st November 2012 at 09:40 AM. Reason: Just saw something I missed before posting.
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Old 21st November 2012, 09:46 AM   #12
Vortigern99
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Originally Posted by Tomtomkent View Post
Never mind. Deleted.
You can PM me your thoughts if you like. I've already got a couple of bios this way, from people who are too shy to share in public.
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Old 23rd November 2012, 07:41 AM   #13
Garrette
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
And some of it is not safe for disclosing on the Net.
Ten million dollars or I disclose it anyway.
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Old 23rd November 2012, 10:58 AM   #14
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Given the lack of enthusiasm for this concept, it looks like I'll have to make do with the two bios I've received by PM. I'll give them a prominent place in the book, and make up and/or cobble the others together from this and that. Finding those little verisimilitudinous details which imbue a life story with the ring of truth is a challenge -- hence the attempt I've made here -- but it's not impossible. Wish me luck, all!

In closing, it bears noting that once, a certain author auctioned off to the public the opportunity to have so little as a person's name appear in his upcoming novel. That author had the hubris (I love that word) to charge money to insert that name into his work. What I'm offering, conversely, is to put a paragraph or two of your life story into a novel, plus your name if you so elect, free of charge, for your amusement and immortalization, and to the benefit of a sub-plot in my book.

It frankly baffles me that so few people have shown interest in this proposition (though the two who have done have been enthusiastic), but the forum has spoken and I'll accept the majority "no thanks" verdict.
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Old 23rd November 2012, 12:05 PM   #15
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Perhaps people just want to use their stories themselves

But I must admit that your request makes me wonder a bit, since I do expect writers of fiction to be able to make up stories that ring true.
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Old 23rd November 2012, 12:58 PM   #16
Vortigern99
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Originally Posted by Helen View Post
Perhaps people just want to use their stories themselves

But I must admit that your request makes me wonder a bit, since I do expect writers of fiction to be able to make up stories that ring true.
Well, I've already got the majority of the 600+-page novel written. Two literary agents are excited about it, and have praised the writing (both Zitwer and Hale-Smith) or the international appeal (Zitwer). In short, I've already written a fiction that "rings true". All I need here is to flesh out a sub-plot with some true-to-life detail, totaling perhaps about 2 pages of material.

Little individual biographies of people who never existed are easy to compose. I can do several in the span five minutes. But the line between compelling truth and obvious fiction is a fine one. Events, locales and characters exist in reality which might never occur to a writer of fiction to set down on paper. Details will pop off the page as having actually been truly lived as opposed to having been invented.

I personally know two authors of fiction, Rick Riordan and Stephen Romano, who have successfully employed the life-stories of people they know as sub-plots and supporting characters. Another author, whose name escapes me but which I can provide if asked, held an auction simply to put a real person's name into his novel. I feel certain there are other practitioners of this technique. Each of these authors has done so without having called into question their ability "to make up stories that ring true".

if you don't want to contribute, don't! If you do, please PM me or post your bio here.
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Old 23rd November 2012, 01:19 PM   #17
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If you need a piece to just end a page or so, i can contribute this:

I was born at a very young age. Since then very little has happened.
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Old 23rd November 2012, 01:54 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by scratchy View Post
If you need a piece to just end a page or so, i can contribute this:

I was born at a very young age. Since then very little has happened.
That's incredibly helpful! Thanks. I'm sure my readers will be intrigued.
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Old 24th November 2012, 04:59 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Garrette View Post
Ten million dollars or I disclose it anyway.
If I had 10 million, I wouldn't care. My son already knows, my parents are dead. All that's left is worrying someone I work for might have issues.
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Old 24th November 2012, 05:08 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Vortigern99 View Post
Given the lack of enthusiasm for this concept, it looks like I'll have to make do with the two bios I've received by PM.....
The problem is the medium, even via a PM it's on record somewhere.

But if you write a sequel in a decade and I'm retired and still posting, I might share mine.
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Old 24th November 2012, 07:04 PM   #21
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You can use my story. I was born in the city, concrete under my feet. I was a steel town girl on a Saturday night, looking for the fight of my life. Name is Sarah, some say storms brew in my eyes. But I just wanna have fun, because I'm a material girl. Lately I've been all cried out, though, because I wish I were Jesse's girl. If I could only hold on for one more day, break free from the pain....

Call me for more details at 867-5309.
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Old 24th November 2012, 10:20 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
You can use my story. I was born in the city, concrete under my feet. I was a steel town girl on a Saturday night, looking for the fight of my life. Name is Sarah, some say storms brew in my eyes. But I just wanna have fun, because I'm a material girl. Lately I've been all cried out, though, because I wish I were Jesse's girl. If I could only hold on for one more day, break free from the pain....

Call me for more details at 867-5309.
Are you gonna keep your baby? And do you work hard for the money? Also, are you an American girl, raised on promises? And listen, I know your name is Sarah (you're the poet in my heart), but would you mind if I called you... m-m-m-my Sharona?

If anyone wants an update (I suspect you're all clamoring for news despite your cagey silence), I've used a variety of on-line research methods to create 13 minor characters, each with his/her own unique biography.

If I may emend my OP, I'd like to ask anyone reading this for just one biographical line about yourself/selves, as opposed to an entire life story, that I can weave into these fictional bios to add that true-life color. Or not! Totally up to you.
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Old 25th November 2012, 06:39 AM   #23
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One line bio: Hard work, good luck, and a talent for jewel theft led Rex Steele from the mean streets of Beijing to becoming the world's most beloved popstar pope...until the Doomsday of the Aliens happened.
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Old 27th November 2012, 03:00 PM   #24
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I'm content to call this a failed experiment. Thanks to the two people who contributed. You'll both die hideous deaths in my horror thriller; don't say you haven't been warned.
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