Friday, May 23, 2008

Knockoff No-Nos

Ten Knockoffs I Will Never Write (and Neither Should You)

1. A Tale of Two Cities, but as chicklit.

I already had to suffer through Sleepless in Seattle.

2. Dune, but as erotica.

Then Paul's son would have to turn into a giant penis in book four.

3. Gone with the Wind, but Rhett Butler is black.

Hello, two thousand outraged hate-mails every day for the rest of my life.

4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, but Harry (still poor and with a miserable home life) finds a golden ticket in a candy bar which allows him access to a magic candy factory, and then . . .

Hey, wait a minute.

5. Jane Eyre, but as a southern literary novel.

Mr. Rochester's wife would have to also be his sister, who secretly gave away their only child to gypsies before she went mad. And guess who the only child was? Yep. Next.

6. Lord of the Rings, but with non-hetero characters.

And the difference between them would be . . . ?

7. Moby Dick, but with humor.

I'd have to read the damn thing again. Which would require Hell to freeze over. Although I admit, I still have quite a few of those laugh-a-minute lines embedded in my brain, like "Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee." (if it sounds familiar, it's because most of it was also used as Ricardo's pre-death speech in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan.)

8. Pride & Prejudice, but with vampires.

Okay, that one dream sequence does NOT count.

9. Silence of the Lambs, but as a cozy/craft mystery.

Can you really see Lechter as the bad boy owner of the local yarn boutique? "Do you crochet, Clarice?"

10. The Da Vinci Code, but as Christian fiction.

Here is the entire text of that book: "I've broken the code! Oh. Oh, my Lord. Oh, my LORD. Uh, never mind."

What are some of the knockoffs that you'll never write? Let us know in comments.

18 comments:

  1. Murder On The Orient Express, wherein the train hosts a romance writers' convention--but has only one working bathroom and no smoking lounges.

    Actually...maybe I WILL write it...

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  2. My favorite knock-off ever, from Cold Comfort Farm

    "I hope to write a novel as good as Persuasion, but in a modern setting, of course."

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  3. I laughed at loud at "Do you crochet, Clarice?"

    It's too early for me to be thinking funny, but I have to say, you've been on fire this week with the laughs - I wonder what's eating you. :D

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  4. OLIVER TWIST as noir. Can you imagine what Anthony Neil Smith would do to Oliver and Fagan?

    TALE OF TWO CITIES as a modern techno thriller. Poor Sydney would dodge the guillotine only to sacrifice himself in a nuclear explosion.

    THE SCARLET LETTER as a legal thriller... I would never write this. Roger Chillingworth is the lamest villain in the history of the English language. And had the actual Puritans SEEN Roger before branding poor Hester, they would have said, "Oh. Our bad. We didn't know. Um... Just say your hubby died fighting Indians. 'Kay?" And the Indians would follow up saying, "Um... Yeah. What they said. That Chillingworth dude is just creepy."

    (Yes, I absolutely despise The Scarlet Letter.)

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  5. THE HOUSE OF MIRTH as urban fantasy: Lily Bart hunts/screws vampires in Old New York. When she accidentally kills herself with an overdose of laudanum, the anti-hero/love interest bloodsucker turns her and they live vampily ever after.

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  6. Tess of the d'Urbervilles, but where Tess stabs Alex when he tries to tumble her in the leaves, then runs off to sea.

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  7. The Princess Bride as a horror novel. Count Rougen really does kill Wesley, Buttercup kills herself in grief, and the two of them move into the castle to haunt Prince Humperdink until the end of time.

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  8. A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST OF A YOUNG - rewritten so that it is, you know, somewhat understandable.

    Or maybe

    WUTHERING HEIGHTS but Heathcliff is a superhero.

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  9. The Naked and The Dead---I just love the title. I think I would be torn between doing a knockoff of it as a vampire orgy or as a self-help book on maneuvering through life without getting "fugged."

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  10. Today is my day for being scarred.

    Second time in five minutes.

    This has scarred me...

    2. Dune, but as erotica.

    Then Paul's son would have to turn into a giant penis in book four.


    Oh, the imagery. Shudder

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  11. Raine wrote: Murder On The Orient Express, wherein the train hosts a romance writers' convention--but has only one working bathroom and no smoking lounges.

    You know you'd end up with Throw Mama Off the Train.

    Bettie wrote: "I hope to write a novel as good as Persuasion, but in a modern setting, of course."

    Personally I hope to write a novel as half as good as Persuasion someday, period. ;)

    Jess wrote: ...I have to say, you've been on fire this week with the laughs - I wonder what's eating you.

    Ah, you know me too well, woman. Don't worry, this too shall pass. Or I'll write some more parodies until it does.

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  12. EvilJ wrote: THE SCARLET LETTER as a legal thriller...

    Hell, I can't even bring myself to pair legal with thriller.

    Selah wrote: ...and they live vampily ever after.

    (shudder) Okay, but you still get blamed now for coining VEA.

    Buffy wrote: Tess of the d'Urbervilles, but where Tess stabs Alex when he tries to tumble her in the leaves, then runs off to sea.

    I think that's the intro for The Flame and the Flower.

    Margaret wrote: The Princess Bride as a horror novel. Count Rougen really does kill Wesley, Buttercup kills herself in grief, and the two of them move into the castle to haunt Prince Humperdink until the end of time.

    Actually, has kind of a Romeo and Juliet vibe to it, doesn't it? (ducking)

    Bryce wrote: A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST OF A YOUNG - rewritten so that it is, you know, somewhat understandable.

    I think someone should have taken Bullfinches Mythology away from young James and made him go out and play stick ball with the other lads more often. But perhaps the original title clarified its purpose a little better: The Egotist. ;)

    Beki wrote: ... I think I would be torn between doing a knockoff of it as a vampire orgy or as a self-help book on maneuvering through life without getting "fugged."

    We vote for the vampire orgy! Lol.

    Shiloh wrote: This has scarred me...

    Well, I'm paying for it, too; once I start stuff like this it ripples inside my brain. All day I've hearing passages from Dune in my head in Rodgers and Hammerstein musical song form. Did you know you can recite the litany against fear to the tune of "I'm gonna wash that man right out of my hair?" Tomorrow it'll be Dune but Paul is Hamlet, or Jessica is Lady MacBeth, and Alia as Ophelia, and then hopefilly my skull will implode . . .

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  13. Lynn, you are so twisted. I love it. This is my first time visiting your blog and it's wonderful. Can I put a link to your blog on my site?

    Frances
    Writing Science Fiction Romance
    Real Love in a Real Future
    http://frances-writes.blogspot.com/

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  14. Moby Dick, but as M/M erotica starring Paul from Dune

    Sorry but that was TOO easy

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  15. Hmm, you do realise I now have to go look at "The Flame and the Flower", jic?

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  16. the Illiad as a WWII thriller.

    Sorry, but Dwight D. Eisenhower doesn't make a good Odysseus. However, Patton makes a wonderful Achilles...*wanders off muttering to self*

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  17. If you are going to do Dune as erotica, then the giant sand worms would have to be the penises. And the "water of life"....ok, too much I think...VBG

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  18. Then Paul's son would have to turn into a giant penis in book four.

    Actually, this happened. Our gym teacher shared a bit too much over the campfire one night when a group of us girls were out on a school-sponsored hiking trip.

    According to him, he had been a giant penis, once upon a time. Literally, I think. He liked to dress up as one.

    I'm really glad I'm not in high school anymore.

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