March 14, 2007

The Copywriter and the Data Analyst

An excerpt from what appears to be page eight of a novel in progress, found at Broadway and 40th in Oakland:

The copywriter shrugged his shoulders, made a fist and again struck the data analyst in the face. The data analyst's head snapped back from the blow, blood gushing from his nose. Michael Michaels initiated another round of applause and the employees followed his lead, washing a thunderous wave over the meeting room. As Daniel joined in the furious assent, he noticed the taller Orange Buttons representative walking toward the programmer Michael Michaels had pointed out previously. The programmer sat in his folding chair, arms at his sides, sweat streaking down his pinched, hollow face. The taller representative stopped in front of the programmer, an almost perceptible electricity surging from his smoldering grey eyes...
Posted by Dr. Frank at March 14, 2007 06:09 PM | TrackBack

A paragraph from Fight Club that was edited out?

Posted by: Eric at March 15, 2007 02:36 AM

Only a smutty 'romance' writer would use the phrase "perceptible electricity surging from his smoldering grey eyes".

Posted by: Anarchie at March 15, 2007 03:01 AM

Reading that excerpt was painful Thus why 99.9% of writers fail miserably. You should be proud, Frank, you're in an elite group.

Posted by: Zaphod at March 15, 2007 05:57 PM

It comforts me to know that all my fellow men walk the earth consumed, as I am, by a faceless, blind rage.

Posted by: Tristin Aaron at March 15, 2007 07:21 PM

Zaphod is right. That was really frustrating to plow through despite being very short.

Posted by: josh at March 15, 2007 07:32 PM

Oh, you smarmy party people! Will you slag on Shaggs records next?
I suppose you snarksters think you can do better?
Here is my challenge to you: rewrite the passage
without compromising the tonal balance this
obviously "inferior" writer has achieved.
Can you do it without producing an obnoxious
ironic parody? YOU. WILL. FAIL.

Posted by: OutsiderArtNo1Fan at March 16, 2007 06:28 PM

Outsider, putting aside the notion that the piece is beyond repair, you are probably correct which firmly places us in the same group as 99.9% of the population that the author of the found passage is obviously in as well. I don't feel so bad that I'm not in the .1% elite group of people who are good writers, neither should the author of the found passage.

Posted by: Zaphod at March 16, 2007 09:41 PM

It was a dark and stormy night. The copywriter punched the data analyst and made his nose bleed. Michael Michaels began a contagious clap, and as the applause rang through the boardroom Daniel noticed the Orange Buttons rep - he was standing in front of a man sitting in a folding chair.

Posted by: chris riordan at March 17, 2007 12:16 AM

chris wins. Well done, chris. :)

Posted by: josh at March 17, 2007 12:45 AM

Thank you, thank you. I have to take a moment to acknowledge William Strunk Jr. and his fine advice in Elements of Style. Without his guidance I never could have streamlined the passage in such succint yet exciting fashion. Again, though, thank you.

Posted by: chris riordan at March 17, 2007 04:04 PM

Well done, Chris. The opening sentence definitely drew me in ;)

I'm imagining some sort of office temp planning out their revenge in fiction form.

And also, it has sort of a bloated, NaNoWriMo story to it. By that I mean a lot of unnecessary words added in to create a higher word count. Maybe?

Posted by: Megan at March 20, 2007 06:18 AM