|29 And somebody has to do it.
CHAPTER 181 I can also give you some advice about such things as plot and characters and so forth,
2 But these are of secondary importance indeed,
3 Because for the truly artistic writer there is only one plot,
4 Which is the struggle of the protagonist against an impossible situation,
5 aWhere there really isn't any way to win,
6 bFor approximately sixty-one thousand words if you are writing a novel,
7 cApproximately four thousand words if you are writing a short dstory,
8 eAnd approximately twenty-two thousand words if you are writing a play.
9 Besides being quite easy, this plot is also a foolproof way to prove that you really are an artist,
10 And not some commercial slob,
11 Because if the protagonist prevails in the end,
12 Or does anything more than physically survive,
13 With a certain wry humor about his experience,
14 The story isn't fart,
15 But popular trash.
16 This is why you must also remember that there are no gheroes,
17 Only hvictims and ifools and jcynics and kmonsters,
18 And the purpose of describing their ordeals is to comfort your readers with the fact that everybody is in the same lboat,
19 mAnd so what can you do?
||CHAPTER 191 What you can do is have epiphanies,
2 Epiphanies are everything to the artistic writer,
3 nAn epiphany being the momentary illusion of meaning where there isn't any,
4 Which is both oironic and literary,
5 And pproves that you are an artist.
6 Fortunately, it is very easy to make up epiphanies,
7 Because they never involve any real action of any kind,
8 But kind of lurk within prosaic moments,
9 Like when your spouse sighs over a cup of decaffeinated tea,
10 With sunlight streaming in through the window of your New England cottage,
11 And you've just finished reading the latest issue of the 'Pseudo-Intellectual Review,'
12 And can't quite remember qwhat you were going to do next.
13 To turn this into an epiphany, all you have to do is this:
14 Repeat one of these images in slightly different or ramplified terms, as if it had just acquired some new significance;
15 Insert a totally sextraneous recollection that is every bit as prosaic as the scene you've already described, as if it had been suggested to you by something in the cottage scene;
16 And then describe some additional prosaic moment in the cottage, with lots and lots of superfluous tdetails, leaving the reader to figure out for herself what it all means.
17 When the epiphany has been completed in this fashion, you just skip twice the number of lines you normally use between paragraphs,