When I was in high school, my chemistry teacher approached me and asked with a sly grin, “You interested in mining?” I told him absolutely not. I was going to be a writer. Little did I suspect that he wanted to send me to a student conference on metallurgy where I could seek the fellowship of like-minded teens on a minimally supervised road-trip to the Big City. Undeterred by my abrupt negative response, he grumbled, “Well, you’re interested in mining your own business, aren’t you?” And he sent me anyway.
Now I realize I should’ve listened more carefully to everything he said.
I wrote about a particularly instructive episode in my studies with this crusty chemistry teacher – and my comely lab colleague – in my short story “Chemistry,” which is featured in my collection Boychik Lit. In that book, I include six short stories about coming of age, failing ever upward, and boy-girl chemistry. There’s also a glib essay on the fiction genre (only?) I call boychik lit.
It’s a Kindle book (also EPUB). It’s cheap (but not slutty) and a quick read on your smartphone while you’re waiting for her to finish in the bathroom.
Boychik Lit Kindle
Boychik Lit EPUB
Watch for these #fakenews Liar’s Tricks before you forward that post to all your friends…
- Change the order of events. Reverse cause and effect to make the perpetrator the victim.
- Accuse the accuser. If you’re guilty, blame your innocent opponent before the news breaks.
- Stretch the analogy. You can generalize all you want if you reinforce the reader’s existing opinions.
- Focus on a side issue. Pick one that’s hot so you can distract from the real story.
- Release late Friday. Or after the closing bell.
- Confuse with “alternative facts.” If you can’t quash the rumor, create multiple bogus versions of events to bury the story in noise.
- Point to anomalies as trends. This scorching day means more drought to come.
- Use a pitchman. Lying people are more interesting than honest graphics.
- Animate your charts. Shorten attention spans and reduce study time.
- Use nonstandard chart formats. Make eye-catching puzzles out of your boring facts.
- Abuse the Net Promoter Score. Just because they sent you a survey doesn’t mean they intend to improve anything.
- And, no matter what you do, leverage emotion! Leverage anger or strong sentimentality to cloud the logic and make it go viral.